SAN JOSE, Calif. – HP Labs continues to make progress on its long term vision of smart memories based on its memristors as alternatives to server CPUs. The devices are one of several new categories of chips likely to seize the moment of disruptive changes in data center technologies and workloads ahead, said an HP Labs researcher.
Separately, Hewlett-Packard Co. is expected to announce within weeks the next steps in its Project Moonshot, its work on ARM- and Atom-based servers. HP is working with a broad group of companies including processor providers AMD, Applied Micro, Calxeda, Cavium and Intel on the project.
So far HP has announced an Atom-based server using Intel’s Centerton processor. It suggested it would use cartridges to flexibly upgrade a single server chassis for a wide range of ARM- and Atom-based chips in 2013 and beyond.
On a three-to-five year horizon, HP Labs is working on what it calls "nanostores." The chips combine memristors and logic that could challenge microprocessors in a new era of designs based on novel system architectures and memory hierarchies, said Parthasarathy Ranganathan, an HP Labs researcher in a keynote at the Server Design Summit here.
“We have the opportunity for new building block,” said Ranganathan. “It’s really a 3-D stack amenable to traditional workloads and even more so to new workloads, really changing the game with potentially a hundred-fold increase in performance per watt."
@bobdvb: It's unclear because they haven't said much about the lo0gic part of the device.
Many researchers including some at Stanford and Berkeley have talked about kinds of smart memories before. HP's unique angle is using its memristor as the memory.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.