Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

HP Unveils 'The Machine,' a New Computer Architecture

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the generic-names-are-all-the-rage dept.

HP 257

pacopico writes: HP Labs is trying to make a comeback. According to Businessweek, HP is building something called The Machine. It's a type of computer architecture that will use memristors for memory and silicon photonics for interconnects. Their plan is to ship within the next few years. As for The Machine's software, HP plans to build a new operating system to run on the novel hardware. The new computer is meant to solve a coming crisis due to limitations around DRAM and Flash. About three-quarters of HP Labs personnel are working on this project.

cancel ×

257 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Run a completely new OS? (3, Interesting)

The123king (2395060) | about 3 months ago | (#47214557)

What's the point in running a brand new OS on it? Is HP-UX not good enough? Or the many other *NIX's? I'll put money on Linux being ported to it before it even ships to Joe Public

Re:Run a completely new OS? (5, Insightful)

maliqua (1316471) | about 3 months ago | (#47214573)

as someone who has worked extensively with HP-UX:

No its not good enough.

As for other Unixes well HP likes to sing their own song even if its off key and makes no sense

Is unix the last operating system? (2)

Marrow (195242) | about 3 months ago | (#47214633)

I love linux/unix, but that sounds kind of sad to me.

Re:Is unix the last operating system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214923)

There can be only one! In the future all restaurants are Linux.

Re:Is unix the last operating system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215327)

I thought they were all Taco Bell?

Re: Is unix the last operating system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215497)

or Pizza Hut if you live in Europe

Re: Is unix the last operating system? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 3 months ago | (#47215971)

or Pizza Hut if you live in Europe

Oh? Was the movie different in Europe?

Re:Is unix the last operating system? (5, Insightful)

Immerman (2627577) | about 3 months ago | (#47215489)

I doubt it, forever is a long time. But I imagine most OSes for centuries to come will have bsd or linux in their ancestry. It's simply a matter of efficient allocation of resources - a modern OS is a massive, complicated system - why reinvent the wheel when you can adopt extremely flexible existing technology for free? Certainly there may be room for other OSes, but only if you're doing something fundamentally new, and probably initially simple. Otherwise why waste the resources building something from scratch when you could instead spend those resources refining or replacing the specific bits of a 'nix that *almost* does what you want?

And actually I find the prospect heartening. In the consumer market early on we had a wide variety of Oses, one for each machine almost, and all of them were embarrassingly simple by modern standards, and highly incompatible with each other. Then the PC and DOS took over, and it was... well not *good*, but adequate. And the proliferation of DOS, and later Windows opened the consumer world to the easy exchange of software and data, rather than being unable to share your C64 stuff with the CP/M user down the street. Obviously all the non-PC users missed out, but they had become a small minority. The only problem was that Microsoft was an expansive monopolistic tyrant, and any time it expanded into new markets it did everything in it's power to crush any competition, destroying many good products and companies, and leaving us with barely adequate MS products across a wide spectrum of the lucrative business software spectrum. And of course they ruthlessly defended their core OS market, which was so often the key to crushing their competitors.

Then Linux grew up, and today we are beginning to have a vibrantly competitive OS market once again. True, it's mostly Linux-based, but Linux has become so flexible that various distros, especially specialty stuff, can bear little resemblance to each other - and yet software built for one distro can generally be recompiled for another with only minimal porting effort. A world of many varied and competing, yet mostly interoperating OSes is within sight.

Now if we could just settle on some sort of cross-linux application wrapper so that something like PortableApps.com could be possible for Linux I'd be happy. There've been several projects attempting such a thing, but so far none has gained significant traction - the best option so far seems to be to use Windows programs and Wine - I can't tell you how many programs I use that I simply can't find for a modern Linux distro - they get abandoned for one reason or another, and without binary-level backwards compatibility or someone competent and interested in porting them to each new release they become practically impossible to run. Meanwhile I can still run those old DOS 2 programs pretty much anywhere with at most an emulation layer.

Re:Is unix the last operating system? (2)

Lennie (16154) | about 3 months ago | (#47215695)

One way is to use a Linux container.

Also look up: Docker

Re:Run a completely new OS? (2)

nine-times (778537) | about 3 months ago | (#47214665)

Maybe it's not a completely new OS? IIRC they still own what's left of BeOS and HP-UX, along with having access to the BSDs. I agree it'd be dumb to start from scratch, but you could pilfer what you want from those sources and build something "new" from it without even needing to worry about the GPL.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214693)

"New from scratch" generally means mostly pilfered from BSDs and other sources then repackaged obfuscated and closed.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 3 months ago | (#47215339)

They also own the NonStop (formerly Tandem) OS. There are some interesting ideas in there as well.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (4, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 3 months ago | (#47214771)

What's the point of running *nix on it? If the architecture is so much different that they have to rewrite tons of OS code to support it, why not just build their own?

Applications (1)

phorm (591458) | about 3 months ago | (#47214821)

What are you going to run on the OS? At least if the OS is based on something known (even if the arch is different) you have a path for porting applications chains.

Small portion of *nix interfaces with the arch ... (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 months ago | (#47214987)

What's the point of running *nix on it? If the architecture is so much different that they have to rewrite tons of OS code to support it, why not just build their own?

*nix is the fastest path to a stable and highly usable platform. Only a small portion of *nix interfaces with the architecture. They only have to rewrite that small portion.

Plus with *nix you have a rather large base of application software to run as well.

That said, could other parts of *nix or apps be reworked to take advantage of the architecture, possibly. But such efforts do not need to be part of v1.0.0. They can be part of subsequent versions if and when profiling indicates an issue or opportunity.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 months ago | (#47215279)

Is it really all that different, though? It seems like the big difference is new hardware performing similar roles. It would be like running a new OS to run an SSD.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214789)

They also own the VMS operating system, but I doubt they want to support that again.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215541)

As someone who regularly uses VMS (and by regularly, I mean for 30+ hours a week, 50 weeks a year...), I pray they don't use it. As other posters have stated, the benefits of using *nix as the base OS is that there are literally MILLIONS of people with some knowledge of the system that can help. With VMS, that pool is in the thousands (maybe...), and dwindling fast.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#47214795)

Their namesake company is cooking up some awfully ambitious industrial-strength computing technology that, if and when it’s released, could replace a data center’s worth of equipment with a single refrigerator-size machine.

Obviously, it needs z/OS.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214879)

"Fink has assigned one team to develop the open-source Machine OS, which will assume the availability of a high-speed, constant memory store. Another team is working on a stripped-down version of Linux with similar aims; another team is working on an Android version, looking to a point at which the technology could trickle down to PCs and smartphones." RFTA.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47214919)

I'd imagine that if you are building something that breaks binary compatibility and likely incorporates a fairly minimal set of hardware for which borrowing a BSD driver or something would be convenient(new system architecture, and aimed at big iron, so compatibility with mom and dad's scanner isn't an issue), you are in about as good a position as you could possibly be to discard some of the accumulated sins of the past.

It's also quite possible that the 'new OS' bit will be something more akin to a hypervisor and abstraction layer(whether the level of abstraction is closest to your basic VM, more like an LPAR, or follows some of the more service-level stuff to provide 'SQL database', 'Object storage', etc. is anyone's guess at present), and it simply wouldn't gain much from trying to cut and adapt an existing OS to size. What runs on top, may well include "yeah, here's the POSIX environment from HP-UX" or "Here's a Linux kernel modified to interact efficiently with the abstractions our OS supplies", since legacy code has massive inertia; but that won't be the 'new OS' itself.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (5, Funny)

operagost (62405) | about 3 months ago | (#47215113)

It's clearly a smokescreen to their secret plan of porting OpenVMS to it.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (1)

INT_QRK (1043164) | about 3 months ago | (#47215131)

If they're starting from scratch, I hope they will design for security rigor from the start. Recommend Multics as a case study. Not saying copy from architecture, but learn from intellectual approach. See http://www.multicians.org/hist... [multicians.org]

Re:Run a completely new OS? (4, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 3 months ago | (#47215277)

From what I gather, memory management, which is a large part of what an OS does, would be completely different on this architecture as there doesn't seem to be a difference between RAM and disk storage. It's basically all RAM. This eliminates the need for paging. You'd probably need a new file system, too.

Re:Run a completely new OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215579)

So it's like OS/400?

Re:Run a completely new OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215565)

HP-UX is not good enough. The only way to go is to leverage their most secure operating system that also is capable of far better clustering than most versions of Unix:
OpenVMS (http://www.openvms.compaq.com/ [compaq.com] )

Re:Run a completely new OS? (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 3 months ago | (#47215893)

From the description, it sounds like a mainframe. Maybe it'll run zOS!

Re:Run a completely new OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215901)

What's the point in running a brand new OS on it?

Maybe you should have read the fuckin' article instead of rushing to get first post. Then you'd have answered your own question instead of asking here, like a dumbshit.

Inspiring (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214583)

Finally! I'm so glad there's something to feel intrigued about in technology. I miss all the corporate labs doing amazing things.

Re:Inspiring (-1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 3 months ago | (#47214705)

Nothing HP does is inspiring - this is a money grab plain and simple. They're hoping that they can create another walled garden just like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. They see the writing on the wall and they don't want to be left out.

Huh? (1)

sirwired (27582) | about 3 months ago | (#47214847)

Yeah, they are a for-profit corporation, I'm pretty sure most of what they do is a "money grab"; it's kind of their job.

And where is all the "walled garden" crap coming from? The O/S will be open source and they are looking to also release a Linux variant that will run on the thing.

Re:Inspiring (4, Interesting)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 3 months ago | (#47214863)

I don't think you quite understand what they are doing here. They are essentially getting rid of the "slow disk, fast memory" method of computing by combining storage and memory into a single unit. If they make it work, then it will be a game-changer for lots of industries.

Re:Inspiring (0)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 3 months ago | (#47215523)

I get what they're doing, it's nothing new - there are half a dozen hardware variations that are poised to solve the problem they're trying to solve. The way they're doing it, with the new OS, is why I think it's a money grab.

Re:Inspiring (2)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 3 months ago | (#47214881)

exactly. nice to see what was once a great company trying to do something new and interesting. Compared to chasing the consulting racket like IBM, milking the enterprise customers -- which doesn't seem like it can sustain a company as large as HP for the long term.

Re:Inspiring (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47214949)

Finally! I'm so glad there's something to feel intrigued about in technology. I miss all the corporate labs doing amazing things.

Unfortunately, while three quarters of the lab are working on that project, the other 25% are working on a way to make it rely on proprietary consumables and require 'FPU head cleaning' with tedious frequency.

Re:Inspiring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215229)

the other 25% are working on a way to make it rely on proprietary consumables

I'm surprised HP would only dedicate a single person to that task.

Re:Inspiring (0, Redundant)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 3 months ago | (#47215913)

three quarters of the lab

So that makes 3 people, given HP's serial job cuts.

Actually, committing 3/4 of your research lab on one project is bet that should raise a few eyebrows. Sure, IBM pulled it off with the "bet the company" System/360, and that turned out to be quite profitable for them in the long run.

But today . . . ? It seems more like a desperate move. If the project fails, what will happen? Will HP just shit-can research all together, for ever . . . ?

Wall Street will demand action, and it seems that most companies are slaves to Wall Street opinion now.

Re:Inspiring (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 months ago | (#47215397)

You're missing the point: it's coming from HP. They won't make any of it an open standard, they'll patent it up all the wazoo and then demand bajillions of dollars from anyone else who tries to do something even remotely similar and they'll lock all their customers. I certainly wouldn't be holding my breath, waiting for a PC-like surge of a new computer-arch. I will get all excited and piss my pants from joy once someone comes up with a completely open arch that allows the same kind of flexibility that the PC-scene does, but not before.

Which crisis? (1)

nodan (1172027) | about 3 months ago | (#47214587)

Sounds like they want to obsolete themself, with three-quarters working on a project nobody might need.

Re: Which crisis? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214641)

Nobody needs more than 640 kb

Re: Which crisis? (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47215141)

Said no one ever.

Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214599)

I thought Apple invented everything useful....

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215013)

I thought Apple invented everything useful....

Actually, historically, Apple got the more useful bits from HP. If I were Apple I'd quietly help fund HP Labs.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215957)

Actually, historically, Apple got the more useful bits from HP.

You're thinking of Xerox.

Stupid name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214627)

Whether they actually manage a computer revolution or this project dies a horrible death as I expect, there is one thing of which I'm certain: that is a stupid, stupid name.

New OS? (1, Insightful)

should_be_linear (779431) | about 3 months ago | (#47214629)

There is probably major problem in using "it" with Linux, I wonder what the problem is....

No, no problem. (1)

sirwired (27582) | about 3 months ago | (#47214865)

Along with the new O/S, they are also working on getting both Linux, and (oddly) Android running on it.

If you RTFA, you'd see that they'd like to re-structure the O/S to take full advantage of the systems planned giganto memory capacity, instead of being built around shuffling data on and off disk.

Re:No, no problem. (3, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#47215017)

The article tells me it's bullshit. Applications aren't written to wait for the memory bus; they're written to ask the kernel for resources, and handle that by waiting or operating asynchronously. If they wait, then they just block until the kernel returns--they don't go, "Oh, it's going to be a while, so I'll execute getSomeTea()..." There's nothing in applications to deal with timing.

From an OS perspective, execute-in-place has been a thing for years. Linux run from NAND uses XIP, hence why some JFFS2 configurations compress and some don't. Many implementations don't compress in small-RAM embedded systems, using MMIO to map the JFFS2 file system as a physical memory address and jump to it accordingly. That means Linux loads an mmap()ed binary into VMA by creating a page table entry that points to the MMIO page associated physically with the NAND, and not with any real RAM.

Re:No, no problem. (1)

Trails (629752) | about 3 months ago | (#47215501)

You're trying to say that this press release from HP is full of shit? That's shocking! SHOCKING!

well, not that shocking.

Re:New OS? (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 3 months ago | (#47214907)

Read the article, and you'll get your answer.

Re:New OS? (1)

deKernel (65640) | about 3 months ago | (#47214993)

If I had to bet, I would think the MMU will have a very different behavior so that alone might cause a drastic change that would necessitate a "new" OS.

Re:New OS? (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | about 3 months ago | (#47215503)

Maybe they're redesigning so that it doesn't need one, at least not in the traditional sense?

Re:New OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215085)

The will just call it "The OS".

Hail Mary (4, Interesting)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47214645)

It’s a bold strategy Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for them.

If this doesn't work out, I can't see HP staying in business as an independent company.

Meg will kill it (0)

gelfling (6534) | about 3 months ago | (#47214681)

It won't fit on a tablet or a phone and Microsoft will complain that it's not Window. So it will be killed.

Re:Meg will kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214905)

This is HP we're talking about.
Their normal SOP is to spend billions to buy a company to get a product, spend 100s of millions more advertising it, finally ship a product to consumers, cancel it after only giving it six weeks, then sell it for a fire-sale price to clear out old stock, crashing their website from the demand.

Re:Meg will kill it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47216107)

Meg is the one who funded it, dummy. It's too bad you didn't even consider taking even a side glance at the article.

Lets go back to locked in solutions! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214715)

Just another attempt at creating a walled garden that only HP can play in. Even if it does its job well, unless its cheap, it will never catch on....

Someone has been watching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214721)

Person of Interest :)

The NSA has pre-ordered already. (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 3 months ago | (#47214745)

Where have you been? It's alright we know where you've been!

.

Just great. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 3 months ago | (#47214749)

Now instead of RTFM [wikipedia.org] we can all RATM [wikipedia.org] .

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214759)

Let's put Linux on it.

Not THAT new... (I think) (4, Interesting)

sirwired (27582) | about 3 months ago | (#47214761)

The article yammers on and on about how the O/S will be built based on memory-driven I/O instead of file-system based I/O. However, IBM's i/OS (a.k.a. OS/400) has been built on memory-mapped I/O from the beginning (circa 1988.) (And it has a DB-driven "filesystem" that Microsoft has been unable to ship despite about 25 years of failure.)

I know it's not quite the same thing, but I cannot imagine that this new O/S will somehow eliminate the need for flash and/or disk. I don't see them managing to get the memristor cost down enough to entirely replace disk/flash. If they had actually shipped some of the things before now, I could maybe believe it, but they haven't.

Re:Not THAT new... (I think) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215939)

I think you need to read between the lines, they mention HP is putting efforts into porting android and linux and "one of these technologies will be a success". They are not building a new computer for sale, they are building a demo unit, to prove to the world that memresistor tech is FAST, they own the patents and if they can get everyone to switch to their memory they will make lots and lots of money.

Re:Not THAT new... (I think) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47216045)

MULTICS

With a name like that... (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 3 months ago | (#47214785)

I can't wait for the marketing campaign. How ironic would it be if Pink Floyd licensed "Welcome to The Machine" for the media blitz?

Re:With a name like that... (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 3 months ago | (#47214957)

There'a all kinds of possibilities. Machines of Loving Grace, Rage Against the Machine, NIN's Pretty Hate Machine album. There's a roller derby player going by Pretty Skate Machine.

Re:With a name like that... (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 3 months ago | (#47215321)

I can't wait for the marketing campaign. How ironic would it be if Pink Floyd licensed "Welcome to The Machine" for the media blitz?

Not as ironic as the campaign for Windows 95, which used The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up." Recall that the lyrics included the phrase "You make a grown man cry."

Re:With a name like that... (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 3 months ago | (#47215787)

Probably better than using the theme music from Person of Interest [wikipedia.org] . Naming anything "The Machine" while that show is still going seems like poor marketing to me. Unless they're shopping it to the NSA.

HP Inspired by Apple: Think Different (5, Interesting)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 3 months ago | (#47214787)

Well, Meg Whitman had the guts to say "Find them some money" when HPLabs proposed the "Machine." I wish HP all the success.

It is about time some corporation stepped up to the plate other than Apple and jump-starts mega-improvement in major devices.

My first time sharing "Mini-computer" (was not mini sized), desktop engineering computer (using mag-strips pre-HP45), & then the HP35-41-45-75 were all incredible computing devices for their day.

Re:HP Inspired by Apple: Think Different (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 3 months ago | (#47215175)

And Meg will be the one that kills it because it doesn't have an ongoing revenue stream that provides 25% margins.

Re:HP Inspired by Apple: Think Different (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 3 months ago | (#47215449)

The way you find new solution paradigms is to jump in with both feet.

HP already announced memristor development 5 years ago. My guess is the HP Labs team are going to make all sorts of discoveries as they work through the entire design of the "Machine."

New OS? (1)

bchat (267083) | about 3 months ago | (#47214835)

What a waste of time, with all the people developing operating systems today. Why would they create a barrier to adoption by introducing an unnecessary learning curve that requires people to learn yet another way to use a computer?

Re:New OS? (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 3 months ago | (#47215059)

I'll bet HP's OS is a variant of UNIX or Linux to suit the new hardware to get developers on board.

Re:New OS? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 months ago | (#47215263)

Because the very first application they release will probably be a linux-compatibility abstraction layer.

Re:New OS? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 3 months ago | (#47215605)

What makes you think the GUI would be substantially different? Apple and Microsoft marketing machines aside, the GUI is a minor aspect of the OS - in fact it usually isn't part of the OS at all, just an application that runs within the OS. The OS is the part that sits between your programs and the hardware so that you don't have to worry about every little detail of manipulating the hardware.

HP could potentially create a completely new OS that would, so long as it is compliant with UNIX standards, could run Gnome, KDE, or any other 'nix GUI that can readily mimic MSWindows.

Re:New OS? (1)

bchat (267083) | about 3 months ago | (#47215999)

Well, I hope HP is smart enough to do what you're saying. But, you just need to look at Windows 8 to see how stupid some companies can be when it comes to providing user interfaces that are substantially different.

Re:New OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215903)

Well, the basic point is that there is no point in swapping or a buffer cache if your involatile mass storage is the same as your RAM (involatile just like good old core memory, but even core memory was basically always supplanted with drum memory). While you still want something like GNU/Linux, the VM layer needs to get redesigned since it is mostly working on invalid assumptions. When you map files into memory, you don't need to go through a buffer store and you don't want to deal with page faults and stuff.

Now you'll say that there will still be "hot" and "cold" memory with different access speeds. That's where the optical interconnects come into play. Depending on physical distances, "hot" and "cold" form a continuum rather than hard thresholds.

Pink floyd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214851)

YEAH!!!

You can definitely tell this is engineer-driven... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214935)

...with such a creative name as 'The Machine'.

While interesting, this 'machine' would have to offer an Avatar-quality VR experience whilst doing my taxes three years ahead of time to wash out the bad taste HP's consumer products have left in my mouth.

Selling that inkjet fluid at a greater price than interferon? I'm sorry, but that's inescapable karma.

 

If I am correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47214999)

If I am correct, won't memristor-tier computing allow for considerably simpler circuits?

If that is true, this is a very good thing.
Portable computing NEEDs it a few years ago. (besides the obvious failure in the battery department. sure is great with all these wonderful long-lasting batt-oh wait)

One thing I am worried about is the addition of the OS.
It won't compete with Windows, it likely won't compete with Linux on mobile, and hell, it will likely not even compete with Macs.
The only way I could see it taking over on mobiles is if the OS (and hardware) is stupidly good, like, a whole generation ahead what ARM and Linux can provide.
HP here. We are speaking about HP. I can only hope. The more market taken away from shitty x86, the better. I wish that crap architecture would die faster.

New Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215039)

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!

It's memory that's the problem? (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 3 months ago | (#47215173)

When a person wants to do something such as run Microsoft Word, the computer’s central processor will issue a command to copy the program and a document from the slow disk it had been sitting on and bring it temporarily into the high-speed memory known as DRAM that sits near the computer’s core, helping ensure that Word and the file you’re working on will run fast. A problem with this architecture, according to computing experts, is that DRAM and the Flash memory used in computers seem unable to keep pace with the increase in data use.

The author gives the problem that to access data the computer goes to the slow disk, and pulls the data in the fast memory so it can be operated against. Then the article goes on to say that memory can't keep up with the demand. That seems backwards to me. Isn't the problem they're trying to solve deals with how spinning disks have not had their data access speed increase at the pace of the rest of computer components, not memory?

Re:It's memory that's the problem? (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 3 months ago | (#47215619)

I may be wrong, but that quote sounds like they're saying DRAM/Flash hasn't been able to keep up with the amount/size of data. The Word example's not the greatest, but in many computational fields you'll need hundreds of gigabytes of data to fit in RAM, which can get rather complicated.

Re:It's memory that's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215755)

Correct if I'm wrong, it's been a long time...
External (to the CPU that is) memory such as RAM, HDD or SSD is used because of the prohibitive cost and complexity of sufficiently large internal memory banks (primarily registers).
So both views are correct, but the original problem is not the speed of the external storage but the volume of the internal storage.
We have been adding layers of additional storage: 3 levels of cache, RAM, flash based caching, disk drives...
Memristors (among other technologies) promise the speed of internal memory in large enough volumes so extra storage becomes less of a necessity.
And also: registers loose their content on power off, another reason for external storage.

One spec the article fails to mention (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215179)

The new computer does not run on electricity. It runs on a new fuel cell that requires ink.

webos? (1)

trevc (1471197) | about 3 months ago | (#47215211)

Makes sense. webos was such a great success.

FUD incarnate: (1)

pla (258480) | about 3 months ago | (#47215215)

The new computer is meant to solve a coming crisis due to limitations around DRAM and Flash.

Would someone like to elaborate on this "coming crisis" that memristors magically solve?

I can think of plenty of limitations (in the present) to DRAM and flash that merely throwing money at the problem can't solve. I can also think of a few good uses for viable memristor technology (instant-wake hibernating-as-the-default-state computers as the obvious first use). I can't, however, think of any "crisis" that adding a pinch of memristor phlebotinum would solve.

Re:FUD incarnate: (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47215595)

Would someone like to elaborate on this "coming crisis" that memristors magically solve?

Only if they're more resistant to cosmic rays than transistors.

Good news... (5, Insightful)

ndykman (659315) | about 3 months ago | (#47215283)

While HP Labs may not be what it was, it is good to see that HP finally has a CEO that will give them the funding they need to go for the big ideas. We need more research and development funding period. The government needs to increase funding for the NSF and other organizations. And, yes, big companies need to start making long term investments. Microsoft Research is growing. It seems HP Labs is growing again.

Let's hope other big players step up too. I'm tired of money being thrown at yet another mobile application and having that being held up as a paragon of innovation. People are being critical of HP investing in this while Facebook throws 19B of assets at a messaging application? What's wrong with this picture?

That's great, but... (1)

glwtta (532858) | about 3 months ago | (#47215399)

Will the output be limited to a single number?

Re:That's great, but... (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 3 months ago | (#47215837)

The question is...will it be a Social Security Number or the number 42?

Either way, you're going to need memristors when you're processing that much data.

yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215469)

Oh come on guys, nobody? Really?

The Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215581)

Funny story by Bert Kreischer about "The Machine":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHfroJBMlVM

Will not do any good (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 3 months ago | (#47215699)

HP made their massive profits by controlling their IP and making everything in-house. In this case, they have outsourced a great deal of this work. As such, it will be in China within 2 years. At that point, whitman will lose everything.

As somebody that used to work for HP, I am saddened by this. They have great tech, but whitman's run for short-term profits is destroying the company.

anyone remember itanium? (2)

mpicpp (3454017) | about 3 months ago | (#47215791)

i am remember hp having visions of replacing x86 with a new architecture and then AMD did x86-64. hp should know by now that a totally new hardware platform and totally new operating system isnt going to fly very far. Why not replace ethernet and tcp/ip while they are at it....

Any AFRICANS working on this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47215883)

Thought not. But they are magically 'just the same' as white people, because the Jew TV told you so. Over and over and over. Oh, and you'll lose your job (and therefore your house, your wife, and your children) if you dare to disagree with the Jews' lies...

Ain't 'diversity' wonderful?

Server? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 3 months ago | (#47216037)

So I am guessing this is planned for corporate servers?

Or will everyone be playing Crysis 3 on Windows 10, The Machine edition?

The original name was Skynet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47216061)

But one day after some unexpected downloads from torrents the Machine asked to call it now simply the Machine - not Skynet.

So.... it's a mainframe then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47216127)

and we come full circle....

Stage 1 - get a 'fridge shaped computer' that does everything, runs a special OS and requires specialized techs to maintain it - aka mainframe - dumb terminals - everything is in the 'cloud' - even your OS

Stage 2 - mainframe - smart terminals

Stage 3 - local servers - smart terminals - mainframe still exists

Stage 4 - local servers - smart terminals - no mainframe (it's old hat)

Stage 5 - servers centralized for easier managment - smart terminals -

Stage 6 - servers centralized and virtualized for easier managment - smart terminals that are locked down like dumb ones

Stage 7 - moving things to the 'cloud' - servers virtualized as much as possible - racks of equipment replaced with single racks due to efficency

Stage 8 - get a 'fridge shaped' computer that does everything your data center did, runs a specilized OS and requires specilized techs to maintain it - but we'll call it something new an trendy!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>