Memristors are one of several memory types being developed as potential replacements for flash and DRAM. As the memory cells on those chips get smaller with each manufacturing process generation, they are reaching certain physical limits that make it harder for scientists to keep squeezing out higher densities.
Flash is likely to reach its scaling limits first, and Williams estimated it has only one or two more process generations left, or about four years at most. DRAM has "a few more" generations left than Flash, he said.
But memory manufacturers could keep those process generations in use for longer than the 18 months to two years that is normal for each process generation today, he noted.
The "nanotechnology" paper was on Monday.