Hewlett-Packard and Hynix Semiconductor plan to finally reveal their memristor-based resistive random access memory (ReRAM) products in about eighteen months from now, sometimes in summer, 2013. The companies plan to offer “alternative” solid-state drives as well as USB memory sticks, but it is hard to determine any actual details or peculiarities.
"We have a lot of big plans for it and we're working with Hynix Semiconductor to launch a replacement for flash in the summer of 2013 and also to address the solid-state drive market. [There is no definitive memristor product roadmap as yet], but HP has a goal to see memristor products by the end of 2013,” said Stan Williams, senior fellow at HP Labs, at a conference, reports EETimes web-site.
The memristor, short for “memory resistor,” requires less energy to operate, can retain information even when power is off, and is faster than present solid-state storage technologies. It was postulated to be the fourth basic circuit element by professor Leon Chua of UC Berkeley in 1971 and first intentionally reduced to practice by researchers in HP Labs, the company’s central research arm, in 2006. The technology can also perform logic, enabling computation to one day be performed in chips where data is stored, rather than on a specialized central processing unit.
The ReRAM is a product that holds potential to replace the flash memory currently used in smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and to serve as a universal storage medium - that is, memory that can behave as flash, DRAM or even a hard drive.
The HP fellow declined to discuss in detail the process technology, memory capacity or memory-effect material that Hewlett Packard and Hynix are working with. But Mr. Williams did disclose that the first commercial memory would be a multi-layer device.
"We're running hundreds of wafers through a Hynix full-size fab. We're very happy with it,” the official for HP said.