‘Memristors’ hint at tabletop surfing, windshield computing

Imagine being able to surf the web on the glass top of your coffee table. Or being able to view a map of an unfamiliar neighborhood right on the windshield of your car.

Those and many other innovative technologies could soon become possible, thanks to advances in transparent electronics and “memristors.”

“Memristors” could revolutionize computing by enabling information storage based on electronic resistance rather than on an electron charge, as is used in today’s flash memory (ie, memory cards and chips for devices like cellphones, digital cameras, video games, flat-panel TVs, etc.). Such resistive random access memory, or RRAM, could make it possible to develop memory technologies that are even faster, smaller and cheaper than today’s silicon-based ones.

What’s more, it’s possible to provide RRAM using zinc tin oxide, which has a number of benefits: it’s inexpensive, environmentally benign … and transparent. That’s the quality that could eventually enable some of the see-through computing technologies described earlier.

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