Singtel advances AI development in Singapore and the region with strategic partners

Singtel debuted its initiative to advance AI development in Singapore and the region, tying up with global and local ecosystem partners across AI, renewable energy, sustainable technologies and talent development. The initiative comes as the company is scaling its regional data centre business, having gained a foothold in new markets beyond Singapore like Indonesia and Thailand where it is building a new generation of green, sustainable and hyper-connected AI-ready data centres.

This was unveiled at the launch of Singtel’s new data centre brand Nxera. Central to the initiative are four sets of strategic Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) including collaborating with NVIDIA to make AI adoption more accessible in Singapore and across the region; tapping the renewable energy expertise of Gulf Energy, Medco Power, Sembcorp and TNB Renewables to accelerate Nxera’s journey towards net-zero emissions; establishing a co-innovation platform with technology partners to improve power and water efficiency and operational resiliency; and creating a Regional Sustainable Data Centre Academy with five institutes of higher learning to train more than 150 students annually for its data centre business, ecosystem partners and the industry. Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information witnessed the signing of all these MOUs at the event. 

Mr Bill Chang, CEO of Nxera and Singtel’s Digital InfraCo unit said, “The launch of the Nxera data centre brand is a key milestone for our data centre business as we look to expand our footprint in the region beyond 200MW over the next three years. As we build out our data centre business, we are putting in place a purpose-driven, fully aligned group of ecosystem partners with distinctive capabilities and unique platforms that will help us grow this digital infrastructure in an AI world – sustainably and responsibly. This means democratising AI access for enterprises, introducing renewable energy and sustainable technologies, and helping produce the talent for our new generation of data centres.”

He added, “Digitalisation shouldn’t come at the expense of our decarbonisation efforts. In fact, it should accelerate our efforts. Given our aim to achieve operational net-zero emissions for our data centre business by 2028, these partnerships are critical to laying the groundwork for turning digitalisation into a driver for decarbonisation. Of course, we are also doing our utmost to support the Singapore government’s recently announced National AI Strategy 2.0 and green ICT agenda.”

Singtel’s Digital InfraCo unit and NVIDIA will collaborate on opportunities to support Singapore’s updated National AI Strategy 2.0 to drive innovation and create new value through AI. In becoming an NVIDIA cloud partner in the region, Singtel will democratise AI access for enterprises, large and small, to NVIDIA GPU clusters hosted in Nxera’s AI DC platform in the region. Customers can leverage Singtel’s extensive fixed broadband network, submarine cables and 5G high-speed network connectivity together with the patented Paragon cloud platform to orchestrate their AI workloads in a multi-network and multi-cloud environment. Nxera will also provide customers with carrier neutrality to meet all their connectivity resiliency needs.

To achieve operational net-zero emissions by 2028, Nxera is working with leading energy players such as Sembcorp in Singapore and Gulf Energy, Medco Power and TNB Renewables in the region to tap on their renewable energy initiatives. Gulf Energy and Medco Power are partners in Nxera’s data centre joint ventures in Thailand and Indonesia respectively.

Nxera aims to achieve the lowest PUE and the highest water usage efficiency as part of developing the most sustainable data centre platform to power the AI future. In the area of sustainable technologies, Nxera and its partners, comprising local enterprises Deston and SGP Global as well as global leaders QCT, Shell, Stulz and Supermicro, will establish a co-innovation platform to develop and test liquid and immersion cooling and also water-saving technologies. When these technologies are operationalised, they will be implemented in DC Tuas in Singapore and data centres in the region. DC Tuas will have a PUE of 1.23 at full load and will be one of the lowest PUE and most efficient data centres in Asia.

Nxera also intends to develop a smart IoT and digital twin platform with local software company Red Dot Analytics to monitor, manage and optimise its data centre operations, using the platform’s predictive and simulation capabilities to achieve better overall energy efficiency and operational resiliency.

Mr Chang said, “As an industry leader, we are developing a sustainable data centre talent pipeline to power our growth in the region. It will augment and strengthen our long-standing expertise in designing, developing and operating data centres as we aim to make Nxera a trusted data centre brand that is future-proofed – one that provides excellent interconnectivity, efficiency, resiliency with high power density, while remaining sustainable.”  

Serving the digital infrastructure needs of hyperscalers and enterprises, Nxera is currently developing three AI data centre projects. The new 58MW DC Tuas in Singapore and data centres with partners Telkom and Medco Power in Indonesia and Gulf Energy and AIS in Thailand will increase its total pipeline capacity to more than 200MW from its current operational capacity of 62MW in Singapore. These new data centres will be standardised for customers across countries to give those with multi-country operations a consistent experience and greater speed to market, and Nxera will continue to execute on this approach as it expands its footprint in Asia Pacific.

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