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SK Telecom unveiled ‘NV Array’, a 5G storage medium co-developed with Facebook
08/23/2016 | By Yongjoo Kim (kyj@etnews.com)

<SK Telecom presented NV Array, next–generation storage medium capable of handling ultra-large volume content, at Flash Memory Summit 2016>


SK Telecom announced on the 15th that it unveiled NV Array, a next-generation storage medium for 5G mobile communication that it co-developed with Facebook, at Flash Memory Summit 2016 (FMS 2016), the world's largest event focused on flash memory solutions held in Silicon Valley, California, USA. The new storage medium, known to be capable of real-time process of ultra-large volume content, will likely help the operator offer innovative mobile and Internet service. 


Flash memory is a non-volatile storage medium that keeps data from being erased even when the power is off. It was the very first time that the operator disclosed the actual NV Arrary to the public, which can be interpreted that its commercialization is imminent.


As telecom operators and Internet service providers were all looking for fast ways to handle ever-increasing ultra-large volume data, like VR, AR, etc., SK Telecom, in cooperation with Facebook, began development of this solution last year.


NV Array, equipped with 20 built-in Solid State Drives (SSD), provides drastically faster speeds compared to conventional Hard Disk Drives (HDD). Besides, adoption of PCI Express (PCIe) interfaces makes it even faster - 5.3 times faster than conventional Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) interfaces. Also thanks to boosted capacity achieved from four host computers connected, it can handle VR/AR data, and even self-driving vehicle or UHD video data, all in real time.  


SK Telecom has maintained close partnership with its affilates like SK hynix for the development. A relevant person at the company said "There will be drastic growth in the usage of ultra-large volume data and content in 5G era expected to arrive in 2020. So development of storage media using SSD is absolutely imperative."


The operator, since joining the Open Compute Project (OCP), a project for innovative data center founded by Facebook last year, has been focusing on designing a data processing system optimized for the mobile industry and developing key technologies in need, while improving the overall efficiency of hardware and software used in data center. The new NV Array technology is to be shared through OCP soon.    


The new technology will be applied to servers in the operator's network first, in the first half of 2017.


Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO at SK Telecom, noted "What VR, AR, UHD, and self-driving vehicle need in common is a 5G platform and flash-based high-performance, high-density storage to support the platform. We will lead 5G evolution by sharing NV Arrary technology with OCP members."



<source: SK Telecom, KRnet 2016>

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