Hewlett-Packard has reportedly unveiled a prototype computer with a massive 160TB of memory, enough to analyse the equivalent of 160 million books at the same time.
Simply named “The Machine”, the Linux-based computer is thought to be the world’s largest single memory computer. The fact that the focus of the computer’s development has been placed upon memory rather than processing is thought to make it ideal for managing ‘Big Data’.
What Is Big Data?
Big Data refers to very large data sets, the fast and effective analysis of which by computers could reveal patterns and trends that have a value (usually commercially).
Big Data is essentially about empowering your company to make better, more accurate and faster choices about how best to run your sales, marketing, and operations. From a sales point of view, for example, it can be harnessed to get that bit closer to your customers.
More Powerful And More Efficient
HP’s research division has developed “The Machine” with the idea that it would be more powerful than current products and certainly more energy efficient, thereby delivering greater value while keeping costs down.
This new, pioneering computer is part of a new dynasty of computers that use a different type of computer memory rather than the two current transferring methods that other computers employ.
New Operating System + Single Memory
The initial operating system for the new computer was designated to be Linux++ and then ultimately be replaced with “Carbon”, a unique system that developers designed from scratch that uses only a single memory for both short-term and long-term data storage. The new computer also benefits from the use of optical-fibre rather than copper wire to move data around.
The Machine’s OS is designed to work with a special nanoscale chip called the “Memristor” that consists of a stack of thin layers of tantalum oxide and other materials with a grid of wires that meet at each junction.
Leading To “Memory-Less” Design In Future
Designed to compete with the servers used by corporate networks and the expertise of internet companies such as Facebook and Google, HP designers suggest that this computer’s development could enable them to produce a version that is adapted for smaller devices in the future, thus providing the enticing prospect of as “memory-less” computer.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
Businesses now collect large amounts of data that can often only be of any commercial use if it can be properly managed, analysed, and translated into value-adding, cost-saving and differentiating changes to marketing. Companies that are able (and can afford) to use powerful, new generation computers designed with Big Data in mind, are the ones who can perhaps build a valuable and hard-to-copy competitive advantage from it in the marketplace.
More computer companies are now developing products and services to enable businesses to manage large amounts of data and / or to use superior processing power to innovate and overcome traditional challenges. Back in March, for example, IBM announced that, for the first time, it was giving companies the chance to use a quantum computer (via the cloud) through its IBM Q service, thus enabling businesses to solve highly complex problems.