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Hewlett-Packard has come up with a new type of circuit called a memristor — a conflation of the words memory and resistance — in the form of a chip capable of storing data and processing it without being limited to the binary zeros and ones. The technology was theorized almost 40 years ago, but only recently has HP realized how to use the technology to make programmable circuits that are both smaller and run cooler than existing chips. The race to commercialize the technology is on, and should HP prove successful, the company could change the way electronics are designed — maybe even what they can be used for.