Despite my college classes in electrical engineering, I’d never heard of memristance. First theorized in 1971 and only recently actualized, a memristor essentially has a variable resistance dependent upon the amount of charge that has passed through it.
At this point you may be asking, “And how does this relate to me?” Scientists at Hewlett-Packard have created memristors that act as persistent memory, much like the flash memory used in USB drives, iPods, smart phones, etc., but with improvements. The memristors created by HP match the speed of flash but can pack more memory into the same space. So depending on how this technology is marketed and licensed, we may actually see a successor to flash.
Another feature of HP’s memristors is that it’s possible to juxtapose the CPU and memory, where they use the same memristors for both functions. In addition, memristor-based logic circuits are capable of reprogramming themselves in a way that’s reminiscent of the human brain. These abilities don’t have an immediate market but are full of potential. And we all know that real programmers write self-modifying code.