What if your organization could double the capacity of its storage mediums at the same price? It is possible with the "memristor", an element that could eventually replace all kinds of memory used in the portable and computing space today.
A resistor limits the amount of current that can flow through the wire. An analogy in everyday life would be an orifice that regulates the water flowing through a pipe. A memristor is resistant to electricity and retains its electrical state even when the power is switched off. In other words, it is possible to build devices with memory units that do not forget and consume far less power.
Computers using conventional Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) do not retain information when they lose power, but when this is restored, a slow, energy-consuming “boot-up” process is required to run the system. In contrast, a memristor-based computer would retain its information after losing power and would not require the boot-up process—reducing energy consumption and saving time. It would also remove one of the most common sources of user problems: the need to "save" work, allowing you to instantly return to a document after a reboot. The applications for memristors are plenty and this revolutionary technology could eventually replace some transistors in microprocessors and find widespread usage in computers, cell phones, video consoles, flat panel TV’s or any other device that requires a lot of memory and has a big drain on batteries.
Memristors can potentially learn and combine the functions of memory and logic, like the synapses of a biological brain. Our ability to remember learned experiences is propelling scientists to develop models of learning and enhance networks’ memory capability. Artificial synapses could lead to an advancement in computer memory technology that mimics the human biological brain, imitating complex biological functions—similar to the human brain’s recognition of patterns. This could substantially improve facial recognition and complex biometric recognition technology—enabling secure access to classified information.
The proliferation of data centres with thousands of servers require significant power to store, retrieve, and protect the information of millions of users worldwide. Memristor-based memory and storage systems can not only lower power consumption, but also provide greater reliability in the face of power interruptions.
In a few years, existing memory devices driven by flash, DRAM’s, and even hard-drives will hit a wall and are expected to be replaced by memristor technology. In fact several storage vendors have already announced the commercial launch dates for their memristor-based storage products. This could significantly impact the computing landscape.
How else do you think memristors can transform the electronics industry? Please leave your comments in the section below.