fundamental electronics

The news spread about yesterday – the previously hypothesized 4th fundamental electronic circuit component has been found – and used. The memrister joins it’s compadre’s the resistor, capacitor, and inductor.

I first read the news on Wired, but really got quite a bit more out of the article today at Ars Technica: Maintaining Moore’s law with new memristor circuits. Maybe if my head was still flooded with the knowledge I had in college with my EE degree, I’d be able to work out the impact of this advancement quickly. That ain’t so anymore – it’s so fundamental that it sweeps through things, and I expect we’ll be seeing advances in technology and circuits for years due to this find. The only thing that really sprung up in my head was the idea that this find was a fundamental breakthrough and was “seriously going to change some stuff”. Not much for specifics… About the only real thing I remember in that respect from college was that the professor thought the memristor was an academic pipe dream and couldn’t exist. So much for the all-knowing professors, huh?

The Ars article outlines one of the immediate advances that HP Labs made was to create a dense memory. They cite putting 100Gigabits of memory onto a 1cm die and offer the comparison that modern flash memory is about 16 gigabits in the same space.