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HP to launch “revolutionary” computer and OS

HP to launch “revolutionary” computer and OS

December 9, 2014

The new systems are part of the OEM’s plan to “reinvent computing” next year.pc

Technology Review reported on details from HP about a new operating system and computer it is working on for release in the next two years, which it describes as “revolutionary” and part of an “ambitious plan to reinvent computing”. The prototype system, the site adds, will form a “big step toward shaking up” HP’s business, as well as the “entire computing industry”.

The system is operating on a computer called ‘The Machine’ at HP’s research division, with the computer said to be the first of a “new dynasty of computers” that are “much more energy-efficient and powerful than current products”, with a new type of memory used instead of the types used in computers now, which “originated in the 1940s” and require the “need to shuttle data back and forth” between both types.

Three-quarters of HP’s 200 staff working in the research department at HP Labs are focused on the new operating system and machine, with CEO Meg Whitman said to have “expanded HP’s research spending in the support of the project”, according to Chief Architect Kirk Bresniker. He added that the reason HP is focusing on this is that “a model from the beginning of computing has been reflected in everything since, and it is holding us back”.

‘The Machine’ is “designed to compete” with servers, with Bresniker noting that elements of its design “could one day be adapted for smaller devices”, though HP needs to “make significant progress” in software and hardware to make it a “reality”, with the new form of memory – memristor memory – needing to be perfected first.

The memristor, an electronic component, would handle both “temporary and long-term data storage”, where as current computers use hard and flash memory for operation, and avoiding this need to “move data back and forth should deliver major power and time savings”, with data also able to be retained when the memristor memory is “powered off”, alongside other advantages including faster speeds and more storage space.

A working prototype of ‘The Machine’ is planned for 2016, with the operating system – called Linux++ – set to be launched in June 2015, allowing programmers to “test their code” against it, with a full version codenamed ‘Carbon’ to operate on the finished version of ‘The Machine’. The computer also uses optical fibre instead of copper wires for data flow, but scepticism remains due to HP having “fallen behind its own timetable” for producing the memristor memory.

HP sold off its last attempt at an operating system – WebOS – in November 2011, though printers were said to still be using it during the sale process, and 275 jobs focusing on WebOS were cut in February 2012.

Categories : Products and Technology

Tags : Business HP Technology

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