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Samsung Electronics Expands Open Collaboration and Presents Technical Solutions To Address the Memory Wall at 2023 OCP APAC Tech Day

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On July 4, Samsung Electronics successfully participated in 2023 OCP APAC Tech Day, which was held in Seoul, Korea. The event featured the unveiling of multiple next-generation memory solutions and the delivery of informative keynote speeches, fully engaging an audience of approximately 1,100 attendees from about 10 countries. This marks the first time that the Open Computing Project® (OCP) Korea event has been expanded to the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, and the first use of the OCP APAC Tech Day title. The OCP was launched in 2011 to innovate data center-related technologies and has grown into the world's largest technology innovation organization, featuring the participation of many leading global IT companies and having already published more than 300 technologies. Recognizing the importance of technology sharing and innovation through open source, Samsung started as a Community Member of OCP in 2015 and has played a key role in the growth of the OCP ecosystem through various technological contributions, becoming a Platinum Member in 2022, which is the highest level possible. In the event’s keynote speech, Samsung introduced technologies and next-generation product solutions to overcome the memory wall1, emphasizing open innovation through collaboration with the IT companies that form the memory ecosystem. In this article, we will cover how Samsung is overcoming the limitations of memory technology and continuing to innovate disruptively, in order to address the “The Innovator’s Dilemma2.” Four Next-Generation Memory Solutions Exhibited During the event, Samsung Electronics generated significant interest among attendees through its exhibition of four major next-generation memory solutions, including the PBSSD, Memory-Semantic SSD, Second-Generation SmartSSD and Memory Expander. All four of these technologies are well-positioned to overcome the limitations of traditional memory hierarchies and significantly contribute to improving the performance of data-centric computing. □ PBSSD: An Ultra-High Capacity Solution With Flexible Scalability The Petabyte-Scale SSD (PBSSD) is a petabyte-class ultra-high capacity solution that provides higher reliability and scalability, flexibly varying capacity according to each application and increasing a data center’s rack density by managing the power system efficiently. □ Memory-Semantic SSD: Optimization of Data Movement Memory-Semantic SSDs transfer data through the Compute Express Link™ (CXL) interface and allow internal DRAM cache memory to efficiently handle data reading and writing, resulting in data being moved more efficiently between memory and storage. □ Second-Generation SmartSSD: In-Storage Computational Processing The second-generation SmartSSD delivers more than twice the computational performance of its predecessor and embeds a process that allows data computation to be processed in storage, minimizing data movement between the CPU, GPU, and RAM, and thereby improving system performance and energy efficiency. □ Memory Expander: Expansion to the Terabyte Scale The CXL interface-based Memory Expander can increase memory capacity to a terabyte-scale per server and supports Memory Pooling, a key feature of CXL 2.0. Memory pooling binds multiple CXL memory blocks on a server platform to form a pool, allowing multiple hosts to divide and utilize memory from the pool as needed and ensuring that the full capacity of the CXL memory is available, with no idle areas. Samsung Electronics’ Keynote Speech Reveals Technical Solutions to the Memory Wall and Emphasizes the Expansion of Open Collaboration On the second day of the event, JongGyu Park, SVP, Solution Product & Development Team at Samsung Semiconductor, delivered a keynote speech on the theme of 'Overcoming New Challenges through the Expansion of Open Collaboration.’ The largest challenge currently facing the memory industry is the memory wall. The world is experiencing a large-scale digital transformation, in which technological innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data are affecting almost all aspects of society. As a result, the total amount of data being processed has exponentially increased, which is a trend that is likely to continue in the future. Due to this increase, a memory wall phenomenon occurs in which memory performance cannot keep up with CPU development speed in four aspects: bandwidth, capacity, latency and power. A memory wall limits the data processing speed and throughput of machine learning, degrading overall system performance.
JongGyu Park, SVP, Solution Product & Development Team at Samsung Semiconductor, delivers the keynote speech.
JongGyu Park, SVP, Solution Product & Development Team at Samsung Semiconductor, delivers the keynote speech.
▲ JongGyu Park, SVP, Solution Product & Development Team at Samsung Semiconductor, delivers the keynote speech.
□ Solutions to the Memory Wall: A New Memory Hierarchy and Data-Centric Computing During the event, Samsung presented two main technological solutions to address the memory wall challenge, which are the introduction of a new memory hierarchy structure and the adoption of data-centric computing. The existing hierarchy is effective in processing small data quickly, but it faces limitations in handling large-scale data operations such as big data and machine learning, due to bottlenecks. This is why it is necessary to introduce a new hierarchy that maximizes system performance through active memory solutions such as the PBSSD and Memory Expander, which compensate for the performance gap between the existing and new structure. Data-centric computing is a new form of computer architecture that significantly enhances system performance by performing computations directly where the data is stored. In particular, it dramatically improves the problem of system performance degradation due to the increase in data travel distance and time generated by next-generation applications such as machine learning, for which large-scale data processing is essential. □ Efforts and Initiatives Toward Sustainable Computing The system performance degradation that results from the memory wall also causes more energy to be spent on data processing, and addressing this issue is closely connected to sustainable computing, which pursues energy efficiency and reductions in power consumption. Samsung Electronics announced its new environmental strategy in September last year, which includes the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. This strategy is a necessary response to a time in which global cooperation is required to reduce the large amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the massive increase in data processing. To achieve its overarching goal, Samsung has established and implemented further specific goals to minimize environmental impact in the fields of carbon, water, waste and pollutants. Samsung has developed and applied its own Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) process to calculate and monitor the carbon emissions of all its semiconductor products, and it is also cooperating to create a more sustainable semiconductor ecosystem by joining IMEC’s3 Sustainable Semiconductor Technologies and Systems (SSTS) program. Lastly, Samsung also used the platform of 2023 OCP APAC Tech Day to emphasize the need for continued open innovation. The OCP Experience Center located within the Samsung Memory Research Center (SMRC) on the Hwaseong campus serves as a foundation for partners, OCP member companies and academia to collaborate with IT stakeholders in order to solve technical challenges and further open-source development. Samsung expressed the hope to enable customers, partners and others to experience OCP-certified products that it develops and manufactures, as well as the intent to become a hub of open innovation by developing and validating solutions utilizing next-generation memory solutions and petabyte-scale storage. The future of Samsung Electronics seems truly promising as it continues to address the memory wall and drive disruptive innovation in memory through technological solutions and open collaboration.
1 The memory wall describes a performance bottleneck caused by an increasing gap between processor speed and memory access time. This issue limits system efficiency as the processor spends more time waiting for data from memory. 2 “The Innovator’s Dilemma” is a book by Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen that describes a theory about how large, outstanding firms’ successes and capabilities can become obstacles in times of changing markets & technologies. 3 IMEC: Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre

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