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HP Reports Memory Resistor Breakthrough

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the flip-the-switches dept.

HP 141

andy1307 writes "Hewlett-Packard scientists on Thursday will report advances demonstrating significant progress in the design of memristors, or memory resistors. The researchers previously reported in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they had devised a new method for storing and retrieving information from a vast three-dimensional array of memristors. The scheme could potentially free designers to stack thousands of switches on top of one another in a high-rise fashion, permitting a new class of ultra-dense computing devices even after two-dimensional scaling reaches fundamental limits."

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Research (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770660)

Finally something that sounds like it's actually patentable.

Re:Research (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31770698)

I'll patent sticking 15 anal dildos in your blown out asshole.

Re:Research (2, Funny)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770822)

I'll claim prior art

Re:Research (2, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771260)

I'll claim prior art

And how will you do that, if you can't speak, Mr. Anderson?

Sincerely,

HP Legal Department

Re:Research (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772044)

In writing, of course. It's the better choice for anything with legal implications anyway.

Re:Research (1)

Bman21212 (1067680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772248)

You can claim that on anything these days can't you.

Smaller is good (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770704)

But the really exciting thing is accessing that third dimension.

Re:Smaller is good (1)

masshuu (1260516) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771526)

so uuh? instead of 0x0001f57d 0x0001f57dx0005f566x0054faaa

Re:Smaller is good (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772048)

Well, they'll probably abstract it into the current one-dimensional addressing scheme for memory. But these things aren't used just for memory - you can build logic with them. Instead of 400,000 x 400,000 = (1,600,000,000 or 1.6 billion) transistors, 1,000,000 x 1,000,000 x 10,000 = (10,000,000,000,000,000 or 10 quadrillion) transistors in one package. Some for memory, some for logic, some for special purposes. You know, skynet. It gives us another 24 years of Moore's Law - though it probably won't take that long. If this pans out it buys some elbow room to find the next stretch goal.

That should be almost enough processor power to play Crysis V on Windows 13 at a decent frame rate. By then my great grandson will be fragging me mercilessly.

Research! YES! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31770966)

Finally something that sounds like it's actually patentable.

And not just patentable, but good solid research. It seems to me that lately, US companies have been cutting and cutting R&D budgets. The markets are so focused on who makes their current quarter earnings marks, and sinking money into innovation does not help towards making that profits goal. And because of this, it seems that we have lost touch with planning for the future.

That always made me sick to my stomach. I am always thrilled when these big companies, that spun up and put technology where it is today, the HPs, the IBMs, the Xeroxs, the ATT/Bell/Lucents, etc., come out with something cool. I even like it when the small guys do something, but often they dont have the money to make it all the way to market.

Anyway, my point is, I hope we see corporations (and everyone else, like NASA, etc) realize how important science and innovation are to our future. I hope that we can get back to the "old days" of (literally) shooting for the moon and achieving it, rather than spending money on fluffy marketing and trying to squeeze out margins with just barely passable work.

This kinda stuff, I love. More please!

(sorry for a horribly written post)

Re:Research! YES! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771180)

Why'd you post this anonymously? It was worth putting your (user)name on.

Re:Research! YES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31772916)

I don't care how good this technology is; HP is behind it. They've burned me too many times and I'll never trust them again.

Fuck HP.

Re:Research (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771118)

Finally something that sounds like it's actually patentable.

Yeah, but it can't be that big of a breakthrough... Nobody's filed any lawsuits yet.

Re:Research (0)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771938)

The devices, known as memristors, or memory resistors, were conceived in 1971 by Leon O. Chua, an electrical engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, but they were not put into effect until 2008 at the H.P. lab here.

Except the idea isn't new, it's just the first time they can actually make one and test it.

Regardless of that, this sounds very interesting. They are non-volatile, they are 1/th the size of a transistor, and they use far less power. Also (I assume), they should be cheaper to make. They also said that they tested them with hundreds of thousands of rw operations. That is pretty amazing at such an early stage of development.

Re:Research (2, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31773440)

Once HP figures out a way to make sure that they won't work if either the black cartridge or the combined color cartridge are empty, Memristors will be ready for commerical release...

Re:Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31773724)

I wonder if all of this was invented by AFRICANS.

Since "We're all the same", apparently, and it doesn't matter what proportion of the population of a previously successful, safe WHITE country is now AFRICAN.

Who needs facts when we've got insane political prejudices to maintain?

My memory... (4, Funny)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770668)

Has been resisting me for years. I'll be damned if I can remember where I put my keys.

Re:My memory... (1, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771114)

Has been resisting me for years. I'll be damned if I can remember where I put my keys.

Have you tried turning your brain off and back on again?

Re:My memory... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771318)

You forgot...that memristors are non-volatile.

Re:My memory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31772146)

If you have trouble power cycling, please call one of our support techs. They are trained in the fine art of making your brain shut off for periods of 30 seconds or longer.

Re:My memory... (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772758)

Yes, of course. I watch TV all the time.

Re:My memory... (4, Funny)

ArcadeNut (85398) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771588)

They are right under your fingers... you used them to type in your message, remember?

Re:My memory... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772064)

They are right under your fingers... you used them to type in your message, remember?

How do you know? He might have used a touch screen interface with virtual keyboard, or even handwriting recognition.

Re:My memory... (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771960)

You could have used Google [fun-images.com] .

Re:My memory... (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 4 years ago | (#31773950)

Or via failbook [failbook.com] ...

creators: billions using newclear powered kode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31770700)

tough to bet against an organization with a user base like that.

never a better time to consult with/trust in your creators, providing more than enough of everything for everyone without any personal gain motive since/until forever.

the lights are coming up all over now. see you there?

Heat? (3, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770702)

But is it so much more efficient that you could stack thousands of layers without turning your chip into a hunk of molten glass? That would probably be an even bigger breakthrough.

Re:Heat? (3, Informative)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770844)

According to TFA, the intended use for this is memory devices (possibly a follow-on to flash memory). Since it can retain it's state even without power, it would seem that this would result in an extremely low power device which should produce very low heat.

Re:Heat? (2, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770976)

It's more than that. This could have huge implications for no-power flash storage, and it has lower power requirements than the phase-change memory that is currently the top dog. I'm also curious about the 'data processing' blurb in TFA:

"They are simpler than today’s semiconducting transistors, can store information even in the absence of an electrical current and, according to a report in Nature, can be used for both data processing and storage applications."

"He said the company could have a competitor to flash memory in three years that would have a capacity of 20 gigabytes a square centimeter."

"The new material offers an approach that is radically different from a promising type of storage called “phase-change memory” being pursued by I.B.M., Intel and other companies. In a phase-change memory, heat is used to shift a glassy material from an amorphous to a crystalline state and back. The switching speed of these systems is slower and requires more power, the H.P. scientists say."

Re:Heat? (1)

beav007 (746004) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771178)

If we're now stacking in 3d, why are we still using square (instead of cubic) measurements?

Maximum thickness (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771198)

If we're now stacking in 3d, why are we still using square (instead of cubic) measurements?

USB flash drives, SDHC cards, and especially microSDHC cards still have a maximum thickness. "Gigabytes per square inch" would refer to the typical thickness of a packaged memory device.

Re:Heat? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771568)

Since it can retain it's state even without power

Its = possessive.

It's = "it is"

Learn fuckin' English.

Protip: That last sentence was a correct use of an apostrophe.

Re:Heat? (0, Offtopic)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772944)

It seems you have nothing to say about the content of the comment so you opt for an ad hominem attack on form? I guess anyone can be an asshole nowadays.

Learn to fuckin' use decent rhetoric.

Protip: Nobody with half a brain gives a shit.

Re:Heat? (0, Offtopic)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 4 years ago | (#31774282)

Me sorry. Forgive English. I from Kissmyassikstan.

Re:Heat? (1)

Your Anus (308149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771616)

If this is going to replace the transistor, it's also going to be used like RAM. Perhaps they won't stack it in that case, but heat transfer will be an issue if they do. Maybe they can embed some heat pipes in the stack.

Re:Heat? (1)

electrofelix (1079387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31773342)

Probably more likely to see this in on chip caches first before RAM. It'll probably be relatively too expensive in the first batches to be useful for RAM, but the density and cost would allow much bigger caches on CPUs Using it in RAM of course would have an interesting effect on hibernation. No need to copy the data to disk, just power down and instant on again later.

Re:Heat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31770868)

IBM has a plan : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbGyAXsLzIc

Re:Heat? (5, Informative)

HiThere (15173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770884)

Yes. Memristors don't require that power be applied in order to retain memory state. Heat might limit write and retrieval rate, but it wouldn't limit the number of layers. I suspect that it might make heat pipes built into the memory boards to be a highly desirable option, but that would be to enable faster access, not to allow a greater number of layers.

Re:Heat? (2, Interesting)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771156)

I suspect that it might make heat pipes built into the memory boards to be a highly desirable option, (..)

Hardly - the maximum amount of heat loss would be limited by the application.

If you'd use this technology to build a SSD for a laptop or a portable media player, there are some hard upper limits on how much power (=heat) that SSD could draw. Things like battery life, the amount of heat a full system can deal with, acceptable noise levels for cooling fans, etc. If bandwidth = heat, the application would limit the maximum available bandwidth for a given power consumption.

With that constraint as a given, I suspect that even a 100- or 1000-layer thick stack of memory cells would be capable of transferring the heat to its surroundings. Each memory cell wouldn't need a good 'heat connection' to the outside world - just a heat transfer to neighbouring cells good enough to prevent hot spots. Also memory cells could be arranged such, that areas that appear close from a logical (programmer's) point of view, are widely distributed from a physical point of view.

Re:Heat? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771274)

Yes. Memristors don't require that power be applied in order to retain memory state. Heat might limit write and retrieval rate, but it wouldn't limit the number of layers. I suspect that it might make heat pipes built into the memory boards to be a highly desirable option, but that would be to enable faster access, not to allow a greater number of layers.

No reason we can't use the peltier effect to move the heat to the surface and sap it away with heat sinks like we do now.

Re:Heat? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772284)

If I'm reading this right, external cooling may not be the issue. The problem would be the thermal transfer coefficient of the memory chip itself. Imagine are large number of these modules being stacked on top of each other, they now take on a "cube" form. While the outside is nice and cold, the center of the cube could instantly spike in temp (causing damage) before it has a chance to migrate to the surface for heat dissipation.

The obvious solution would to limit the density and/or how many modules to stack per chip if thermal transfer is an issue.

Re:Heat? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31773928)

No reason we can't use the peltier effect to move the heat to the surface and sap it away with heat sinks like we do now.

Please share with us your method of inserting peltier cooler layers between silicon layers. We're talking about removing heat from the middle of a three-dimensional structure, not a flat plane.

Re:Heat? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770954)

Should you still call it a chip?

Would cube be better?

Re:Heat? (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771108)

Chip, we called floppies floppies long after they had ceased to be floppy.

Re:Heat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771316)

Are you talking about 3.5" floppies? Cause it was the actual magnetic material on the inside that was floppy - we weren't talking about the shell.
3.5" disks were still floppy on the inside.
(Cue dodgy jokes...)

Re:Heat? (1)

fiddley (834032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31773510)

Unless you're South African, where the rigid cased 3.5's are referred to as, 'Stiffies'.

Re:Heat? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771874)

More to the point, we still produce core dumps, although the times when there was core memory to dump are long gone.

And of course, solid state disks usually are not disk shaped.

Re:Heat? (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771984)

We still produce core dumps? are you crazy? Blasphemous! My applications never core dump, ever! (Yeah, Friday is the official release date of v 1.5 of one of the apps I develop. There'll be a big presentation, lots of people, and I'm freaking nervous). I mean, I'm not nervous! My applications are bug free. (crawls back into the corner, continues countdown to Friday 10 A.M while swinging back and forth).

Re:Heat? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771264)

Block, surely?

And that is the difference... (4, Funny)

judolphin (1158895) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770756)

This is the real difference between genuine R&D (actual breakthrough in computer science) and Cupertino R&D (Let's remove the floppy drive! Let's remove the optical drive! Let's remove the keyboard! I can't believe we're acutally being paid for this!)

Re:And that is the difference... (0)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770810)

Apple is not big enough to do pure R&D like HP, Microsoft and IBM. they finally have a lot of cash and they might start now, but most of this decade they were like MS in the 90's. copy everyone and come out with a cooler looking versioni

Re:And that is the difference... (1)

batrick (1274632) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771290)

Not being big enough to do real R&D is a cop out. If a little guy (e.g. professor) can get money to do real research than so can a multi-billion dollar company.

Re:And that is the difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771406)

a cooler looking versioni

Is that some sort of funky pasta?

Re:And that is the difference... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31772584)

Apple has a larger market cap than HP.

In any case, Apple's products are not exactly cutting edge technology. They're focused on style and ease of use. Most of their hardware R&D is probably about squeezing the most out of the cheapest per-unit-cost hardware possible (MP4 decoder chips, etc) and mass producing it in huge volumes.

Re:And that is the difference... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31773708)

Apple is a marketing firm and System Integrator. They take other peoples' technology, slap a pretty package around it and double the price. As easy as it is to mock Microsoft, we do have to admit they develop a lot of things in-house from scratch. They just don't always get the details right the first time around.

I sell off the shares of any company that cuts R&D before executive salaries, and/or ships jobs overseas in order to achieve short-term profits. Those firms will inevitably fail. IBM, anyone...?

Re:And that is the difference... (4, Interesting)

beaverbrother (586749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770838)

Apple is a design firm and should be classified as such

Re:And that is the difference... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31770856)

Apple is a douche firm and should be classified as such

Fixed that for you.

Re:And that is the difference... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771122)

Don't smear the good name of douches with the likes of Apple!

Re:And that is the difference... (1, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770986)

Apple is a design firm and should be classified as such

Apple's designs should be put on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.'

42.

Leopard is dead; long live Snow Leopard (2, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771254)

Apple's designs should be put on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.'

Don't you mean "Beware of the Snow Leopard?" They changed the sign last August.

10.6.

Re:And that is the difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771032)

Apple is a design firm and should be classified as such

It's hard to classify companies nowadays. Apple does outsource to other design firms for many aspects of their devices, unlike early Apple it outsources also all components to commodity parts, and it outsources final fab to China companies. They also outsource their TV ads, it's not as if they shoot them themselves.

So basically what Apple does is: 1) come up with the high level plan 2) outsource absolutely everything 3) Jobs makes a keynote 4) profit

If I say it's a marketing company, that's be cliche and inaccurate. US businesses are empty shells filled with someone else's toys. That will unravel quite quickly in the coming decades.

Re:And that is the difference... (3, Insightful)

hakey (1227664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771494)

Full time employees of US tech companies with over $100B in market cap (data from Yahoo! Finance):
1. IBM 410,830
2. HP 304,000
3. Microsoft 93,000
4. Oracle 86,000
5. Intel 79,800
6. Cisco 65,550
7. Apple 34,300
8. Google 19,835

Re:And that is the difference... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772144)

Wouldn't that indicate that Google is more efficient than Apple from a labor standpoint?

Re:And that is the difference... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772176)

No, as Google doesn't have a worldwide retail presence like Apple does. Most of those employees work for Apple retail(and a smaller amount for Apple manufacturing, something that Google doesn't do at all).

Re:And that is the difference... (3, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770874)

I don't know if this is a real mccoy (slashdot hasn't been the same in these days), but if it is, it's electrical engineering, not computer science.

Kids these days...

Not exactly... (2, Insightful)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771020)

....isn't more along the lines of "Solid State Physics"?

Re:And that is the difference... (0, Troll)

eluusive (642298) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771064)

Apple does a lot more R&D than you have stated. They are responsible for FireWire, the Capacitive multitouch displays used in the iPhone, Altivec, etc. etc.

Re:And that is the difference... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771904)

They are distinctly not responsible for capacitive multi-touch displays. They took that from someone else, like all their other "innovations".

Re:And that is the difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31772252)

Apple didn't invent Altivec, and even if they had, Intel was first with MMX and SSE, and Cray put vector processors on chips before them.

This memristor technology is so genuinely new that it's not in my spellchecker's dictionary. You want to compare it to a late 90's implementation of an idea that was first implemented in the mid 70's.

Fuck off, mac fag.

Re:And that is the difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31774456)

In which planet is the parent post a Troll? It's obviously a joke. Whoever modded it such should never be given mod points again.

I'd love to see this in a cell phone. (2, Interesting)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770790)

There wouldn't be a excuse for tiny amounts of space even on the lowest of the low end phones.

THREE dimensions? (4, Funny)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 4 years ago | (#31770830)

Re:THREE dimensions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31770982)

*sniped*

Fuck everything, we are doing 5 dimensions (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771928)

Re:Fuck everything, we are doing 5 dimensions (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772342)

Already been done. Five-Dimensional storage requires placing data on material in an XYZ axis, then using light at different frequencies with polarization.

Article below here. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347423,00.asp [pcmag.com]

... and about 12 nanoseconds later (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31770972)

Software assholes will fill it to capacity with NOPs, redundant code, convoluted code, layers upon layers of abstraction, indirection and redirection, and when it comes to a crawl, STILL manage to blame the _hardware_ and say it's "IO bound". Assholes. Chemists, physicists and electrical engineers do all the real work.

Re:... and about 12 nanoseconds later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771230)

Yeah, well, it's the crap software that keeps us hardware people employed...

Re:... and about 12 nanoseconds later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771280)

And it's the social networking, twitter-tweeting, PHP-writing, why-do-I-have-to-learn-math-to-program crowd
who makes this even more of a sh*t-hole AFTER physicists and Real Engineers figure out how to make the tech work.

Web then-> invented for physicists to disseminate real research
Web now->Facebook weenies, twitter twits, porn (well, OK, good porn...) and nancy-boy and girlie-girl
other nonsense. Forum for tea-baggers, or tea-partiers, or some nonsense. Perez and slut Hilton.
Arrghhh!!!

I miss real engineering and science.

OH, and by the way, definitely check out the latest south park episode. Epic critique of Facebook......

Re:... and about 12 nanoseconds later (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31773466)

I miss real engineering and science. OH, and by the way, definitely check out the latest south park episode.

. Are you a subtle troll, or did you just "woosh" yourself?

Re:... and about 12 nanoseconds later (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#31774252)

Welcome to humanity, engineer. :)

Re:... and about 12 nanoseconds later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31772856)

It isn't software people per se. Who it is are the people hired offshore on the cheap who are demanded to do 10,000 lines of code, regardless of bugs, per day. Then the people hired on to fix the errors. Of course, they end up getting things to work, but with absolutely no documentation. Then other teams get hired on to try to modify the spaghetti bowl of a code base.

So you end up with 8 functions that do something basic like some array manipulation, and doing the exact same thing because one team didn't understand what the hell the other teams wrote, so reinvented the wheel because there were zero lines of comments, nor documentation.

Of course, each function has different input and output arguments. One function may take an array. Another may take an IO stream and output out an array. Still another might just take a series of numbers and handle GUI manipulation by itself.

So combine all this crap, and even with the best things hardware makers can do, the fact that most development houses believe in "if it builds, ship it. If it doesn't build, comment out stuff until it does" type of methodology, so what should be not even an early alpha becomes a shipping 1.0.

Forget replacing only RAM (3, Interesting)

patlabor (56309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771106)

This is a really big deal. Since our brains work in much the same way as an array of memristors, this brings the possibility of an artificial brain (and perhaps artificial intelligence) much closer to reality.

Maybe I will live to see Data in my lifetime.

Re:Forget replacing only RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771144)

"Since our brains work in much the same way as an array of memristors"

Really? There isn't even an array of memristors in the world or a model of how the brain works, and you can claim this? Get back to your cartoons.

Re:Forget replacing only RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771464)

Eh, just because you don't know shit, doesn't mean that it's not true.

Re:Forget replacing only RAM (1)

patlabor (56309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31774146)

Really? There isn't even an array of memristors in the world or a model of how the brain works, and you can claim this? Get back to your cartoons.

When you create a model you generally ignore the details of a system and focus on higher-level operation. You worry about what things do, not what the components are made out of. What I was referring to was the actual hardware in our brains. Synapses are functionally almost the same as a memristor. Since the synapses in our brains connect together in an array-like fashion, it is like an array of memristors.

Re:Forget replacing only RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771236)

All you need are memristors and positrons.

This...could...work! (1)

UttBuggly (871776) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771110)

I read about the original research and hadn't heard anything for a while and wondered if HP was still working on this.

Personally, I feel this is OUTSTANDING news. RTFA, they think they'll get 20GB on a square centimeter. And have a viable competitor to flash memory in 3 years.

Instead of "coming on Blu-Ray Tuesday!", it'll be "coming on MR-Chip Tuesday!"

Of course, when they get the 4D version working, that'll change to "coming last week on MR-Chip!"

( And yes, I just copyrighted "MR-Chip"...)

Goodbye, MR-Chip (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771346)

( And yes, I just copyrighted "MR-Chip"...)

You're too late [imdb.com] .

Re:This...could...work! (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31774206)

Just wait until Mark Hurd hears about it..."You mean we still have researchers we haven't outsourced or fired yet? Flunky, get me a stack of pink slips, I'll fix this straight away!"

Joule heating (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771326)

It seems like Joule heating would be a problem if the memory consists of resistors. In particular, a three-dimensional stack would build up heat fairly quickly. Of course, switching transistors requires a good deal of energy so the prospect of not needing to constantly refresh each element may be a huge advantage in this respect. Also, it depends on the on and off resistances and the currents required to read and write bits.

Does anyone know of a link to a more technical description of the technology?

Re:Joule heating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31771738)

Does anyone know of a link to a more technical description of the technology?

Yeah, I heard this site [google.com] had lots of good links, ya lazy bastard.

Finally, the end of hard disk drives? (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771412)

I think HP's research could pave the way for solid-state disk (SSD) drives in the 3-4 TB storage capacity range about the size of today's 2.5" laptop drives, which will essentially end the reign of hard disk drives with spinning disc platters and moving read-write heads. Imagine being able to boot Windows 7 completely in about 5-6 seconds from the time the "disk" starts its boot sequence, or read-write access at essentially RAM speeds.

Alas, we'll start to run into this problem: current disk drive interfaces won't be able to keep up, unless we use the Serial ATA Revision 3.0 spec. We may have to go to Intel's Light Peak standard to take full advantage of these new generation of high-capacity SSD drives.

Re:Finally, the end of hard disk drives? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771600)

The end of magnetomechanical media has been drawing nigh for quite a while. When this storage comes it will still be very expensive for quite a while for no better reason than they can get a lot for it. SATA3 drives are here, as is SAS 6G. Both are 6Gbits/second theoretically. Lightpeak supposedly only starts at 10 - less overhead. This is new technology that's potentially much faster than that and there's no good reason to pretend it's a spinning disk when it's not. When we get the performance up, it's time to move to some much faster interconnect like PCIe. Some SSD vendors are already doing that, so this will just be a bump upgrade to their existing lineup.

Re:Finally, the end of hard disk drives? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772026)

Alas, we'll start to run into this problem: current disk drive interfaces won't be able to keep up, unless we use the Serial ATA Revision 3.0 spec.

Why should we use a spec made for spinning disks at all? The logical thing would be to access this as what it is: Memory. After all, you don't use SATA for reading your BIOS either, do you?

I didn't know HP did RnD these days (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31771764)

Since spinning off Agilent and Avago. Always thought that those would be the divisions involved with something like this?

Figured since then all HP did was slap far east junk into cases. Does the server/etc portion still do a lot of RnD?

Re:I didn't know HP did RnD these days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31772052)

Yes.

20 gigabytes a square centimeter? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772098)

Current microSDHC cards are already 16GB [lexar.com] , so 20 GB in a square centimeter in 3 years isn't impressive at all.

Re:20 gigabytes a square centimeter? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31772198)

Starts getting impressive when you stack those square cm layers. Something you can't do with conventional flash.

Yes, but (1)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31772172)

Never mind how dense or how long it'll be until we have these devices in our gadgets. How about something about how long it'll be until they can show a functional part? There's a HUGE difference between "proof of concept" in a lab and an actual manufacturable part. Most companies wouldn't even dream of announcing their partly baked research this early.
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