HP, Hynix team up to mass-produce memristors

Most people know HP best for its well-established printers and consumer PCs, but the firm has some intriguing memory technology coming down the pike, as well—technology that’s finally on the verge of entering the mass market.

HP has teamed up with Hynix to manufacture memory resistors, or memristors for short, a potential replacement for flash memory. HP’s announcement details some of the technology’s advantages over current flash memory: "Memristors require less energy to operate, are faster than present solid-state storage technologies and can retain information even when power is off." The memristor has been a long time coming, and this image, provided by HP, chronicles a few important points along the way:

Memristor tech has some wide-ranging implications. The ability of memristors to retain information when powered off could lead not just to much faster boot times, but also the ability to shut down a system completely while maintaining the state of your work, as opposed to entering a sleep mode that continually feeds power to the memory. With the current focus on energy conservation and efficiency, this would be a pretty significant achievement. Furthermore, memristors could allow for formidable capacities. Maximum PC reported last year that a 1-cm² memristor device could pack 100 gigabits of data, compared to 16 gigabits for a similar-sized flash chip. No wonder HP envisions memristor-based ReRAM as a "universal storage medium" that could function as both mass storage and system memory.

More specifics can be found within HP’s press release, and a more detailed primer on the development of this technology can be found here at the HP Labs site.

Comments closed
    • BooTs
    • 9 years ago

    Hopefully RAMBUS doesn’t have some retarded patent on this tech.

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      Actually, RAMBUS has a few very clever patents — at least one I’d actually term “elegant.” I’m far from a fan of RAMBUS, but considering the bad behavior of /[

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    Wow, a ‘3-5 years from now’ advance that actually comes out anywhere near that timeframe? (Let’s use the 2008 publication as the starting point.) I’m gobsmacked!

    Also I’m pleased to see that HP R&D is actually still alive and kicking and doing more than pure lab stuff that never sees the light of day. It was kind of sad when they went (apparently) full-on system integrator given their glorious past, maybe this will be the start of a revival.

      • hapyman
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah maybe they just need to license the tech and get it over with. This type of innovation if true really needs to get out there quick.

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    Nice reminder that there’s more to HP than printers and former porn stars.

    • willyolio
    • 9 years ago

    still, though, i wonder what other things can be done with these. i mean, they’re a fundamental circuit element, and so far people are only thinking of using them as memory devices. that’s like discovering the capacitor and only using them to make batteries.

    i’m no electrical engineer, so i’m not offering any suggestions, but i’m sure there’s a lot more that’s possible…

    • BiffStroganoffsky
    • 9 years ago

    I know HP for their history of bloated/buggy/’spyware’ infested consumer driver suites. They went well with their dodgy consumer grade ‘pooters and scanners/printers.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      I remember them from making the best electrical measurement instruments in the whole wide world.

        • Anomymous Gerbil
        • 9 years ago

        And calcumalators!

      • Meadows
      • 9 years ago

      That’s odd, I’d much rather pick an HP printer over an Epson one, for example. In fact we also use HP in our office and there’s really nothing wrong with it, although from my grandiose travels in various offices I have found that Lexmark is also something of a trusted brand.

      What I’m talking about is, I’ve never seen anyone use Epson or Canon or whatever else for actual work, which may just be me but it may also say something about them.

        • UberGerbil
        • 9 years ago

        Actually, in design/graphics, both Epson and Canon are much more highly-regarded than HP. HP had a great rep in the laserjet days, but those are long gone. HP still has its place in the enterprise, but for consumer uses it is a dangerous proposition, because even when the hardware is adequate for the price it is so badly tainted by the software that the whole system is a problem.

        My aunt decided she needed a new computer after she got her HP all-in-one. When I looked at her system I realized why: HP’s “drivers” amounted to more than 1 GB on disk, and were using /[

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    ReRam? Wasn’t that a character from a What’s Happening!!

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    But will it run…oh wait, sorry, wrong story

    Pretty exciting though.

    • Scrotos
    • 9 years ago

    l[

      • Anubhav
      • 9 years ago

      What about hibernating your pc?

      Surely that accomplishes the same thing.

      If someone has issues with power going out then surely that individual has invested money on a UPS?

      Although the other advantages of memristors are pretty cool.

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      The Lisa wasn’t as great in that regard as you seem to think. It wasn’t doing anything particular revolutionary wrt maintaining state. And I certainly had it “bomb” on me a few times in unrecoverable ways.

    • potatochobit
    • 9 years ago

    this is the first I have heard of memritos
    but are they the fresh maker?

      • CheetoPet
      • 9 years ago

      You are probably thinking of memroids, they definitely leave you with that not so fresh feeling.

        • 5150
        • 9 years ago

        Isn’t memritos when you remember the good times associated with eating Doritos?

    • Meadows
    • 9 years ago

    Poor *[<5150<]*, people just never notice when he's making fun of Krogoth. I swear I feel so sorry for him for still trying at all. Jigar, GTVic, /[

      • cygnus1
      • 9 years ago

      What’s awesome about 5150 is how consistent he’s being on every news post where something new is coming out or being updated. Pretty entertaining.

        • UberGerbil
        • 9 years ago

        Like our very own Kibo

          • bthylafh
          • 9 years ago

          Heh, you (and me!) are an old timer.

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      Successful troll is successful.

    • 5150
    • 9 years ago

    Yawn. Wake me when a 50-mm² memristor device could pack 800 gigabits of data.

      • Jigar
      • 9 years ago

      That’s very much human 5150. Now, never tell us that you are not human, ok, because we human beings are never satisfied.

      • GTVic
      • 9 years ago

      Yet another “r[

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 9 years ago

      Forget the electro-shock alarm clock. How about we send you a lifetime supply of codeine to help you sleep…deeper?

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      5150 and Krogoth are apparently sleeping together.

        • rxc6
        • 9 years ago

        arghhhh, 5150 forgot to log off *[

      • sluggo
      • 9 years ago

      The memristor team leader refers to a realistic petabit of storage in a 30mm^2 device.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    I didn’t know they were seriously working to make products out of this, nice!

    • bthylafh
    • 9 years ago

    They’re faster than current flash memory, but what speed might one expect versus DRAM?

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      All they really hinted at was a very ambiguous range of “at least a factor of 10, maybe 100,” compared to flash. There’s no telling what that even means. Is it access time, write speed, or peak bandwidth? It doesn’t appear that they’re even really sure what all it can do just yet.

      If it can have roughly equivalent access times when used in place of system RAM and saves power, count me in. Laptops are screaming for something like that. Even desktops are going overboard on memory bandwidth now.

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