HP is working on a new type of computer that’s much faster and more power efficient than today’s current systems. It’s called “The Machine.”
The company unveiled the project in June, but a new report from MIT Technology Review says the first working prototype is likely to debut in 2016.
The Machine is a new type of computer architecture for the IT industry that’s meant to replace the giant data centres that currently power giant companies. MIT notes that it could be especially appealing to a massive company like Google, which relies on a ton of computer servers to power its operations.
In fact, the new computer could shrink a data center’s worth of machines down to a computer the size of a refridgerator, as Businessweek’s Ashlee Vance wrote when The Machine was first unveiled.
HP is busy developing a new type of software platform that will work with its powerful new computer, according to the report.
The first version of the operating system, which will reportedly be called Linux++, will be released in 2015 so that developers can become familiar with it. The final version of the operating system will be called Carbon, and HP is said to be constructing it from scratch.
Carbon seems like it’s meant to compete directly with Windows. HP CTO Martin Fink said in June that computer operating systems have been “dormant or stagnant for decades.”
There are two main differences that make HP’s new super computer more powerful than today’s systems.
First, HP is working on a new type of computer memory that can store both temporary and long-term data.
Current computers, as MIT explains, use two different types of memory. They store operating systems, files, and programs on either a hard disk drive or a flash drive. But when the computer is up and running, it must fetch data needed to power apps and open files from that disk or flash drive and load it into a different kind of memory, called RAM. But RAM can’t store data densely or when a computer is turned off.
Secondly, HP’s new computer will transfer information through optical fibre instead of copper wiring.
Combining these two enhancements — to the computer’s memory and transfer speed — could make The Machine about six times more powerful than current systems while using about 1.25% of the energy currently used by most computers, according to MIT.
Check out the video from June in which HP unveils The Machine below.