Skip to comments.HP Will Bet the Company on a Combination of Memristors and Silicon Photonics
Posted on 06/13/2014 2:28:36 PM PDT by Red Badger
Hewlett-Packard has kicked off an ambitious project that aims at nothing less than reinventing the basic architecture of computers. It looks like servers are its initial target, but HP is also working on an Android version that it says could lead to smartphones with 100TB of storage.
HP said Wednesday it was working on a new computer architecture, dubbed The Machine, based on memristors and silicon photonics.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports up to 75% of HPs once fairly illustrious R&D division HP Labs are working on The Machine.
In the words of HP Labs, The Machine will be a complete replacement for current computer system architectures. There will be a new operating system, a new type of memory (memristors), and super-fast buses/peripheral interconnects (photonics). Speaking to Bloomberg, HP says it will commercialize The Machine within a few years, or fall on its face trying.
The Machine isnt on HPs official roadmap. Fink says it could arrive as early as 2017 or take until the end of the decade. Any delivery date has to be taken with some skepticism given that HP has been hyping the memristor technology for years and failed to meet earlier self-imposed deadlines. Memristors have been vaporware for a long time, says David Kanter, a chip analyst and editor of the semiconductor publication Real World Tech.
Memristors will be fast, dense and cheap enough to play both the soon and later roles at once, and thereby speed up throughput by eliminating most of the to and fro, it said.
How dense? We want you to be able to store your entire life; think of 100 terabytes on your smartphone, Fink said. Thats more than a thousand times the storage an iPhone 5S has today.
HP is also designing new, application-specific processors for its architecture. It envisions pools of processors and memory chips interconnected with photonic cables, which Fink said will carry data at up to 6TB per second.
Managing the new architecture will require new operating systems. HP is building a Machine OS from scratch, but its also developing a version based on Linux and another with Googles mobile OS.
He didnt say more about the mobile plans and HPs near-term focus is likely to be servers. But Paul Teich, senior analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said memristors could potentially replace DRAM and flash in smartphones, reducing their cost and improving performance and battery life.
More than that, with a single memory type, smartphones and tablets could access data in the cloud as easily as if it were on the device itself.
After The Machine architecture and OS are in place, at some point in the future, the theory is that when you connect a memristor based Android device to a network with high enough bandwidth, it will become a node in a cloud with immediate access to the rest of that cloud, Teich said. Its a different model of looking at device capabilities. Nothing will need to be downloaded unless you plan to be disconnected from the larger network.
There is a lot of work for HP to marshal for the next few years to make this happen, he added.
many experts were saying Moore’s Law had flattened out.
Check out Graphene. Pretty cool stuff but will take years to get it cheap enough for the masses.
“HP said Wednesday it was working on a new computer architecture, dubbed The Machine, based on memristors and silicon photonics. “
Seems when a company tries this it flounders. Thinking of Itanium.
I hope they succeed. They hold my retirement account!
Unlike “your entire life” of scrapbooks, kids pix, photoalbums, significant correspondence, business papers and so on being lost in a fire, “your entire life” on this hypothetical phone can be backed up to a remote location. And only a moron would fail to do so...
HP sold off all its photonic experts 7-10 years ago.
Those engineers are all working for much better companies.
HP has a rep now of being a very bad place to work unless you like being micro managed.
I will Never step foot in an HP site ever again.
That was a Carly f up. Get rid of the entire processor technology group. Expect your HP-UX/PA-RISC customer base to remain. All while farming it out to Intel and expect to keep them committed to HP-UX/Microsoft compatible Itanium.
Sounds like something the NSA will love.
THE MACHINE: HP Unveils Revolutionary Computer That Could Shrink A Data Center To The Size Of A Refrigerator
The following link will give an idea of a Google "football field" data center.
If drastic size reduction is what HP is claiming with its new technology, then I'm all for it.
De Ja Vu all over again.
They bet the company and lost 20 years ago didn’t they???
You do understand, of course, that there are a whole lot of morons out there?
Half the population has below average intelligence, and when you look at who the majority of Americans voted for in the last Presidential year, you realize pretty quickly how appallingly stupid “average” is...
“Your entire life” and the NSA’s ability to catalog it.
How much of that 100TB would you access in a day, month, year or lifetime? I think I would rather have fast cloud access speed.
100TB. How much porn can you watch on your cell phone?
Does the phone have an enhanced vibrate function?
That’s all well and good but download speed would have to improve radically in order to capitalize upon it even if it were to come into fruition.