Monday, October 10, 2011

More evidence HP's "memristor" is fraud

"Bait-and-switch" scams are famously employed by used car salesman who advertise quality cars but sell lemons once customers take the bait. The "memristor" that HP has been claiming for the past few years is a scientific example of such a bait-and-switch scam. Originally HP claimed that thin films of TiO2 had the same properties of the memristor which was predicted by Leon Chua as a new 4th fundamental circuit element several decades ago. The problem is that the TiO2 materials do not obey the original definition of the memristor which requires a relationship between charge and magnetic flux linkage. However, HP and Chua have encouraged others (including myself, link) to incorrectly use the term memristor to enhance their reputation without regard to the scientific merits of their claim.

Recently at least a few scientists have begun to point out the illegitimacy of one of the paper's published by the HPLabs group. In the October 2011 issue of Applied Physics A: Material Science and Processing incorrect statements made by the researchers at HPLabs which are being foolishly circulated by other naive scientists was brought to light (link). Additional facts pointing to the memristor fraud conducted by HPLabs and Leon Chua include:

1) HP's memristor patents are junk. Both Samsung (US 7417271) and Sharp (US 7796416) own the main patents covering the memory resistance effects of TiO2 that HP has taken credit for. HP's related patents are mostly focused on molecular memory and nanowire crossbars (for a more detailed analysis see this link).

2) The discovery of TiO2 memory resistance effects dates back to the 1960's (link) and Bernard Widrow originally defined "memistor" to describe memory resistance effects for simulating neurons back in 1960 (link). It was only due to Leon Chua's ignorance of research in material science and neural models of Bernard Widrow that he considered his memristor an original idea. The researchers at HPLabs fail to correct this even though it has been pointed out to them repeatedly (by myself and others). 

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