​Wikipedia defines state as the following:
In information technology and computer science, a system is described as stateful if it is designed to remember preceding events or user interactions; the remembered information is called the state of the system.
In a traditional cloud computing architecture, the database is most likely used as state storage. In the blockchain world, the whole blockchain is a giant distributed state machine. For example, Ethereum itself is a state machine. Everytime clients send transactions to update the state, every new block means a new updated state is released.
In the TEA Project, we don't store the application state in the blockchain. Instead, the state is stored in a group of state_machine_replicas. We use a new Proof of Time hardware consensus to achieve super fast speed (relative to traditional blockchain) and processing power without sacrificing security or scalability.
Please keep reading the state machine and consensus for more details.