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Monday, January 21, 2019

HPE boss disses quantum computing to push HP tech

By Nick Flaherty

The chief executive of HPE has poured scorn on quantum computing and doubled down on its Memory driven architecture as the future of computing.

"We now find ourselves on a precipice, where the near future will bring with it a wealth of possibilities. The potential of what’s on the horizon of computing is something truly remarkable. However, this immense potential brings with it significant challenges – and it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to overcome them," said Antonio Neri, President and CEO of HPE.

"New emerging technologies could be the tools we need to flourish as a society. At HPE, we aim to harness the transformative power of these technologies to achieve our purpose – to advance the way people live and work. Only then can we start to unlock our technological potential," he said.

The main roadblock on this journey to a better world lies in the limitations of conventional computing solutions, he says, especially with the impact of the data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT). "There is a growing data deluge as our ambitions grow faster than our computers improve. Every two years we create more data than has ever been created before, with the majority of it originating at the edge, or the periphery of the network," he said.

"We need a new paradigm that reinvents the most basic functions of a computing system from the ground up. Memory-Driven Computing is one approach that delivers an entirely new way of computing specifically designed for the Big Data era," he points out. Doubling down on the commitment, he says: "Only through a new architecture like Memory-Driven Computing will it be possible to simultaneously work with every digital health record of every person on earth, every trip of Google’s autonomous vehicles and every data set from space exploration all at the same time – getting to answers and uncovering new opportunities at unprecedented speeds."

He is negative about quantum computing, where HPE has been not been investing significantly in R&D, although it is at the leading edge of research in quantum cryptography.

"Quantum computing is one component that is in the global spotlight at the moment. Undeniably quantum computers will be able to achieve some amazing things, like the discovery of new drugs and materials. So rightly, organisations are exploring this technology. But as a society we can’t rely on quantum computers as the sole solution because quantum computing only solves quantum problems," said Neri.

"For instance, quantum computers can’t analyse and derive insights from the massive amount of sensor data our society is producing – from factories and connected cars to airports and security infrastructure. And quantum systems require a tremendous amount of energy."

However machine learning has been demonstrated on quantum computing systems (see the work by Regetti , link below), highlighting the ability to identify patterns in IoT data.

"As the complexity of the demands we place on computers increases, so too does our need for customised solutions, built for the problem at hand," said Neri. "A holistic view of future challenges combined with a new type of computing will allow for tailored solutions to some of the most significant problems facing our world. The challenges we’re facing are not insurmountable, and for governments and businesses around the world, the question is how to best prepare to meet these challenges head-on and succeed."

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