Memristors -- circuits that can be used for memory storage products -- are only a couple of years away, at least according to HP. New research suggests that not only should these new circuits be super-fast at memory retrieval, but they might also be much cheaper to produce than anybody anticipated.
The current memristor technologies rely on very expensive materials for construction, which would naturally flow into the cost of any memristor-based product you'd care to name. Researchers in Europe have managed to sidestep this expensive materials approach, using simple silicon in the productoin of memristors.
According to the BBC, the team was working on silicon devices for LEDs when they discovered that the film of silicon oxide that forms on the surface of their devices behaved in the same way as memristors do. Which means, in one sense, that they've produced memristors out of thin air. [BBC]