Memristors is the name given to the memory resistors that scientists are trying to develop in order to make computers operate more like the human brain does. With the help of a recent technological advancement, it is hoped that computers will one day soon be able to perform logical operations and retain memories much like people do. What role will memristors play?

Operating in a manner more like neurons than flash drives means human-like speed for processing, and no more wait times while booting up. Also, where RAM is flawed in that it loses the information it previously held when power is lost, memristors will always remember their condition at the time of the power supply being cut off. These special resistors are also unaffected by radiation and require far less power to run than standard computing resources. What is more, they are extremely unlikely to crash. So what is the catch?

Memristors are a two-terminal form of electronics. That means you have to change the voltage that goes through them eternally in order to tune them. A new team that is working on the project, however, may have fixed this issue by developing three-terminal memristors. Adding a third electrode adds a means for controlling the resistance in a much more manageable way. How did they make this adjustment?

The key technological advancement was a unique semiconductor. A nanomaterial named molybdenum is used as a sort of interface for the memristors by altering the current flow. This published discovery is thought to be the cornerstone of the future of computing.

Will computers one day soon operate much the way our brains do? Is this the direction of our technological advancement? Time will tell if memristors will shape the future much like Alan Turing’s logic machine did back during World War 2.