Memristors could take over from Transistors, increase # and power of chips

Transistors may make way for a new type of switch for computer chips. Called a memristor (short for memory resistor), they are simpler than transistors and can store information even without an electric current.

memristorAt the speed at which technology normally moves, it’s a bit surprising that this device first conceived of in 1971 by Leon Chua at UC Berkeley, has only seen the light in the past 2 years.

HP is leading the memristor charge and have announced significant progress. In particular, they have come up with ways to stack layers of switches upon each other, hugely increasing the density of chip components.

As for size, current transistors have sizes of 30 to 40nm (nanometers), while HP has been toying with 3nm memristors. That’s a 10x improvement in size, and that’s not even including the stacking advantage.

via NYTimes

Qualcomm’s Gobi platform – multi-carrier wireless card

Qualcomm’s Gobi platform will let you access multiple carriers’ wireless data services. With Gobi, you won’t need to have separate cards and/or built-in chips in your notebook to get online.

Qualcomm is already partnering with Sony to put Gobi chips into Vaio P notebooks. Currently, Gobi will work at speeds up to 5.7Mbps which is not shabby at all.

The big question is whether or not carriers like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc will start offering pay as you go or smaller window plans as opposed to the monthly plans that you find today that typically also come with yearly lock-in agreements.

If Gobi gets into enough netbooks, then it should pressure the carriers to do just that.

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