Michael A. Robinson writes: It promises to spot terrorists - before they strike. It will predict killer storms - warning us when and where they'll hit.
This new technology trend known as "Big Data" is sweeping the globe. It's expected to facilitate stunning - even life-saving - transformations in intelligence-gathering, meteorology, medicine, finance, and virtually every other field you can think of.
But only if a major problem can be solved.
That problem - a critical obstacle, really - is one that keeps getting in the way. It's called the "memory wall" and it's the one digital barricade that every computer engineer in the world wants to hurdle.
Today I'm going to give you a peek at the potential solution to this digital bottleneck - a solution so revolutionary that a respected trade journal recently named it one of the 10 technologies most likely to transform the electronics industry.
I'm going to introduce you to the "Killer Elite" that cracked this computing conundrum.
And I'm going to tell you how you can profit from an innovative breakthrough that most retail investors aren't even aware of yet.
Let me explain...
Virtually every week here at the Money Morning, we talk about some new technological advance that's accelerating the pace of innovation.
Some of these changes are incremental. But others represent true quantum leaps.
More than ever, the leaps are being driven by big, super-powerful computers. One great example is Watson, the "cognitive device" from International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) that beat two humans on the game show Jeopardy.
Technically speaking, they are referred to as high-performance computers, and you will find them in the world's major research labs (and on Wall Street). Let me explain their power in laymen's terms - they can run through a gazillion calculations in the blink of an eye.
You need that kind of performance to comb through millions of credit-card or stock transactions to spot fraud. To let our intelligence agents grab terrorists before they can do any harm. Or to alert people - via their mobile devices - that a killer lightning storm is bearing down on them.
And that shoves us to smack right into the memory wall - a "Great Wall" if there ever was one.
You see, as these supercomputers have gotten faster - fast enough to drive the Big Data trend - memory has failed to keep pace.
And, in computing, memory is everything.
Take a look at your laptop. There's just no way you could run a complex piece of software like a design-engineer program on it. Your laptop just doesn't have enough memory.
The program will crash.
Or your laptop will simply freeze up.
The same dynamic is at work at the high-performance level, but the need for more robust memory is 1,000% greater.
Now you know why a group of companies I refer to as the "Killer Elite" of computer memory have banded to develop a breakthrough module.
The new advance is known as a Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC). And the concept is based on the ultra-fast processors that run today's computers.
Those processors get their incredible speeds by being embedded with what the industry refers to as multiple "cores." Simply put, it means they contain several microprocessors - the "brains" that run computer programs - on a single chip.
That same idea forms the basis of the new hybrid Cube.
The stats on this thing are just off the charts...
We're talking about a memory module that will run up 15 times faster than most of the devices on the market today. Not only that, but the Cube uses up to 70% less energy, and takes up about 90% less space.
You don't have to be a computer genius to look at those numbers and see just how much the whole high-performance sector and its customers stand to gain.
Clearly, this new device isn't just some starry-eyed dream that will take a long time to get out of the research lab and into the marketplace. In fact, some members of the "Killer Elite" expect the Cube to start selling as soon as the end of this year.
No wonder the respected trade journal EE Times (as in electrical engineer, or "double E") chose the Cube as one of the 10 technologies that are most likely to "redefine" the electronics industry.
So, as new as it is, the HMC field doesn't lack for profit opportunities.
Back in 2011, to get the ball rolling, a number of companies teamed up to form the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC). The 10 members that now comprise the HMCC will produce an open industry standard.
And they also form the "Killer Elite" that I talked about earlier.
A quick review of some of the "Killer Elite" roster underscores the fact that there are some alluring profit opportunities operating in this space.
In addition to old Big Blue (IBM), you've got Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (KSE:005930), the South Korean heavyweight that's one of the world leaders in mobile phones, tablets, TVs, LCD panels and semiconductors.
Other group leaders include all-star chip designer ARM Holdings PLC (NasdaqGS: ARMH), turnaround candidate Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and Open-Silicon Inc.
Another 75 high tech firms who intend to adopt the Cube technology have joined the consortium in what I'd describe as sort of an "associate" member status.
Within this broad group - the "Killer Elite" and the "adopter" associates - are a number of great-to-own tech stocks.
And there's one more Cube-related "Killer Elite" player that I like - so much so, in fact, that I recommended it to subscribers of my Radical Technology Profits service.
I'd love nothing more than to share this pick with you, too. If you want to find out more, take a look here.
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