HP wants to fundamentally change the way computers are built

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has detailed its “Memory-Driven Computing” proof-of-concept prototype which puts memory, not processing, at the centre of the computing platform.

The company said this will allow for computing performance and efficiency gains “not possible today”.

“HPE’s proof-of-concept prototype represents a major milestone in the company’s efforts to transform the fundamental architecture on which all computers have been built for the past 60 years,” it said.

Huge amounts of data

The company referenced Gartner predictions which show that, by 2020, the number of connected devices will reach 20.8 billion.

These devices will “generate an unprecedented volume of data”, which is growing at a faster rate than the ability to “process, store, manage, and secure it with existing computing architectures.”

“We have achieved a major milestone with The Machine research project – one of the largest and most complex research projects in our company’s history,” said HPE.

“With this prototype, we have demonstrated the potential of Memory-Driven Computing and also opened the door to immediate innovation.”

The company said the prototype has demonstrated:

  • Compute nodes accessing a shared pool of Fabric-Attached Memory.
  • An optimized Linux-based operating system running on a customised system on chip.
  • Photonics/Optical communication links, including the new X1 photonics module, are online and operational.
  • New software programming tools designed to take advantage of abundant persistent memory.

Increase in computing speed

HPE said simulations show that the speed of the new architecture would improve current computing by multiple orders of magnitude.

“The company has run new software programming tools on existing products, illustrating improved execution speeds of up to 8,000-times on a variety of workloads.”

“HPE expects to achieve similar results as it expands the capacity of the prototype with more nodes and memory,” it said.

“HPE’s Memory-Driven Computing architecture is incredibly scalable, from tiny IoT devices to the exascale, making it an ideal foundation for a wide range of emerging high-performance compute and data-intensive workloads.”

The company stated it will commercialise the technology developed as part of the research project, which falls into one of four categories:

  • Non-volatile memory
  • Fabric (including photonics)
  • Ecosystem enablement
  • Security

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HP wants to fundamentally change the way computers are built