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Red Hat and Samsung agree landmark software deal to develop next-gen storage

The partnership is a first for Samsung as the companies commit to developing memory software designs that can keep up with emerging tech

Samsung and Red Hat have announced partnership that will see the two companies jointly develop software for next-generation memory hardware.

The landmark partnership - a first for Samsung - will see the two companies work on both new and existing hardware such as NVMe SSDs, CXL memory, and smart SSDs, and will aim to build “an expansive ecosystem” to integrate hardware and software.

Samsung said it has never partnered with any company in the open source space, but the Red Hat deal is poised to “foster engagements across the IT marketplace”, suggesting similar deals in the future.

Emerging applications such as the metaverse and existing technology still under rapid development, like artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR), are the driving force behind the disruptive changes to memory designs currently in use, Samsung said.

“In the upcoming data-centric era, the integration of memory-centric hardware and software architectures will become increasingly essential, and for this purpose, Red Hat is happy to participate in the joint undertaking with Samsung,” added Marjet Andriesse, Senior Vice President and Head of Red Hat Asia Pacific.

Both Samsung and Red Hat will collaborate on their research and new memory designs via the to-be-launched Samsung Memory Research Cloud (SMRC) - a “collaboration hub” through which both companies can develop new memory software to function across a range of server environments.

The SMRC will eventually be opened up to customers and other partners, the pair said, allowing for opportunities to test software developments and help to fine-tune the software’s configurations so that it performs optimally across different types of memory hardware.

In addition to developing new memory software, the companies will be working with the Linux community and feeding their findings into Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) as well as other, unnamed, open source software stacks.

“Samsung and Red Hat will make a concerted effort to define and standardise memory software solutions that embrace evolving server and memory hardware, while building a more robust memory ecosystem,” said Yongcheol Bae, Executive Vice President and Head of the Memory Application Engineering Team at Samsung Electronics.

“We will invite partners from across the IT industry to join us in expanding the software-hardware memory ecosystem to create greater customer value.”

The companies say the SMRC platform is not just a purpose-built collaboration system for this specific project. They claim that it will be instead designed in a way that allows it to be re-used for future IT innovations, following its launch in the second half of the year.

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