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Memristor technology has been a long time coming. It was first theorized in the 1970s, but it was 2008 before anyone was able to build a prototype. Even today, memristor technology is not commercially available. However, HP is currently working on a memristor-based computer and plans to launch it by 2020.
If successful, memristor technology could very well be a successor to flash. The technology certainly has the potential to replace flash, but whether it immediately becomes a successor will ultimately depend on the technology's economic viability.
Memristor can be thought of as a new type of storage, but that description alone is completely inadequate. The technology is completely different from anything in use today. There are three main things about memristor technology that makes it so unique:
1. Memristor is not based on silicon and is therefore not subject to the limitations of silicon. The technology is faster and can achieve a higher density than silicon-based chips and can be integrated into other substances such as glass or ceramic.
2. Memristor-based storage recognizes multiple states, and is therefore not subject to the limits of binary code. A single memristor cell could accommodate multiple bits in a manner similar to that of the TLC-based flash memory of today.
3. Memristor is non-volatile. When the power is removed, memristor retains its state. While the same can also be said for flash storage, memristor has uses beyond storage. It has been theorized that memristor-based RAM could eliminate the need for storage in PCs and tablets. It has also been theorized that the technology could be used to create a CPU that retains its state when the power is removed.
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