Storage Needs Are Skyrocketing
Technology innovation has soared over the past decade, with exciting new enhancements across all aspects of high-performance computing. From artificial intelligence (AI), to the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G, new advanced technologies are transforming the data center market and mobile device ecosystem, and, in turn, shaping how businesses and consumers interact with the world around them.
This exciting advent of high-performance computing and high-bandwidth applications not only requires super-fast transfer speeds, it also necessitates exponentially more memory and storage, either on personal device or cloud servers.
Historically, memory and storage have been limited to a passive role – that is, storing data on the device without any significant processing or offloading of that processing. Subsequently, innovation within the memory and storage industry over the years has been laser-focused on performance enhancements and capacity increases, and we’ve all benefited from significant improvements in read/write transfer speeds and capacity sizes, all at lower costs. Yet nothing fundamentally groundbreaking has happened to transform the role that memory and storage can play in the overall ecosystem – until now.
The Era of Big Data
We now live in the era of big data. According to research conducted by analyst firm IDC, the amount of data we generate is doubling in size every two years and by 2020 – less than two years from now – the data we create and copy will reach 44 trillion gigabytes (also known as 44 zettabytes)!
This astronomical increase in the amount of data that needs to be processed each and every second shines a spotlight on the importance of memory and storage. Despite our advancements in capacity, performance and transfer speeds, in order for the memory and storage industry to handle this influx of big data, new solutions need to embrace active memory and storage that can offload some of the system burden or efficiently process data locally, where it is stored, to save valuable time and power, instead of relying on the passive storage solutions of yesterday.
The New Role of Memory and Storage
As we shift from passive to active memory and storage, those solutions take on an important and more substantial role – sharing the burden of data processing. For example, with active memory and storage, we can now process stored data within the SSD itself, instead of loading heavy data onto the host to process. By enabling our more powerful memory and storage solutions to share the burden, data processing can be handled more effectively and efficiently, eliminating the need for transferring, processing and temporarily storing data elsewhere on the host. This results in a number of benefits to the user, including improved overall system performance and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
A New Host Ecosystem
So how do we enable this shift to active memory and storage solutions that can offload data processing from the host device and make the entire ecosystem more efficient and innovative? The answer lies in building a host ecosystem that enables everyone, industry-wide, to contribute to memory and storage advancement through open innovation.
In order to truly create change and usher in the next era of memory and storage innovation, we at Samsung believe that we must go beyond single individuals or companies and come together to embrace the development capabilities of the entire industry. Open innovation will make this a reality and will enable us to accelerate the development of the memory and storage ecosystem.
As Samsung plays an active role in leading the industry towards a more open model of technology development and encouraging new ideas via open innovation, the future of active memory and storage solutions will be here sooner than one might think.
Driving the Ecosystem via Open Innovation
Samsung is leading a number of activities to coalesce software engineers, students and the memory industry at large, in order to drive the open innovation initiative and advance the ecosystem. These include:
- A Push for Standardization:
The Future of Memory and Storage Innovation
Technology standardization – including the technologies driven by NVMe, SNIA and JEDEC standard organizations – helps facilitate cooperation and a common language amongst customers, partners and all ecosystem players. Standardization also helps promote healthy competition as new technologies are developed and made widely available, which is ultimately better for customers and the entire industry.
- The Release of Open Source Host Software:
Samsung encourages companies to release their open source host software and invite developers to improve function and performance. Samsung is leading the way through releasing its own open source software to the ecosystem as well. Since May 2018, Samsung has uploaded open source host software through OpenMPDK GitHub.
By opening up software code, the myriad expertise and voices of developers worldwide can offer assistance in improving memory and storage software.
- Provide Reference Memory and Storage Devices:
In order to advance a full system, developers also need access to reference memory or storage devices. Samsung will provide select memory and storage devices to universities for research purposes so that students can learn and test how to improve and enhance active memory and storage solutions.
- Host Innovation Competitions:
Competitive software programming events, also known as “hackathons,” can serve as a driving function to promote open source platforms and bring the industry together to innovate and collaborate. This type of event can showcase the potential of applications for specific SSD solutions, such as holding a contest around how to best utilize a certain SSD for specific use-cases and host architectures. These Industry events can also provide a platform for educational resources via seminars, demonstrations and more.
The future of memory and storage solutions lies in open innovation, with the whole industry coming together to collaborate and create solutions that transform memory and storage from a passive to an active role. As we shift to active memory and storage solutions that share the burden of data processing, we will need a host ecosystem to fully introduce and drive adoption of the necessary standards and open source software. Samsung looks forward to taking a leading role in bringing the industry together and setting an example by pushing for standardization, opening up its host software code, providing reference memory and storage devices, hosting industry events and competitions, and providing the necessary industry education and seminars so that we can all improve, inspire and innovate for the next era of memory and storage solutions.