Caleb Garling at Wired.com just posted an article predicting that memristors will remake the semiconductor memory landscape by 2014, based on the comments made Research Fellow Stan Williams at a recent roundtable discussion on nanotechnology sponsored by the Kavli Foundation. Directly from the transcript, here’s what Williams said:
“In terms of commercialization, we’ll have something technologically viable by the end of next year. It’s sad to say, but the science and technology are the easy part. The economics, investment, and market readiness are harder. Our partner, Hynix, is a major producer of flash memory, and memristors will cannibalize its existing business by replacing some flash memory with a different technology. 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 modeling the market than on any of the research. Development costs at least 10 times as much as research, and commercialization costs 10 times as much as development. So in the end, research—which we think is the most important part—is only 1 percent of the effort.”
The Register, a UK high-tech news and rumors site, translated that roundtable quote into this:
“HP memristor-meister Stan Williams has revealed a product launch delay – saying commercial kit would be available by 2014 at the earliest…”
And then Garling on Wired.com translated The Register’s translation of Williams’ remarks into this:
“As reported by The Register, at a recent conference in Oxnard, California, HP’s Stan Williams said that commercial memristor hardware will be available by the end of 2014 at the earliest.”
Two things, at least, are certain. First, neither 2012 nor 2013 look to be the “year of the memristor.” Second, HP’s Williams is a grandmaster at keeping memristors in the public eye even when there are no actual components to be seen.
For extra credit, be sure to read the eye-opening comments to the Wired.com article.
For more about Williams’ comments at the Kavli Foundation roundtable, see “Do you think Moore’s Law has become irrelevant? ‘Yes,’ says HP Research Fellow Stan Williams”