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HP Discover 2013: Paolo Faraboschi talks about how Labs is reinventing the architecture of computing


Contributed by Simon Firth, freelance technology journalist




PaoloFaraboschi-Nov13_web.jpgThe social internet that connects some 2 billion people today will soon be eclipsed by an enormously expanded ‘Internet of Things’ linking at least 30 billion intelligent devices by 2020, observes HP Labs researcher Paolo Faraboschi. Getting that internet infrastructure working at the right efficiency level, he says, will take a completely new computing architecture.


“People today have challenges with terabytes of data,” Faraboschi notes, “but this new world of connected devices will see us processing data in petabytes, exabytes, and even zettabytes. And these numbers are growing faster than we’re improving computer processing power.”


In a December 10th presentation at HP Discover 2013 in Barcelona, Faraboschi will

share radical new approaches being developed at HP Labs that promise to deliver the large-scale, high-performance infrastructure necessary to support this data-centric world.


The issue isn’t just one of volume. “For example, in an Internet of Things, machines are speaking to machines, which means they need to act at faster speeds than are typical for the internet today,” Faraboschi explains. “So we can no longer afford to send data all the way back into a database sitting on a disk and then look at it in the background – we have to find ways to bring collection, processing, and memory much closer together.”


In his Discover talk, Faraboschi will explore how HP Labs is addressing these demands by designing new computer systems that fuse memory and storage, flatten complex data hierarchies, bring processing closer to data, and enable system security at the point of attack.


In particular, HP Labs research in non-volatile memory lays the foundation for universal memory and energy-optimized systems-on-chips (SoCs). And advances in integrated photonics being pioneered at HP will allow these systems to communicate at the speeds required by an Internet of Things.


Beyond letting computers run faster and use less power, this new paradigm will enable a variety of software innovations. “By opening up new types of interfaces and exposing the properties of the hardware, we’re going to change the way software sees things,” Faraboschi argues. “And that will help us make huge advances in how we do things like use object stores, run streaming processing for complex event manipulation, and manipulate unstructured data.”


A Distinguished Technologist in HP’s Systems Research Lab, Faraboschi has worked at HP Labs since 1994. A leading member of HP’s Moonshot low-power server team, he’s also led HPL research on system-level simulation and modeling of compute fabrics for next-generation computing systems, and was technical lead for the "Custom-Fit Processors" Project at HP Labs Cambridge, Mass. Faraboschi received his Ph.D in EE/CS from the University of Genoa.


Discover attendees can attend Faraboschi’s talk on Tuesday, December 10th, at 1:00 PM. Click here for information about other HP Discover sessions being presented by HP Labs researchers in Barcelona. HP Labs executives will also available at the HP on HP and HP Labs Guru Bar throughout the event for one-on-one conversations. 


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