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HP boffins design Memristor device; could replace DRAM technology one day

HP Labs engineers led by Stanley Williams have build a prototype that some have already said could one day replace the DRAM technology which currently powers our computers.

It took nearly 40 years for researchers to find this missing link which has been as elusive to the scientific community as the Higgs Boson.

The technology called Memory Resistor or Memristor could bring forth a new generation of computer which would power-on instantly and could be used to process information in a similar fashion as the human brain.

More importantly, it could mean that HP has discovered the ultimate, "unifying" storage technology, which combines DRAM and Magnetic storage properties.

The Memristor is the so called fourth basic circuit device after the capacitor, the resistor and the inductor.

Like the capacitor, the Memristor has a memory; it remembers the amount of charge that goes through it and will change its resistance according to the amount of charge that flowed through it; with the component's properties being inversely proportional to its size.

No timeline has been put forward as to when the first commercial samples could be released.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.