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HPE Shows Single-Memory Computing Breakthrough

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The prototype system features an unprecedented 160 terabytes of memory, allowing it to simultaneously handle every piece of data from Facebook

HP Enterprise (HPE) on Tuesday announced what it called the world’s largest single-memory computer prototype as part of a research effort to develop technologies capable of easily handling massive amounts of data.

The ARM-powered prototype system contains 160 terabytes (TB) of memory spread across 40 physical nodes and connected using a custom high-performance fabric protocol, HPE said.

Large memory pool

The massive memory pool makes it possible to process large amounts of data simultaneously, reducing the time it takes to uncover patterns buried in that information.

HPE said the prototype could, for instance, simultaneously examine every digital health record for every person on earth or every piece of data from Facebook.

the-machineThe company said it thinks the architecture used in the prototype could easily scale to an exabyte-scale single-memory system and potentially up to 4,096 yottabytes, which it described as a “nearly limitless” memory pool 250,000 times greater than the digital universe as it currently exists.

The system is part of a research project called The Machine established in 2014 to focus on ways of dealing with the exponentially increasing amount of data generated by trends such as cloud computing and the proliferation of mobile devices and the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT).

IDC estimates the digital world consisted of 4.4 zettabytes in 2013 and projects it will grow to 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes, by 2020, while IBM believes 90 percent of the data in existence today was produced in the past two years.

The Machine is HPE’s effort at making it possible to turn that data into useful information within a manageable time.

Find out about how HPE plans to apply The Machine prototype’s breakthroughs on page 2…