Finding the memristor

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Another article at IEEE Spectrum today, this one from Stanley Williams at HP. Williams led the team that has discovered a physical instantiantion of the fourth fundamental circuit element (the other three being the resistor, capacitor, and inductor) predicted by Chua in his 1971 paper.

Combined with transistors in a hybrid chip, memristors could radically improve the performance of digital circuits without shrinking transistors. Using transistors more efficiently could in turn give us another decade, at least, of Moore’s Law performance improvement, without requiring the costly and increasingly difficult doublings of transistor density on chips. In the end, memristors might even become the cornerstone of new analog circuits that compute using an architecture much like that of the brain.

The article provides an interesting insight into the ups and downs on the (usually) long road to research breakthroughs. And you’ll get some understanding of what memristors are, too.