HP unveils supercomputer built around memory, not processor

The most powerful computing systems have tens of millions of cores, but their architecture is not too different from the laptop on your desk. In fact, these are many traditional PCs assembled into a single network, and this concept has a limit to its effectiveness. Hewlett Packard Enterprise proposes to break everything and start building supercomputers again.

In the new architecture, called Memory-Driven Computing, at the center of the computer is not a processor, but memory. In a working prototype, "The Machine" is a 160 TB non-volatile storage device to which 40 nodes are connected to process data. It uses a new universal data transfer protocol - instead of moving data back and forth through the system, they are all stored and processed in one place.

In addition to optimizing logical connections, The Machine's designers have replaced traditional data buses with fiber optics. Not electrical impulses, but photons carry information from the memory to the processor, and this is not only a colossal increase in speed, but also a decrease in the heat generation of the lines. Cool, fast, innovative - this is the supercomputer of tomorrow.

And to finish off the competition, HP hinted that in the next version of "The Machine" we will increase the memory capacity to 4096 yottabytes. 1 YB = over a million terabytes. And all this is not a simple data warehouse, but the central part of a supercomputer, which determines its performance. This architecture is easily scalable and all that remains is to solve the problems of creating cheap and reliable fiber-optic data buses for conventional microcircuits. And it will be possible to create on its basis even a smartphone, even an on-board computer of an intergalactic ship.