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Wednesday April 30, 2008

HP Makes Memory From a Once Theoretical Circuit

HP is working on developing a four decade old theoretical circuit called a memristor that can actually “remember” what has happened to it. Amazing stuff considering this is all coming together 37 years after the idea was initially conceived.

A memristor effectively stores information because the level of its electrical resistance changes when current is applied. A typical resistor provides a stable level of resistance. By contrast, a memristor can have a high level of resistance, which can be interpreted as a computer as a "1" in data terms, and a low level can be interpreted as a "0." Thus, data can be recorded and rewritten by controlling current. In a sense, a memristor is a variable resistor that, through its resistance, reflects its own history, Williams said.

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