The maker of expensive printer ink, HP appears to have had a breakthrough and created some cool industrial-strength computing technology.
If it does what HO claims, it could replace a data centre’s worth of gear with a single refrigerator-size machine.
Dubbed “the Machine” the system is a new type of computer architecture that HP’s engineers say will serve as a replacement for today’s designs. It has a new operating system, a different type of memory, and superfast data transfer.
This family of products will make use of HP's massively delayed "memristor" memory substrate, along with silicon photonics, a custom operating system, and customised chips, HP said.
The memristor will be a key component of the "universal memory" of The Machine. The company says it will bring the Machine to market within the next few years or fall on its face trying.
The Machine takes specialised processors and specialise the compute to the actual workload. It connects that to a large, single pool of what we call universal memory with high-speed, low-latency fabric based upon photonics.
“This will enable us to deal with massive, massive datasets [and] not just be able to take those massive datasets, but ingest them, store them, and manipulate them, and do this at orders of magnitude less energy per bits, per compute," HP said.
Fink said that the combination of photonics and memristors could mean that The Machine can scale to 160 petabyte racks, where any single byte within that whopping 160PB cluster can be addressed in under 250 nanoseconds.
When the tech is scaled down, Fink said, the memristor will make it possible to build a smartphone with 100TB of memory.