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Tech giants team up for green technology

Samsung Electronics, KT to cooperate for energy-efficient cloud service


Samsung Electronics and KT Corp. are joining forces in a project to foster energy-efficient cloud computing to cope with exploding data demand amid a smartphone boom.

The two companies signed an agreement Monday under which Samsung will install its new memory chips into a low-power server that KT is setting up in its data centers. Samsung will also provide solutions for energy saving.

The “Green IT System” is aimed at boosting the Korea’s two industry heavyweights’ global competitiveness in environmentally friendly technology, they said.

It is the latest signal of a thawing of their relations, which went sour following KT’s launch of Apple’s iPhone in late 2009.

KT’s server will be powered by Samsung 30-nanometer dynamic random access memory chips, which the company claims to have twice or three times higher power efficiency compared to existing ones.

The global No. 1 chipmaker succeeded in commercializing the so-called “green memory chip” in June, the first anywhere in the world.

The latest product can lower power consumption by more than 70 percent, the firm said in a statement. That would save an annual average of 12 billion won ($10.6 million) for a data server with 1,000 racks.

“This year, Samsung will expand its global share of eco-friendly servers with joint international marketing campaigns with KT for the Green IT System,” said Hong Wan-hoon, head of Samsung’s memory strategy marketing. 
KT Corp.’s service innovation division head Song Jung-hee (second from left) and Samsung Electronics’ memory strategy marketing chief Hong Wan-hoon (second from right) pose after signing a deal to jointly develop the “Green IT System” in Seoul on Monday. (Samsung Electronics)
KT Corp.’s service innovation division head Song Jung-hee (second from left) and Samsung Electronics’ memory strategy marketing chief Hong Wan-hoon (second from right) pose after signing a deal to jointly develop the “Green IT System” in Seoul on Monday. (Samsung Electronics)
Workers check server computers at a KT data center in Seoul. (The Korea Herald)
Workers check server computers at a KT data center in Seoul. (The Korea Herald)

KT, the country’s largest telecom operator, announced in August a plan to invest 120 billion won in cloud computing service by 2011. It launched a cloud data center late last year in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province.

“KT will be able to provide customers with a more competitive service by effectively supporting increasing data traffic and saving energy costs through the green cloud computing system,” said Song Jung-hee, chief of KT’s service innovation arm.

In November 2009, KT teamed up with Samsung’s biggest competitor Apple Inc. to release its smash hit iPhone estranging its traditional ally Samsung.

Samsung came up with a new subsidy policy for its Omnia 2 under which SK Telecom, KT’s archrival, can sell the smartphone cheaper. The relationship became even more bitter in June when Samsung launched its flagship Galaxy S solely through SK along with other new handsets and product upgrades.

The tension has eased a bit since KT started working with Samsung and Intel Corp. to build a cloud communication center since last year based on the fourth-generation Long Term Evolution technology, an emerging tool to cope with abrupt data traffic surges by relocating radio resources.

Showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Spain last month, KT plans to test-run the network in July here, aiming to expand full-scale early next year. 

Market researcher IDC estimates global spending on cloud computing at $44.2 billion in 2013, up more than 150 percent from $17.4 billion in 2009, claiming a 25-percent stake of the IT market by 2012.

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)
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