HPE creates single-memory computer

By Technology Decisions Staff
Thursday, 18 May, 2017

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A single-memory computer has been developed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise as part of its ‘The Machine’ project.

The Machine is the largest research and development program ever run by the company, and it aims to build architecture for the big data era.

“The secrets to the next great scientific breakthrough, industry-changing innovation or life-altering technology hide in plain sight behind the mountains of data we create every day,” said Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

“To realise this promise, we can’t rely on the technologies of the past, we need a computer built for the big data era.”

The prototype computer contains 160 terabytes of memory, capable of simultaneously working with the data held in every book in the Library of Congress five times over — or approximately 160 million books.

Based on the current prototype, HPE expects the architecture could easily scale to an Exabyte-scale single-memory system and, beyond that, to a nearly limitless pool of memory — 4096 yottabytes. That is 250,000 times the entire digital universe today.

With that amount of memory, it will be possible to simultaneously work with every digital health record of every person on Earth; every piece of data from Facebook; every trip of Google’s autonomous vehicles; and every dataset from space exploration, all at the same time.

“We believe memory-driven computing is the solution to move the technology industry forward in a way that can enable advancements across all aspects of society,” said Mark Potter, CTO at HPE and Director, Hewlett Packard Labs.

“The architecture we have unveiled can be applied to every computing category — from intelligent edge devices to supercomputers.”

Memory-driven computing puts memory, not the processor, at the centre of the computing architecture. By eliminating the inefficiencies of how memory, storage and processors interact in traditional systems today, memory-driven computing reduces the time needed to process complex problems.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Edelweiss

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