Memristors were first proposed in 1971 by Professor Leon Chua, a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.
They are the "fourth" basic building block of circuits, after capacitors, resistors and inductors.
"I never thought I'd live long enough to see this happen," Professor Chua told the Associated Press.
"I'm thrilled because it's almost like vindication. Something I did is not just in my imagination, it's fundamental."