USB flash drives are hugely popular for storage and solid state drives, while expensive, are starting to show up more and more in desktops and especially in notebooks. But HP has got some plans to offer up some alternatives to those technologies, and fairly soon. ElectronicsWeekly.com reports that during the EF2011 meeting this week, Senior Fellow at HP Stan Williams claimed, "We’re planning to put a replacement chip on the market to go up against flash within a year and a half and we also intend to have an SSD replacement available in a year and a half."
HP's technologies is called the memristor and in basic terms it will offer twice the storage capacity of normal flash memory with much faster performance and lower power consumption. Williams says, "We put the non-volatile memory right on top of the processor chip, and, because you’re not shipping data off-chip, that means we get the equivalent of 20 years of Moore’s Law performance improvement." Samsung is also reportedly working on the same kind of technology.
While HP may want to replace your USB flash drive with its technology there's no word on what the price will be for a memory drive using HP's method. HP also wants its technology to replace that DRAM memory you might have in your PC, but that won't have for at least three or four years. Williams says, "Flash is a done deal; now we’re going after DRAM, and we think we can do two orders of magnitude improvement in terms of switching energy per bit."