Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The HP Memristor Debate

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the what's-in-a-name dept.

HP 62

New submitter AaronLS writes "There has been a debate about whether HP has or has not developed a memristor. Since it's something fairly different from existing technologies, and similar in many ways to a memristor, I think they felt comfortable using the term. However, the company has been criticized for using that labeling by former U.S. patent officer Blaise Moutett. On the other hand, had HP created a new, unique label, they would have probably gotten flack for pretending it's something new when it's not. Will anything positive come from this debate? Electrical engineering analyst Martin Reynolds sums it up nicely: 'Is Stan Williams being sloppy by calling it a "memristor"? Yeah, he is. Is Blaise Moutett being pedantic in saying it is not a "memristor"? Yeah, he is. [...] At the end of day, it doesn't matter how it works as long as it gives us the ability to build devices with really high density storage.'"

cancel ×

62 comments

What the hell? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40770755)

I feel like I'm eavesdropping in the middle of a conversation between two mental patients.

Re:What the hell? (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#40772249)

Nope, that's just one patient talking to himself.

Frist psot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40770761)

Frist psot

Re:Frist psot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40770851)

Fail

Hmmm ... (5, Funny)

Grindalf (1089511) | about 2 years ago | (#40770767)

Someone's pinched their hysteresis curve? Groan ...

Re:Hmmm ... (0)

TheBilgeRat (1629569) | about 2 years ago | (#40771735)

why no mod points when the funny is brought?

Lousy summary (0, Flamebait)

ubrgeek (679399) | about 2 years ago | (#40770941)

I'm sorry, but I shouldn't have to RTFA just to understand the key word in the summary ("memristor"). It's sloppy writing not to explain it. It's like a newspaper headline - it's supposed to draw in your interest to read the article. I have no f'ing idea what a memristor is so no idea if I give a rat's poop about it.

Re:Lousy summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40771007)

I wore my sister's pull-ups. The big kind that are for like 90-125 pounds. They fit, but I had to be careful, or I'd tear them.

I wore them as often as my parents left me alone in the house with her pullups there.

No one knows.

She used to left her wet ones in her room, I'd always steal a dry one and a wet one and sleep in the wet one. Maybe I'd wet it a little more, and sleep in it again.

Then other nights I'd sleep in the dry one. But I couldn't do that for more than a night or two, I like sleeping in wet diapers.

It's not so much the feeling, it's the idea of someone like a girlfriend or any girl, really, forcing me to wear it and use it. I'm a sub, if you couldn't tell.

I never had anyone who would roleplay forcing me to wear diapers and use them, so I just used my head.

Never shit in a pullup, risk of getting caught was way too high. My sister was a nighttime bedwetter, not incontinent.

I'm 19/Male. Haven't worn diapers for a couple years now, I've been in the military.

Re:Lousy summary (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40771203)

try NASA.

Re:Lousy summary (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#40771457)

ubrgeek my ass.

Re:Lousy summary (2)

lewiscr (3314) | about 2 years ago | (#40772001)

I could accept "What's a memristor?" from a newbie, but a mid-6digit UID? There have been a plenty of memristor articles on /. [slashdot.org] , going back to 2008.

Re:Lousy summary (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#40772931)

Well in defense of 6digit newbies, this awkward portmanteau does sound like Chinglish.

Re:Lousy summary (2)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 2 years ago | (#40775291)

Yeah. Just like "transceiver" and "modem" this term will never catch on.

Re:Lousy summary (1)

hazydave (96747) | about 2 years ago | (#40773083)

Well, a six digit newbie could still technically be a software-only type. Hard to believe, I know, that such folk might not have built their own motherboards, tape interfaces, hacked TVs into CVBS monitors, or even read early issues of "Kilobaud", Byte, or Radio-Electronics. But its possible.

On the other hand, any dude self-titled "ubergeek" not knowing what a memristor is... time for a name change, buddy.

I also suggest that a six digiter fool enough to admit such a crisis of common knowledge around here, in public, must be spending too much time on Facebook or something.

Re:Lousy summary (1)

drkstr1 (2072368) | about 2 years ago | (#40774085)

Well I sure as hell don't know what a memristor is. I tend to leave those trivial details to the low paid mechanics (hardware guys ). :P

Re:Lousy summary (1)

kestasjk (933987) | about 2 years ago | (#40775203)

No-one I've ever worked with would say something so ignorant about the hardware engineers who help enable our business, and often get paid more than us to do it.

Re:Lousy summary (1)

Nite_Hawk (1304) | about 2 years ago | (#40775769)

Sadly it's a tragedy that seems all too common these days. The IT admins, software engineers and hardware engineers think they know how to do each other's jobs better than they do. Instead of working together, they try to build their own little power bases to control each other. If you've found a place to work where that's not the case, cherish it. In my experience it's not as common as one would hope.

Re:Lousy summary (1)

drkstr1 (2072368) | about 2 years ago | (#40776189)

Take it easy there bud. I thought the little emoticon at the end there made it clear that it was only light hearted kidding. I am quite aware that hardware requires a type of thinking and skillset that I lack. My best friend teases me all the time for being a software guy, and I return the favor.

Re:Lousy summary (2)

tambo (310170) | about 2 years ago | (#40771779)

> I'm sorry, but I shouldn't have to RTFA just to understand the key word in the summary ("memristor"). It's sloppy writing not to explain it.

>

Couple with that the title "U.S. patent officer." There's no such thing.

Blaise Mouttet is a former patent *examiner* for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The USPTO currently employs over 6,000 patent examiners, each of whom is expected to be of "ordinary skill in the art." There's no indication that this individual's opinion is any more significant than that of any other electrical engineer.

Either it's an error, or the title was sexed up to fabricate an aura of expertise. Can anyone explain why this article made it to the front page of Slashdot?

Re:Lousy summary (1)

alva_edison (630431) | about 2 years ago | (#40777447)

TFA also says he has several patents and papers on memristors.

Re:Lousy summary (2)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about 2 years ago | (#40771813)

From looking at the diagram in TFA i'm just going to assume that they should have called it a flux capacitor.

Re:Lousy summary (5, Funny)

narcc (412956) | about 2 years ago | (#40772029)

Should every summary take the time to explain every term that someone might not know?

Does every article about the iPhone need to explain that it's a smartphone product produced by Apple? (Apple is a California based company that produces computers and some consumer electronics. A smartphone is a cellular telephone based on a mobile computer, typically integrating features found in other portable computing and other personal electronics products. A cellular telephone is ... a network is ... )

If you don't know what a memristor is, first turn in your geek card, then punch the term in to HotBot. (HotBot was a popular search engine in the late 1990's. A search engine is ... )

Re:Lousy summary (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 2 years ago | (#40775321)

Hang on. What's a california and how did Apple go from there to computers?

Re:Lousy summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40772729)

You could've searched for that word in less time that it took to post*. I mean really just from the word you would think it has something to do with transistor or resistors and memory. Portmanteau's aren't generally the hardest words to figure out and the /. audience shouldn't have trouble with this one.

Double-click or double tap
Right-click or hold touch
Select search

Re:Lousy summary (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#40774249)

If you don't know what it is and can't be bothered to find out, then it's safe to say the article isn't for you. Go somewhere else and wait for the Fox News version that explains all the hard words in nice easy ones.

Fox news Version (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#40774945)

"Some elitist scientists argued about something you wouldn't understand. That proves scientists can't be trusted to tell the truth about climate change".

Re:Lousy summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40774865)

Oh FFS: memristor [lmgtfy.com]

please flick my nutbag (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40770953)

When are they gonna limit the kids you can have when you are on welfare? I know a girl who has 5 kids (she doesnt have custody) now she is prego with number 6! I said must be nice to have kids while on welfare, her comment! SHIT HAPPENS! Yup typical welfare scum!

Memristors (4, Insightful)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 2 years ago | (#40770957)

For those like me that went huh?

The memristor ( /mmrstr/; a portmanteau of "memory resistor") was originally envisioned in 1971 by circuit theorist Leon Chua as a missing non-linear passive two-terminal electrical component relating electric charge and magnetic flux linkage. More recently the memristor definition was generalized by Leon Chua to cover all forms of 2-terminal non-volatile memory devices based on resistance switching effects. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memristor [wikipedia.org]

Personally, I still have no idea.

Re:Memristors (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40771055)

Summary of the memristor and this controversy at Memristor Identity Crisis [tikalon.com] .

Re:Memristors (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40771083)

Keep reading. The basic idea is here:

The resistance of a memristor depends on the integral of the input applied to the terminals (rather than on the instantaneous value of the input

It's like a resistor but the resistance varies based on the current applied to it in the past.

in your motherfucking ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40771147)

      .o8   o8o  oooo        .o8
     "888   `"'  `888       "888
.oooo888  oooo   888   .oooo888   .ooooo.
d88' `888  `888   888  d88' `888  d88' `88b
888   888   888   888  888   888  888   888
888   888   888   888  888   888  888   888
`Y8bod88P" o888o o888o `Y8bod88P" `Y8bod8P'

Don't forget, aids cures fags!

Dirty, fucking, faggot nigger!!

Re:in your motherfucking ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40771523)

cool. I'm going to have to save that ascii art to paste it into a thread where it's relevant :D

Re:in your motherfucking ass (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40772773)

or vagina

Re:Memristors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40775195)

Thank you, Leon Chua, for inventing the PC, 2-terminal (I mean AC socket) non-volatile memory device ! Its resistance does change too.

K.L.M.

Re:Memristors (4, Interesting)

bmacs27 (1314285) | about 2 years ago | (#40776781)

One interesting side note is that memristors exhibit similar electrical properties to synapses in your brain. That is, their resistance changes proportional to the passed current.

All diodes are light emitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40770963)

All diodes are light emitting if you put enough current through them. All resistors are memristors if you write something on them. WTF is this about? A little background, please?

What gives? As long as it's close enough... (5, Insightful)

jiriw (444695) | about 2 years ago | (#40771043)

'They' say it isn't a true memristor because its data deteriorates a bit over time. But ... isn't that true of all other current basic electronic components as well? Capacitors have some leakage, making it a 'bit' a resistor. Inductors do not have a perfect Q. Even at its resonance point some energy is dissipated as heat, dampening the resonance circuit it is part of and making it a 'bit' a resistor as well. Resistors are most of the time at least 'half' a winding on a 'coil'... when alternating current passes through them with a high frequency, they act a 'bit' as an inductor. And they may have a parasitic capacitance with other components near it.

So, what gives if this HP invention is not the 'perfect' memristor. As long as it's close enough, it would do. In other words: if it quacks like a duck...

do it with your tongue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40771179)


.ooooo.  oooo  oooo  ooo. .oo.  .oo.
d88' `"Y8 `888  `888  `888P"Y88bP"Y88b
888        888   888   888   888   888
888   .o8  888   888   888   888   888
`Y8bod8P'  `V88V"V8P' o888o o888o o888o

.oooo.o oooo oooo    ooo  .oooo.   oo.ooooo.
d88(  "8  `88. `88.  .8'  `P  )88b   888' `88b
`"Y88b.    `88..]88..8'    .oP"888   888   888
o.  )88b    `888'`888'    d8(  888   888   888
8""888P'     `8'  `8'     `Y888""8o  888bod8P'
                                     888
                                    o888o

fucking filthy whore mouth

Re:do it with your tongue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40771491)

You forgot to log in you little faggot's faggot.

you should ask your sister about (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40771207)

         oooo
         `888
.oooo.o  888   .ooooo.  oo.ooooo.  oo.ooooo.  oooo    ooo
d88(  "8  888  d88' `88b  888' `88b  888' `88b  `88.  .8'
`"Y88b.   888  888   888  888   888  888   888   `88..8'
o.  )88b  888  888   888  888   888  888   888    `888'
8""888P' o888o `Y8bod8P'  888bod8P'  888bod8P'     .8'
                          888        888       .o..P'
                         o888o      o888o      `Y8P'

                                      .
                                    .o8
.ooooo.  oooo  oooo  ooo. .oo.   .o888oo
d88' `"Y8 `888  `888  `888P"Y88b    888
888        888   888   888   888    888
888   .o8  888   888   888   888    888 .
`Y8bod8P'  `V88V"V8P' o888o o888o   "888"

      .o8            o8o   .o8        .o8       oooo
     "888            `"'  "888       "888       `888
.oooo888  oooo d8b oooo   888oooo.   888oooo.   888   .ooooo.
d88' `888  `888""8P `888   d88' `88b  d88' `88b  888  d88' `88b
888   888   888      888   888   888  888   888  888  888ooo888
888   888   888      888   888   888  888   888  888  888    .o
`Y8bod88P" d888b    o888o  `Y8bod8P'  `Y8bod8P' o888o `Y8bod8P'

Re:you should ask your sister about (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40772297)

Do you have any ASCII art of naked women?

Re:you should ask your sister about (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 2 years ago | (#40773333)

why of course! [sandboxx.org] :P

Re:What gives? As long as it's close enough... (3, Informative)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about 2 years ago | (#40771559)

The comment above (http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3004785&cid=40771055) is more informative - a real Memristor is defined in terms of electric and magnetic fields. The HP memristor looks just like a real one, but doesn't involve a magnetic field at all.

Re:What gives? As long as it's close enough... (3, Informative)

Matimus (598096) | about 2 years ago | (#40771753)

I came here to say precisely this. It isn't an 'ideal' component. Which is what the theory is based on. But then neither is any electrical component you can think of. Even resistors stop being linear at very high or very low voltages / currents. Anybody ever seen an ideal current source? An ideal voltage source? And ideal op-amp? Its not ideal because it is a real device. Ideal components only exist on paper.

Re:What gives? As long as it's close enough... (5, Interesting)

neonsignal (890658) | about 2 years ago | (#40772241)

The issue here isn't the imperfection of the HP device. It is a matter of semantics.

The 'memristor' was conceived as a term to describe a basic device where the change in flux is related to the change in charge.

What HP have produced is a device that substantially behaves like a memristor, if you are only measuring current and voltage at the terminals. That's useful if you want to build a memory device, since the behaviour is such that resistance will vary with the integral of the current through it.

However, the physics by which the HP device works is not a physics of memristance. For practical purposes, that may not matter; it is a simple device with useful properties. But terminology wise, it is memristance behaviour, not an unqualified memristor.

Equivalently, one can build an active circuit that uses a capacitor and a feedback loop to emulate an inductor. It isn't technically an inductor at all, but it does get called an "active inductor".

Re:What gives? As long as it's close enough... (1)

epine (68316) | about 2 years ago | (#40774991)

At the end of day, it doesn't matter how it works as long as it gives us the ability to build devices with really high density storage.

Goldman Sachs creams their jeans over this kind of IQ-dismissive pragmatism among the puntocrats.

At the end of day, it doesn't matter how much it costs to ship a 50lb bucket of roofing nails as long as it gives us the ability to shop in our pyjamas; nor does it matter whether the business model has ever flirted with a profitable quarter, so long as it garners eyeballs.

FTFY.

Re:What gives? As long as it's close enough... (3, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 years ago | (#40775063)

Terminology IS important. Suppose HP gets a patent on their "memristor", and suppose someone else discovers a true memristor within 20 years. The HP "memristor" could set back the state of science with stupid patent lawsuits for a generation.

Let's keep scientific terminology pure, and not let the business types hijack all our established terms for their marketing bullshit.

Re:What gives? As long as it's close enough... (1)

neonsignal (890658) | about 2 years ago | (#40776195)

I agree. Semantics (the relation of language to meaning) is important. I wasn't defending HP's misuse of the word 'memristor'.

Re:What gives? As long as it's close enough... (1)

hazydave (96747) | about 2 years ago | (#40773119)

Agreed. Any off the shelf inductor is composed of inductive, resistive, and capacitive components. And in fact, go above its self resonance frequency and the component will behave redominantly as a capacitor. Just sayin.... the datasheet still says "inductor". No one expects a memristor to be the world's first perfect component.

This Just In (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40771111)

all the way from 2008.... seriously?

The pot is black and has conflict of interest (5, Interesting)

Morgaine (4316) | about 2 years ago | (#40771501)

Mouttet, a former U.S. patent officer who specialized in nanotechnology, has long argued that HP's technology is not really a memristor. "All HP is doing, in my opinion, is skewing the history to make it look like they were the originators of this technology and it is really not true", Mouttet tells Wired. "To me, this is unethical."

Former U.S. patent officer calls someone unethical. The mind boggles.

And as if that weren't enough, he has patents in the area himself and therefore cannot be a fair witness.

Skepticism about radical new devices is always healthy, but Mouttet's opinion on this topic inspires the opposite of confidence.

Re:The pot is black and has conflict of interest (1)

romanval (556418) | about 2 years ago | (#40771929)

Would you rather have somebody working the patent office that has no idea of what such technologies entail?

Re:The pot is black and has conflict of interest (1)

Threni (635302) | about 2 years ago | (#40774545)

Would you rather have somebody working the patent office that has no patents in the area of such technologies?

FTFY

Re:The pot is black and has conflict of interest (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 2 years ago | (#40775351)

False dichotomy. I would want someone familiar or with expertise in the subject area, but without the conflict of interest of having patents themselves.

Yes-Or-No , should we even care? (0)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#40772261)

For Example: In todays fog-bound and befuddled cellular market we find people BLATANTLY branding their products 4G when , in actual fact, they are NOT.

And no I'm not just talking about The BIG A who chose to market their 4G (ie LTE capable) product in Australia as such even though it COULD NOT talk to the LTE network in Australia. I'm talking about branding a product as 4G when it DOES NOT USE ACTUAL 4G TECHNOLOGY.

So if there's no real (ie financially punitive damages) backlash in the 4G-not-really arena, then why should we care about "you say poh-tay-toh, I say spud" rapidly approaching in the *istor market?

After all, in this case The End User is *actually* going to see huge benefits from the new technology (as opposed to tons of marketing-hype, additional cost, and zero actual benefit as seen with some vendors of "4G")

Re:Yes-Or-No , should we even care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40774151)

Dear dipshit, please observe that cellular generations have never been standardized between carriers.

Brand X's 2G was != Brand Y's 2G. Brand X's 3G was != Brand Y's 3G. Why the fuck do you think that suddenly Brand X and Brand Y will have the same definition of 4G?

Re:Yes-Or-No , should we even care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40774997)

For Example: In todays fog-bound and befuddled cellular market we find people BLATANTLY branding their products 4G when , in actual fact, they are NOT.

"4G" is not technical jargon, it is marketing speak.

Wow... Is everyone clueless? (5, Informative)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about 2 years ago | (#40773197)

The above comments were unusually clueless, so here's a new topic, way at the bottom.

Do any of the previous posters have any actual experience dealing with memristors? My phone rang off the hook when this BS story hit the Internet a few years ago. I worked at QuckLogic, where we built "memristors", but failed to have the marketing brilliance to call them anything other than "antifuses". I don't blame the guy at HP who did pull this off. That's how the game is played.

Here's reality. "Memristors" are the basis of Actel and QuickLogic antifuse based FPGAs. We had them characterized years before they were discovered by HP. The more charge you put through them, the lower the resistance. If you put current the other way, the resistance goes up. It was somewhat linear, so I have to beat myself up for not calling them memristors.

HP won the marketing round. However, people now have high expectations for this technology making something useful. If they want to make programmable logic out of it, they should talk to someone like me.

Re:Wow... Is everyone clueless? (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about 2 years ago | (#40773339)

Interesting. I always thought anti-fuses were a one-way kind of thing - start at high resistance, and program them to low resistance, with no reverse path. I didn't know that they went both ways (as it were).

Re:Wow... Is everyone clueless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40776133)

Interesting. I always thought anti-fuses were a one-way kind of thing - start at high resistance, and program them to low resistance, with no reverse path. I didn't know that they went both ways (as it were).

If Actel's antifuse FPGA's are reprogrammable, they don't advertise it. Antifuse FPGA's are commonly understood to be one-time programmable, and their literature does not contradict this. Sounds like the GP is the clueless one - not good when you're asking for a job.

patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40774349)

no wonder yanks have such a buggeted patent system,what a name,did blaise moutett,escaped from the set of gone with the wind,did it? .

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...