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HP, Hynix team up on next-gen memory

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Hewlett-Packard and Hynix say they will jointly develop a next-generation memory chip and bring it to market.

Hewlett-Packard and Hynix said Tuesday that they will jointly develop a next-generation memory chip and bring it to market.

According to a statement, the two companies will develop new materials and technology to commercialize Resistive Random Access Memory, or ReRAM. Hynix will implement an HP Labs technology dubbed memristor, a new circuit. Memristors use less energy and are faster than current solid-state storage. This memory resistor can also store data when the power is off. HP in the spring said that memristors can perform logic.

ReRAM is designed to be a low power Flash replacement. ReRAM can also mimic Flash, DRAM or a hard drive. In a nutshell, ReRAM could be used as a universal storage conduit.

In a blog post, HP noted:

Memristors can retain information even when the power is off and are highly energy efficient. This means that your laptop could boot up much faster and last longer on one charge since it consumes less energy.  Given the number and sophistication of apps running on smartphones, this should also significantly extend the usable time between charges.

In the future, because both compute and memory functions could be conducted within the same chip, this also means that laptops and smartphones could be much thinner and much faster than they are now. (Why? Because data have less distance to travel since memory and logic are performed on the same chip).

Related: HP memristor ready for manufacturing

Solid state on steroids? HP breakthrough could further reduce tech power consumption

Storage: the next generation

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Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure