Since the invention of the transistor, silicon semiconductors have been king. But now silicon-based transistors are nearing the limit of their potential. Excess heat and manufacturing hurdles are impeding the development of ever-faster and -smaller processors. Advances in materials and chip design to resist extreme heat and move huge amounts of data, quickly, will be crucial. Experts are exploring three technologies to overcome these challenges: spintronics, graphene and memristors. They are what will someday make ultra-energy-efficient supercomputers small enough to fit anywhere—even in the palm of your hand.
Memristors will store large amounts of data and could make your computer boot instantly
Accessing data, whether stored in a spinning hard drive or in flash-based memory, is a time-suck and a power hog. The dynamic RAM that rapidly delivers data to the processor is almost maxed out. "Both technologies for the magnetic hard disk and D-RAM are within a few generations of hitting brick walls," says R. Stanley Williams of HP Labs's Information and Quantum Systems Lab. He believes that circuits called memristors could be the solution. Memristors recently joined the resistor, capacitor and inductor as the fourth fundamental circuit element. But unlike the others, a memristor has the unusual ability to remember the last resistance it held, even when the power is turned off. When the current starts up again, the resistance of the circuit will be the same as it was before, providing instant-on computers. After the memristor had spent some 30 years as a theory, Williams and his team designed the first one earlier this year. Five years from now, he says, the chips could sit in computers between D-RAM and hard disks to eliminate the boot-up process. Further down the road, memristors, which have higher storage densities than the best flash memory and faster write times than D-RAM, could supplant both technologies in one fell swoop.
ive always wondered why computers had to load
It seems like we should be able to do Trinary computations with electron-spin. Either no electron, up electron, or down electron.
Is this possible? Or would it be too difficult to change all of our computer infrastructure to accommodate trinary processing? Or would it be just slow us down because we'd have to convert everything back down to binary?
I don't think trinary computations are out of the question, they're just a little ahead of us right now. In order to perform trinary operations, we would have to completely rewrite machine code to take advantage of this advancement. Til then, best to stick with binary.
This isn't the first time I've heard of memristors, but I still get excited when I think about the prospect of "save state" for my computer :D
Now all we need is a genius scientist to develope a process for replacing slow, cumbersome electrons with shiny new photons! Then we'll be in super-duper computer business.
But will it ever be fast enough to keep up with
my furious jackin'? FilthyRichmond.com
Wouldn't be possible to do completely analog computations using memristers? I remember reading that they can store analog data. Instead of binary we could use trinary or even decimal or hex computations. Of course, this would be difficult and I haven't a clue of how we would make the switch.
This is more an improvement of memory vs CPU power though CPUs have been powerful enough for what most people do for a long time and good thing too since they have not improved no where near as much during the past 8 years as they have during the past 8 years before that.
But memory and storage have been a bottle neck since the P2/G3 days.
I also wonder how well do these memritors handle radiation since they deal with electron spin?
Radiation is everywhere from stray neutrons from decay of naturally occurring radio isotopes and cosmic rays.
This could effect off data retention times while they are powered off.
i really hope that they overcome the hurdles that come with a new product such as that
it would be pretty sweet to have a computer that would boot instantly (raising the amount of time that i can waist on the computer quite a bit :P)
and i think trinary computing would open a world of possibilities, it would be amazing if trinary was made backwards compatible allowing everything to work
Our technology will only be as good as our minds and you can only go so far as size,power,weight,speed and all the other attributes of a computer.
And what about those computers that have caught on fire because of overheating?Could these turn into ticking time bombs?
ha my computer just caught on fire yesterday
Lol, i rest my case!
THIS IS THE MOST IRRESPONSIBLE ARTICLE I HAVE EVER SEEN. IT SHOULD BE TAKEN DOWN. PLEASE, DON'T SHOW PEOPLE HOW TO DO THIS. THEY WILL GET CATARACTS IF THEY TRY IT.
THE POPPING VIDEOS ARE GENERALLY DONE BY SOMEONE DROPPING THE POPPED CORN FROM ABOVE.
guess who i am!
I didn't see anything irresponsible in this article. It's quite clear that computers will only continue to get faster. This is a good thing as far as productivity goes, but it's terrible for our already dwindling attention spans. I would like to see more compatibility between computers. http://www.rentex.com