HP Memristor Technology Mimics Brain Synapse

Computer chip breakthrough mimics brain synapse

HP unveils a breakthrough in powerful computer chip technology that can process data, store memory and stack 3-dimensionally ... just like a brain synapse.

H.P. Sees a Revolution in Memory Chip

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Hewlett-Packard scientists on Thursday are to report advances in the design of a new class of diminutive switches capable of replacing transistors as computer chips shrink closer to the atomic scale.
Memristor-based systems also hold out the prospect of fashioning analog computing systems that function more like biological brains, Dr. Chua said.

“Our brains are made of memristors,” he said, referring to the function of biological synapses. “We have the right stuff now to build real brains.”

In an interview at the H.P. research lab, Stan Williams, a company physicist, said that in the two years since announcing working devices, his team had increased their switching speed to match today’s conventional silicon transistors. The researchers had tested them in the laboratory, he added, proving they could reliably make hundreds of thousands of reads and writes.

From Lab to Fab – An HP Labs discovery demonstrates the viability – and versatility – of memristor technology

The HP Labs team that built the world’s first memristor this week announced another significant advance in memristor research.

In an article  published in the current issue of Nature, the HP researchers demonstrate that memristors – a fourth basic element in integrated circuits which only existed in theory until 2008 – are capable of performing logic functions. It’s further evidence that memristors have the potential to make an impact on real world computing, says Stanley Williams, director of HP’s Information & Quantum Systems Lab and lead researcher on the project.


HP Labs Discovery Holds Potential to Fundamentally Change Computer System Design 

“Memristor” could enable computation on memory chips

“Since our brains are made of memristors, the flood gate is now open for commercialization of computers that would compute like human brains, which is totally different from the von Neumann architecture underpinning all digital computers.”

– Leon Chua, professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department, University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Chua initially theorized about and named the memristor in an academic paper published 39 years ago.

6-Minute Memristor Guide


  1. Memristor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. H.P. Says New Device Could Transform Chip-Making - NYTimes.com
  3. An HP Labs discovery demonstrates the viability and versatility of memristor technology: HP Labs News Article (April 2010)
  4. HP Labs Discovery Holds Potential to Fundamentally Change Computer System Design
  5. YouTube - 6-Minute Memristor Guide
  1. Access : |[lsquo]|Memristive|[rsquo]| switches enable |[lsquo]|stateful|[rsquo]| logic operations via material implication : Nature
  2. HP: Memristors now a reality - Solid State Technology
  3. Computer chip breakthrough mimics brain synapse | MNN - Mother Nature Network
  4. YouTube - Making and Measuring Memristors
  5. LinkNotes: Memristor Device Mimics Brain Synapse