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Memresistor debut pushed back to late 2013

Posted: 28 Sep 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:memresistor? solid state drives? flash memory? ReRAM?

According to Stan Williams, HP's Cognitive Systems Laboratory director, the memresistor, a two terminal, non-volatile memory technology, will not be ready for commercialisation until the end of 2013.

Williams previously stated that HP and SK Hynix planned to launch a resistive memory as a replacement for flash memory in the summer of 2013. This estimation came during an international electronics forum in October 2011, when HP indicated that an early application could be solid state drives. The decision to delay was posted recently on Kavli Foundation's website.

The panel discussion, entitled "How atomic scale devices are transforming electronics," also included: Michelle Simmons, director of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, University of New South Wales; and Paul Weiss, Kavli Professor at UCLA and Director of the California NanoSystems Institute.

"In terms of commercialisation, we'll have something technologically viable by the end of next year," Williams said, adding that the timing of any launch would be influenced by market demand for such memories.

"Our partner, Hynix, is a major producer of flash memory, and memristors will cannibalise its existing business by replacing some flash memory with a different technology," Williams said. "So the way we time the introduction of memristors turns out to be important. There's a lot more money being spent on understanding and modelling the market than on any of the research."

Williams said memristor research was essentially complete, adding: "If you know what you're doing C and there's a lot of intellectual property involved C literally any foundry could make memristors tomorrow."

The terminology used for resistive memories has itself become contentious, perhaps for reasons related to patent language. Williams said "memristor" refers to a two-terminal resistive memory. However, other companies and research institutes also are working on two-terminal memories, often of multi-layered metal-oxide composition, referring to the devices as RRAM or ReRAM, for resistive random access memory.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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