Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) wants developers to get involved with a next-generation project to reinvent the computer, and has released tools and emulators designed to draw interest, even if the hardware itself does not yet exist.
Dubbed The Machine, the initiative was announced at the firm's Discover event two years ago, and sets out to reinvent the architecture of next-generation computers based on the concept of memory-driven computing, using processors closely coupled with non-volatile memory (NVM).
The project is still at a relatively early stage, but it is clear that The Machine is likely to be sufficiently different from current systems as to require an entirely new software ecosystem to function, which is why HPE is opening its doors to developers at this year's Discover event in Las Vegas.
"Given the fundamental shift in how The Machine will work, the initiative aims to start familiarising developers with its new programming model as well as invite them to help develop the software itself," the firm said in a statement.
"This is an uncommonly early opportunity for developers to help build components of The Machine from the ground up, since much of the software is in the starting phases."
The tools initially available include four key code modules that have been created to enable developer communities to evaluate how The Machine is likely to have an effect in applications such as machine learning and graph analytics.
The modules are: a novel database engine that speeds up applications by taking advantage of a large number of CPU cores and NVM; a fault-tolerant programming model for NVM that adapts existing multi-threaded code to take advantage of persistent memory; a Fabric Attached Memory emulator designed to allow users to explore the new architecture; and a DRAM-based performance emulator that uses existing hardware to emulate the latency and bandwidth characteristics of future NVM technology.
HPE said that it will continue to update this code and release additional contributions. Some of these will address changes to operating systems, including Linux, that will be required to enable them to run on The Machine.
HPE also intends to produce sample applications that demonstrate how The Machine can significantly improve application scale and performance.
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