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Monday, 16 June 2014 09:24

Dell mocks HP’s new architecture

Written by Nick Farrell

Laughable

Dell has been mocking the maker of jolly expensive printer ink HP’s attempts at a new computer architecture.

John Swainson, head of Dell's software business said HP’s attempt to come up with a new architecture for computers is "laughable" and would make trillions of dollars in software investment obsolete.

HP is developing a new computer design, dubbed The Machine, that will be able to handle vast quantities of data using far less electricity. It employs silicon photonics and a new, hyper-dense memory type called memristors, and will require HP to develop a new OS.

But Swainson said that the notion that you can reach some magical state by rearchitecting an OS is laughable on the face of it. The basic elements of computing, like processor and memory, are likely to be reconfigured in some way, but not so radically that existing software won't run, he said. "I don't know many people who think that's a really good idea."

Given that Dell is not known for pushing the boundaries of computing, having built its business mainly on cheap servers and PCs the comments seem a bit mean. If The Machine does take off they are the sorts of comments which will be repeated in ten years’ time about how Dell dropped the ball too.

But Menon does have a point when he said that there are at least two other types of memory technology better than what HP is banking on. He named phase-change memory as one of them.

Nick Farrell

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