H-P Proves Theoretical Circuits, Theoretically (HPQ)

April 30, 2008 by Douglas A. McIntyre

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) has announced that researchers from its own research facility in HP Labs have proven the existence of the theoretical "fourth fundamental circuit element" in electrical engineering.

H-P said that this advancement could make it possible "to develop computer systems that have memories that do not forget, do not need to be booted up, consume far less power and associate information in a manner similar to that of the human brain."

Nature has the full report. More data can be found at H-P’s dedicated site.

Keep in mind that this is a mathematical model, not a working prototype.  It called it a  physical example of a "memristor," the blend of "memory resistor."

Interestingly enough, it was just in the late-1990’s when we were all using this new thing called Pentium when we were reading about micro-computing and multi-core processors being mainstream.  In the early 1990’s and late 1980’s the promise was more desktop power than most supercomputers of the time, when many thought they’d never need a computer. They’ve supposedly been theorizing this since 1971. 

Theory and science fiction have a way of converging into modern technology… if you are patient enough.  All that matters here is this differential:  Will this be HAL? or will it be Milla Jovovich?

Jon C. Ogg
April 30, 2008