New Memory Resistor Circuit Could Make Instant-Boot PCs, Emulate Brain Functions

A fourth circuit element called memristor (the first three being resistors, capacitors and inductors) has been proposed since 1971, but HP labs has finally made a working physical model of the thing. What's so special about this type of circuit? It remembers how much charge previously flowed through it, leading to applications like modeling and simulating brain behavior in hardware instead of software. For the rest of us, it can totally revolutionize PCs by remembering the state of RAM when you shut off your machine, instantly booting back up where you left off when you come back—as opposed to current RAM that just dumps its load like so much last night's fajitas when powered down. [Wired]