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.
At 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.