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Capabilities of Data Storage Institute continue to support national priorities

Originating as the Magnetics Technology Centre (MTC) in the early 1990s, Data Storage Institute’s (DSI) purpose was to undertake R&D in magnetics technology for hard disk drive (HDD). By translating research into economic outcomes for Singapore, DSI also played a critical role in moving Singapore’s data storage industry up the value chain and creating high-value jobs.

The founding Executive Director of DSI, currently the CEO of National Research Foundation (NRF), Prof Low Teck Seng said: “When DSI was established in the early 1990s to undertake R&D in storage manufacturing, it moved Singapore up the value chain from merely manufacturing hard disk drives to higher value-added activities such as hard disk media research and hard disk drive design.”

Due to rapid technological advances and the wave of digitalisation, the data storage industry has evolved and transformed. In Singapore, the HDD industry is also impacted by these global trends. The industry went through considerable consolidation with much of the production now happens outside of Singapore.

Given these industry shifts, A*STAR announced that it has decided to redeploy its talent and resources at the DSI to other A*STAR research units to deepen and complement relevant capabilities in those units in order to deliver greater impact in line with national priorities.

According to the press release by A*STAR, digital information is exchanged at lightning speed today, with mobile devices more powerful than PCs now fit modern processing power in a pocket and Internet of Things (IoT) devices being able to sense and respond to their environments.

As A*STAR drives economic mission-oriented research and development that advances science and innovation, it has to pro-actively adapt to, and anticipate, the rapidly changing industry landscape and opportunities arising from shifts in global trends and demands.

“Today, as the data storage industry evolves, I am happy to see that DSI’s capabilities and resources are being redeployed to take Singapore’s electronics and infocomms industry to the next level,” said Prof Low Teck Seng.

In view of how data technologies have become vitally important to all sectors of work and life, A*STAR is working towards a closer coupling of data science and technology to derive greater synergies to support Singapore’s economy. The redeployment of DSI’s talent and resources allows A*STAR to organise its capabilities to better support the strategic technology domains of Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) national strategy, and develop competitive advantages.

DSI’s expertise in non-volatile memory, disk drive design and systems, and data centre network technologies, will continue to contribute significantly to the agency’s key priorities such as Future of Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Industrial IoT and Cybersecurity.

As an example, DSI’s capabilities in non-volatile memory and optical storage research will enable its scientists to contribute to the next generation technologies of artificial intelligence, edge computing and quantum information.

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