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Thriving in the Data Tsunami
Source: Tom Coughlin

Micron Insight explored the role of high performance memory and storage in dealing with the deluge of data that are about to descend upon us. They also announced major initiatives to invest in development of AI using advanced memory as well as greater diversity. Tom is the chairman of the 2018 Storage Visions Conference.

Tom Stanis from Verily Life Science said that a full 5 TB of data was create by sequencing an individual human genome. He also said that there were 10X more microbial than human cells in the body. This human biome, which mostly lives in the gut and skin has millions of its own genes. Medical researchers came to the conclusion that many human diseases are caused not just from our own genetics but also by the kind of bacteria that we have in and on our bodies. An interesting figure from that talk showed that the bacterial biome contributed many more indirect human genome variants than direct human genome variants as shown below.

A Children’s Hospital University of Michigan Health System study showed that in 95% of patients DNA sequencing revealed new information that could be used for future drug discovery. In 46% of patients they found new actionable information that was useful for the patients care team. In 25% of patients this information led to specific changes in a treatment plan.

In order to deal with information of this magnitude and complexity faster memory and storage will be needed. Micron Ventures said that it will be investing $100 M in new ventures focused on AI and applications. 20% of this money is targeted at minority backed start-ups led by women and underrepresented groups.

Micron also announced that it was making $1M available to “Advance Curiosity in Artificial Intelligence” The fund will provide grants to universities and other non-profits organization to conduct research on AI. For the latter grants, some of this money will go to efforts at Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley as well as a nonprofit working to increase diversity and inclusion in A.I. education, research, development and policy.

The company announcement said that “The move comes as A.I. and machine learning continue to make headlines across the technology industry, and while most organizations are still in early stages of experimentation. As companies develop more complex A.I. and machine learning models and start working on more advanced use cases, the hardware used to train and run those models will become increasingly more important. This requires a detailed look at compute, memory and storage configurations to avoid performance and throughput bottlenecks and drive faster, better results.”

At the Micron Insights event the company and several users discussed how SSDs, DRAM and High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) can provide these solutions, but the company also said that by the end of 2019 it will introduce its own 3D XPoint DIMM based products with volume expected in 2020.

At the 2018 Storage Visions Conference, October 22-23, 2018 industry experts will discuss ways to deal with the data tsunami that will engulf us if we aren’t prepared. Memory and storage that support using AI to understand and manage data will needed to deal with all this complex data. You can find out more about the Storage Visions Conference at

Tom Coughlin consults and writes on digital storage and applications. He is chairman of the Storage Visions and Creative Storage Conferences,


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