At the HP Development conference, in Las Vegas, earlier this month Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman and CTO Martin Fink announced a new a project, codenamed “the machine”, that will change the computer industry. According to Ms. Whitman and Mr. Fink “the machine” will radically speed up processing time and reduce the energy. If this project succeeds it will change the 70 year-old “von neumann” architecture, name for John Von Neiman.
"[The computer] will be able to compute much faster with huge amounts of data," says Ms Whitman. "It will also take up a lot less space and pull a lot less energy."
When 'the machine' comes to fruition it will integrate ROM(read only memory) and RAM(random access memory) that will right away speed up computing by eliminating the need for some of the back and forth communication between temporary memory and storage. Another big change is that instead of copper wires that use electronic pulse to send date around, that is responsible for much of the energy use and heat production, and use light photons.
"It's a big bet. We're taking a lot of the chips in the Las Vegas analogy and putting them on red."
Ms. Whitman is dedicating 75% oh Hewlett-Packard's research & development department, HP labs, to bring 'he machine' to market by the end of the decade. HP labs has already been working on the project for the past couple of years with Mr. Fink first took over as head of HP labs. In that time they have made some progress although just how much is unknown.
"Our industry is undergoing one the biggest shifts I've seen in my career," Ms Whitman says.
If this works it could turn around the trend that has seed a migration from desktops and laptops for mobile devices that rely more on cloud computing. That would not only help bring Hewlett-Packard, to its once prominent status, but also other computer manufactures that have seen their revenues drop from the mobile trend.
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