We are now witnessing the next potential great leap forward in Electronic Computer technology - Memristors.
This is likely to revolutionise computers, robotics and not least, our daily lives.
It's a computer - But not as we know it, Jim.
In 1971, electrical engineering professor Leon Chua an ethnic Han Chinese proposed a theoretical basic electronics component called a memristor.
In 2008, Hewlett Packard brought the memristor out of theory and into the real world. And today, HP announced that they have finally proven that they can build devices that use memristors, instead of the transistors that enable all current computer chips.
Memristors could also help with a problem that continues to challenge the chip industry, continuing to pack more and more computational power into smaller and smaller spaces.
Currently, chip makers follow a path defined by Moore's Law, which states that the number of transistors it is possible to squeeze in to a chip for a fixed cost doubles every two years.
This is currently achieved by producing transistors with ever smaller feature sizes. Current cutting edge chips have transistors with feature sizes as small as 22 nanometres (22 billionths of a metre).
But this miniaturisation cannot continue forever, experts say.
Memristors offer an alternative path.
The most advanced transistor technology today is based on minimum feature sizes of 30 to 40 nanometers — by contrast a biological virus is typically about 100 nanometers — and Dr. Williams said that H.P. now has working 3-nanometer memristors that can switch on and off in about a nanosecond, or a billionth of a second.
He said the company could have a competitor to flash memory in three years that would have a capacity of 20 gigabytes a square centimeter.