2008 April: A new type of electronics has been created that will allow flash memory to retain system state data. In other words, you could be in the middle of typing a document, all the power could shut down and when you were able to get the system back up, you’d be exactly where you left off. This is not the same as some sort of application based data recovery that saves periodically to a temp file on the hard drive (such as MS Word document recovery) we are talking about your entire system’s state being instantly saved (remembered) by a memristor computer. So the memristor is more like the human brain. That also means your system could have an instant “light switch” type boot exactly where you left off.
Scientists Create First Memristor: Missing Fourth Electronic Circuit Element
For the former, Williams says scientists can now think about fabricating a new type of non-volatile random access memory (RAM) – or memory chips that don’t forget what power state they were in when a computer is shut off.
That’s the big problem with DRAM today, he says. “When you turn the power off on your PC, the DRAM forgets what was there. So the next time you turn the power on you’ve got to sit there and wait while all of this stuff that you need to run your computer is loaded into the DRAM from the hard disk.”
With non-volatile RAM, that process would be instantaneous and your PC would be in the same state as when you turned it off.
Scientists also envision building other types of circuits in which the memristor would be used as an analog device.
Indeed, Leon himself noted the similarity between his own predictions of the properties for a memristor and what was then known about synapses in the brain. One of his suggestions was that you could perhaps do some type of neuronal computing using memristors.
But this got me thinking, what does this mean for forensics? Won’t it be easier to know exactly what a criminal was up to before the cops busted his door down? How long does the data say in the memristor RAM? I’m certain there would be ways to erase the memristor RAM memory at intervals.. maybe even encrypt the memristor data. One might even be able to use normal RAM as a front end and the memoristor an optional back up. There might also be really cool (scary) spy equipment planted in your system or clamped easily to a bit of wire on your CAT5 LAN cable that would capture all packets.