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The machine will redefine applications

By:  Daniel Amor, EMEA Lead for Application Modernisation, Hewlett Packard Company

 

heliononthestrip.jpgDay 2 at HP Discover in Las Vegas had some big news from HP Labs' own Martin Fink, who presented "the machine". Fink believes the current computing architecture - used in smartphones, PCs and just about every other type of computer you can think of -- can't keep pace with expanding compute and storage needs. So HP embarked on a project about two years ago to rethink computing from the ground up.

 

The Machine is based on a type of memory called memristors and a communications technology called silicon photonics, which uses light beams to move data around at high speeds. "We want you to be able to store your entire life; think of 100 terabytes on your smartphone," Fink said.

 

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 it's also developing a version based on Linux and another with Google's mobile OS.

 

spaceship.PNGIn order to have applications be able to support this kind of architecture, it will not be good enough to virtualise them and run them on the new platform. Probably there will be new concepts for programming languages required to actually use the capabilities of this new computer architecture. So while it is still a few years away, companies should start to think about their application strategy and mark all applications that would benefit from huge amounts of memory and high-speed connections between the processors. Those marked applications would be then become the priority to move to the new platform and moving might mean replacing it with a more appropriate application (which will be difficult to find at the beginning) or by rearchitecting it to fit with the new computer architecture. In any case, it will require a well-documented application to start moving.

 

It sounds like science fiction, but we are getting closer, faster than anyone has thought.

 

Previous blogs by Danny Amor:

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About the author

 

danielamor2.jpgDaniel Amor, EMEA Lead for Application Modernisation, Hewlett Packard Company

Daniel’s expertise includes Applications Modernisation (AMod), Cloud, Portals, Web Apps and the SOA domain. He has designed and led the implementation of large-scale, complex applications-related projects with clients throughout Europe. Daniel has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry and is the author of six books and numerous articles in European and US-based publications on IT change. More information about Daniel can be found at http://www.hp.com/go/danielamor.

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About the Author
Daniel Amor (EMEA, AMOD, Cloud, Portals, Web Apps and SOA domain expert): Daniel has designed, won, led and delivered large-scale, complex a...
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