updated 07:50 pm EDT, Tue August 31, 2010
New tech promises to replace transistors
HP has announced a new partnership with Hynix Semiconductor that aims to commercialize its "remristor" technology. The memory resistors are said to be a potential alternative to existing transistors, promising speeds up to 100 times faster than flash storage. Project scientists also highlight power savings, as memristors reportedly use a fraction of the energy compared to current technology.
Analysts still have doubts regarding the potential viability of memristor technology outside of the lab. The new collaborative efforts, however, are geared toward developing materials and processes that can bring the technology into the market.
Both companies will be working on a form of Resistive Random Access Memory (ReRAM), a new form of memory that is said to have capacity and power consumption advantages over traditional flash, DRAM and even hard drives. HP suggests ReRAM could serve as a replacement for flash chips in mobile phones and MP3 players, among other devices.
People have been attempting to make resistive memory for a long time," says HP Senior Fellow and IQSL founding Director Dr. Stanley Williams. "But because they didn't understand that the devices they had were memristors, they weren't making good progress. Once you understand the mathematical framework for memristors, you can design circuits that perform the way they are intended to perform."
Williams suggests many HP lab personnel will be moving to Korea to assist Hynix. Both companies will be working together for a "number of years," although HP has yet to provide an estimate regarding when memristor technology might enter mass production. [via CNN]