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The researchers formed memristors by crossing platinum nanowires with another wire, with a thin dab of titanium dioxide at the junction. Each wire is a seperate memristor, yielding 17 memristors, each 50 nm (150 atoms appr.) wide. The memristor remembers even after powered off.  (Source: J. J. Yang, HP Labs.)
New discrete component from HP joins the ranks of the resistor, capacitor and inductor as the fourth major circuit element

Yesterday Hewlett-Packard (HP), best known as a leading personal computer manufacturer, announced what may be one of the most significant electronics breakthroughs of the decade.  Researchers at HP Labs, the central research center for the company, confirmed the existence of the previously theorized fourth fundamental circuit element of electrical engineering.

The new component is called the “memristor” -- a word blend of "memory" and "resistor".  The physical working model and the mathematical model of the component were presented side by side in a paper in the journal Nature, yesterday.  Four researchers at the lab, led by R. Stanley Williams, presented the device which retains the history of information passed to it.

The device could make for computers that need no boot-up, never forget, use less power, and associate memories much like the human mind.  Such possibilities were long considered the realm of science fiction.  The realization of the device was 37 years in the making, and many had come to think it would never be created.

The component was initially theorized and named by Leon Chua, a distinguished faculty member in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department of the University of California at Berkeley, in 1971.  Chua's paper argued that the new component was a fundamental fourth element of electronics with unique properties which the other elements did not have.

By leveraging experience in nanoelectronics, Williams was finally able to realize Chua's creation, over three decades later.  Williams was ecstatic about the success.  He stated, "To find something new and yet so fundamental in the mature field of electrical engineering is a big surprise, and one that has significant implications for the future of computer science.  By providing a mathematical model for the physics of a memristor, HP Labs has made it possible for engineers to develop integrated circuit designs that could dramatically improve the performance and energy efficiency of PCs and data centers."

The device could eventually make dynamic random access memory (DRAM) obsolete.  In current systems, active computers store data in DRAM, but must shuffle the information to and from a magnetic hard disk or a flash drive, nonvolatile forms of memory.  Furthermore, when the computer is turned on, the DRAM must be initially loaded from the magnetic memory.  These processes consume both time and energy, slowing computing and raising the energy and heat envelopes of systems.

A memristor would need no boot up as its data would be exactly how it was previously left.  Data could theoretically be read and wrote directly to and from memristors, eliminating the need for hard drives, except possibly for backup storage.

With the advent of “cloud computing” -- the transition of data storage to the online world this device becomes even more valuable and timely.  The IT infrastructure that's growing to support cloud computing uses thousands of systems, multiplying the energy costs of ram usage exponentially.  The new component could dramatically reduce the power, and thus the expense of such systems, as well as helping to protect user data and reducing load times.

One key problem to data centers has always been the possibility of a power loss.  The memristor essentially would take away the problem, as barring complete circuit destruction; the data would survive a power outage.  The type of memory also offers the possibility of continuously learning and adapting systems, similar to the human brain.  Such systems could be used in facial recognition technology, as well as in enabling advanced biometric security and privacy features.

Williams is no stranger to innovation -- he founded HP Labs’ Information and Quantum Systems Lab and has been its director ever since.  The lab strives to develop advances in the realms of mathematics and physical science useful to computing.  The lab has logged many advances in nanoelectronics and nanophotonics, but the memristor may well go down in history as its most significant contribution.

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great discovery but ...
By das mod on 5/1/2008 2:26:05 PM , Rating: 5
where can i get a higher resolution picture
of the girl you used for this article ??

RE: great discovery but ...
By MrWho on 5/1/2008 2:32:20 PM , Rating: 5
Nevermind the fact that this has to be one of the biggest breakthroughs of the decade! Heck, I want those boobies! 8p

RE: great discovery but ...
By BMFPitt on 5/1/2008 3:00:04 PM , Rating: 3
When these go into production, we can access pictures of her faster!

When combined with the FireFox girl, these new devices will lead to world peace.

RE: great discovery but ...
By feraltoad on 5/2/2008 4:19:05 AM , Rating: 2
We read the article. Now show us the boobies!

RE: great discovery but ...
By phxfreddy on 5/2/2008 9:24:46 AM , Rating: 2
You would probably not look as good with the boobies. But if you wish we can start you on hormone therapy

RE: great discovery but ...
By TimberJon on 5/2/2008 11:19:30 AM , Rating: 2
What boobies?

RE: great discovery but ...
By bldckstark on 5/2/2008 12:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
What boobies? She has nearly none!

I like the little ones though. They don't have that problem with gravity that the big ones do. I spent an unspeakable amoount of time dissecting the physics of a soft sided cantilever mounted device and it's elastic/plastic properties over time in earth's gravity.

The first mass-marketed device to use anti-gravity would likely be a new brassiere designed by Victoria's Secret. Any other theories, or names for such a product?

RE: great discovery but ...
By HVAC on 5/2/2008 1:06:48 PM , Rating: 3
Wonder Loft
Clouds of Venus
Maiden's D-lite
Powered Strapless Valkyrie (although honestly this sounds more like a man-portable weapon)

RE: great discovery but ...
By Pythias on 5/6/2008 10:21:03 PM , Rating: 2
Zero-G Double Ds FTW

RE: great discovery but ...
By Master Kenobi on 5/1/2008 2:32:41 PM , Rating: 5
I second that motion....

RE: great discovery but ...
By dsx724 on 5/1/2008 2:42:48 PM , Rating: 3
i hope they're not made of plastic.

RE: great discovery but ...
By JasonMick on 5/1/2008 2:46:26 PM , Rating: 5
Obviously they're made of silicon(e) ;)

RE: great discovery but ...
By forumlurker on 5/1/2008 2:49:04 PM , Rating: 2
I have been a Daily Tech forum lurker for over a year. I finally registered to make a witty comment and someone beat me to the punch.

Congrats! Great minds think a like.

I am going to go back to my internet black hole now.

RE: great discovery but ...
By Ananke on 5/1/2008 3:40:12 PM , Rating: 2
The girl is obviously employee at HP Shanghai office /see the scripts behind her/ and the picture is done recently /I compared weather pattern through the window with some weather sim models I run on hijacked IRS and INS comps :)/. However, I will keep her name anonimous, since I would like very much to marry her, be very loyal spouse and make her 5 children, at least :).

RE: great discovery but ...
By SandmanWN on 5/1/2008 4:35:52 PM , Rating: 5
I would wager she's probably already got a restraining order against you.

RE: great discovery but ...
By vic1218 on 5/2/2008 7:25:47 AM , Rating: 2
Em... She's probably a taiwanese... The wordings in the backdrop is in Traditional Chinese... :)

RE: great discovery but ...
By Gyres01 on 5/1/2008 4:35:40 PM , Rating: 3
Heck yea....I am @ full capacity trying to resist her.......

RE: great discovery but ...
By funduck on 5/1/2008 4:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
yeah please provide

RE: great discovery but ...
By pxavierperez on 5/1/2008 5:54:23 PM , Rating: 5
Daily tech has got to stop doing that. When I saw the babe I clicked on the link to this article without even knowing what it was about. Instinct.

But yes, a link to guide us to the high resolution version picture of her will be very much appreciated.

RE: great discovery but ...
By Ringold on 5/1/2008 7:46:41 PM , Rating: 5
Daily tech has got to stop doing that. When I saw the babe I clicked on the link to this article without even knowing what it was about. Instinct.

Agreed. DailyTech, you're getting ad revenue due to my weak, weak male mind, the least you can do is provide a decent resolution. :P

Notice other tech sites that have photo galleries of nothing but booth babes from conventions. Feel free to follow the industry trend.

RE: great discovery but ...
By Concreteboy9 on 5/1/2008 7:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
funny, the only character i can read from that image is ?,which can mean feminine charm. . .

RE: great discovery but ...
By Concreteboy9 on 5/1/2008 7:36:10 PM , Rating: 2
ok chinese character wasn't recognized in the comment, but it was the middle one behind her, sè

RE: great discovery but ...
By LivinLondon on 5/2/2008 7:56:41 AM , Rating: 5
yes, it took this photo to draw yet another lurker into registering. Other posts below are correct: She is from Taiwan. Did some Google search and she popped up, but in a different pose, same campaign. Post more if you find them. ;-)

RE: great discovery but ...
RE: great discovery but ...
By noxipoo on 5/2/2008 11:48:33 AM , Rating: 2
nice links. she doesn't look asian... mixed or just a foreign model in taiwan? whatever, shes hot.

RE: great discovery but ...
By jconan on 5/3/2008 4:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
but northern chinese have sharper noses and less rounded face vs southern chinese

RE: great discovery but ...
By noxipoo on 5/5/2008 10:49:59 AM , Rating: 2
never seen anyone looking like her in northern china, plus this is in taiwan, not very north.

RE: great discovery but ...
By das mod on 5/2/2008 2:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
thanks both for posting those links ...
my life can now move on :)

RE: great discovery but ...
By Andrevas on 5/2/2008 8:49:19 PM , Rating: 1
she has NO titties

no motorboating = epic fail

RE: great discovery but ...
By piroroadkill on 5/4/2008 9:42:05 AM , Rating: 2
is dat sum delicious flat chest?

It is indeed, very hot

RE: great discovery but ...
By nugundam93 on 5/8/2008 9:03:07 AM , Rating: 2
epic win! she's hot. :D

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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