HP, once one of the biggest brands in computers, has been struggling for quite some time to become relevant in a world increasingly focused on mobile technology. But now they have a chance to make their comeback, thanks to what has been ambiguously named ‘The Machine’.
Essentially, The Machine is an all-in-one game changer for the computer industry. HP Labs have been researching the different components for some time, the most prominent of which is their memristor. This ultra-speedy, massive data storage is delivered in a single chip that could multiply current storage capabilities within computers many times over.
If adapted, such technology could also be integrated into smartphones and other devices. But the primary hurtle is creating workable prototypes that could allow for regular manufacture. Right now, the memristors are little more than pipe dreams, and HP has failed to reach critical deadlines in the past.
Another potential release as part of The Machine is their silicone photonics. These would replace current and chips copper cables that the industry has been looking to get beyond for some time now. It would work alongside the memristors to create a more powerful computer with much great capacity for use.
Of course, none of this is any good without the ability to run programs using that technology. The biggest problem with creating limitless storage is that current operating systems are not compatible with the technology.
Luckily, HP has a team on that, as well. They are currently developing a whole new OS that would run any programs created using The Machine. It is another way in which they could alter the face of computer hardware and software in one move.
Such innovation is fascinating to hear about, even if the best case scenario puts completion somewhere around 2017. For the last several years computers have been stagnant. They improve certain capabilities, but for the most part they remain the same and brands copy one another’s progress as consumer expectation sets new standards.
This would be the first shakeup for the industry in quite some time. Having it come from HP means the once-biggest name in computers is back in the game. Who knows what future products they could build off of the success of this kind of technology? Even cooler, just imagine what other brands will do with the same developments?
Either way, we will have to wait to find out. But at least HP is putting real money and effort behind the endeavor, with nearly all of their R&D team working on The Machine in some capacity.