Dubbed The Machine, the project represents more than half of the research efforts of Hewlett Packard Labs, the R&D arm of HPE.
"It's our biggest and most ambitious research project," said Jaap Suermondt, vice president of software and analytics at Hewlett Packard Labs.
Suermondt said the company hopes to offer The Machine commercially to customers, including health providers, in a few years but plans to display a prototype of the Machine later this year.
And "multiple central components of The Machine are well on their way," he said. "In fact, we are embedding components of The Machine's architecture into our current product road map as they become available."
The Machine, Suermondt said, is "first and foremost about flipping the computer inside out."
That architectural flip has to be done in order to efficiently process the huge data sets that are becoming available about patients, along with other types of digitized information, he said.
Unlike the traditional model of computing, which puts electronic processors at the center of the machine and surrounds it with relatively small amounts of memory, The Machine will make memory — the data itself — the center of the technology's infrastructure.
"What we're building is a new generation of computers," Suermondt said. "Rather than having the processor in the middle, we have the memory in the middle ... [and] you can put as much memory in as you want."
The new computer's architecture will rely on photonics, or light particles for superfast communication, and possibly down the line memristors, a long-envisioned form of digital memory.