Prototype from The
Machine research program upends 60 years of innovation and demonstrates
the potential for Memory-Driven Computing
Enterprise has introduced the world’s largest single-memory computer,
the latest milestone in The Machine research project. The Machine, which
is the largest R&D program in the history of the company, is aimed at
delivering a new paradigm called Memory-Driven Computing – an
architecture custom-built for the Big Data era.
“The secrets to the next great scientific breakthrough,
industry-changing innovation, or life-altering technology hide in plain
sight behind the mountains of data we create every day,” said Meg
Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “To realize this promise, we
can’t rely on the technologies of the past, we need a computer built for
the Big Data era.”
The prototype unveiled today contains 160 terabytes (TB) of memory,
capable of simultaneously working with the data held in every book in
the Library of Congress five times over – or approximately 160 million
books. It has never been possible to hold and manipulate whole data sets
of this size in a single-memory system, and this is just a glimpse of
the immense potential of Memory-Driven Computing.
Scalability & Societal Implications
Based on the current prototype, HPE expects the architecture could
easily scale to an exabyte-scale single-memory system and, beyond that,
to a nearly-limitless pool of memory – 4,096 yottabytes. For context,
that is 250,000 times the entire digital universe today.
With that amount of memory, it will be possible to simultaneously work
with every digital health record of every person on earth; every piece
of data from Facebook; every trip of Google’s autonomous vehicles; and
every data set from space exploration all at the same time – getting to
answers and uncovering new opportunities at unprecedented speeds.
“We believe Memory-Driven Computing is the solution to move the
technology industry forward in a way that can enable advancements across
all aspects of society,” said Mark Potter, CTO at HPE and Director,
Hewlett Packard Labs. “The architecture we have unveiled can be applied
to every computing category – from intelligent edge devices to
Memory-Driven Computing puts memory, not the processor, at the center of
the computing architecture. By eliminating the inefficiencies of how
memory, storage and processors interact in traditional systems today,
Memory-Driven Computing reduces the time needed to process complex
problems from days to hours, hours to minutes, minutes to seconds – to
deliver real-time intelligence.
The new prototype builds on the
achievements of The Machine research program, including:
TB of shared memory spread across 40 physical nodes, interconnected
using a high-performance fabric protocol
•An optimized Linux-based operating
system (OS) running on ThunderX2, Cavium’s flagship second generation
dual socket capable ARMv8-A workload optimized System on a Chip.
links, including the new X1 photonics module, are online and
•Software programming tools designed
to take advantage of abundant persistent memory.
“Cavium shares HPE’s vision for Memory-Driven Computing and is proud to
collaborate with HPE on The Machine program,” said Syed Ali, President &
CEO of Cavium Inc. ”HPE’s groundbreaking innovations in Memory-Driven
Computing will enable a new compute paradigm for a variety of
applications, including the next generation data center, cloud and high