The Machine - HP May Have Invented a New Kind of Computer
Comment of the Day

June 11 2014

Commentary by David Fuller

The Machine - HP May Have Invented a New Kind of Computer

Here is the opening for this interesting article from Bloomberg:

HP’s bet is the memristor, a nanoscale chip that Labs researchers must build and handle in full anticontamination clean-room suits. At the simplest level, the memristor consists of a grid of wires with a stack of thin layers of materials such as tantalum oxide at each intersection. When a current is applied to the wires, the materials’ resistance is altered, and this state can hold after the current is removed. At that point, the device is essentially remembering 1s or 0s depending on which state it is in, multiplying its storage capacity. HP can build these chips with traditional semiconductor equipment and expects to be able to pack unprecedented amounts of memory—enough to store huge databases of pictures, files, and data—into a computer.

In theory, that would remove the need for a conventional slow disk/fast memory system. With the Machine’s main chips sitting on motherboards right next to the memristors, they can access any needed information almost instantly. “It’s the Platonic form of computing and is the natural way to do things,” says Papadopoulos, a former computer architect for HP and Sun. “You want lots of, lots of memory, and you want it to always be there and to use it as storage.”

New memory and networking technology requires a new operating system. Most applications written in the past 50 years have been taught to wait for data, assuming that the memory systems feeding the main computers chips are slow. 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.

David Fuller's view

Here is the Bloomberg article.

I obviously have no idea whether or not Hewlett-Packard will be able to deliver ‘The Machine’ as a competitive, commercial, evolutionary new computer within the next 3 to 6 years.  However, I maintain that there is no known reason for why the pace of new technological innovation should not continue to accelerate well into the exciting future. 

Technology firms must constantly reinvent themselves to remain competitive.  Hewlett-Packard (HPQ US) Est P/E 8.99, Yield 1.92% has lagged over the last fourteen years (monthly, weekly & daily) but has been a recovery candidate since 4Q 2012.  Currently, a close beneath $30 would be required to question this uptrend.  

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