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Welcome to the Machine

by on05 December 2016

HPE shows off Memory driven computing

HP has shown off a working prototype of an ambitious new computer system which the company claims is the first example of memory-driven computing.

Dubbed 'the Machine' HP has been talking about the thing since 2014. It said it would outperform existing technology, by placing extra reliance on memory to perform calculations, with less dependence on computer processors.

HP Enterprise claims that its simulations show that memory-driven computing can achieve improved execution speeds up to 8,000 times faster than conventional computers.

The beast is still years away from a commercial release, and even then its primary market is high-end servers that companies use to bring you things like Facebook and YouTube.

But the former maker of expensive printer ink claims that it could one day find a home in consumer products, along with jet packs and family helicopters.

The Machine uses photonics to help processors access data from a massive memory pool. In the Machine, numerous processors can all access the same memory pool simultaneously. And the speed is improved further by loading the device with extra memory.

The prototype system currently uses eight terabytes of memory which is 30 times the amount a conventional server might hold, and hundreds of times more memory than the amount of RAM a typical consumer computer would have.

HP wants to see systems with hundreds of terabytes of memory – which would make the Machine even more powerful. It is backing research on memristor techso that it can retain data even when powered down.
HP hoping for a commercial release of the Machine technology some time in 2018 or 2019, it's possible by then working memristors hit the shops.

Last modified on 05 December 2016
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