S. Korea's largest carrier-neutral hyperscale data center to be built by Hyundai E&C

By Lim Chang-won Posted : March 21, 2022, 16:19 Updated : March 21, 2022, 16:19

An aerial view of a data center to be built in Jukjeon. [Courtesy of Hyundai E&C]

SEOUL -- South Korea's largest carrier-neutral hyperscale data center will be built by Hyundai Engineering and Construction to provide a neutral network environment and connection services that are not limited to any telecom carriers. Construction will be completed in June 2024. 

The data center, which will be built in Jukjeon some 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Seoul, is a project promoted by Pacific Asset Management, a real estate asset management company based in South Korea, by attracting 828 billion won ($680 million) from investors including Shinhan Investment and Canada's investment management organization, CPP Investments.

A data center is a dedicated space or building that houses an organization's IT equipment and servers. A hyperscale data center refers to a facility for cloud computing and big data storage that has at least 500 storage cabinets with more than 5,000 servers connected with an ultra-high-speed optical fiber network.

Hyundai E&C, a major builder affiliated with South Korea's Hyundai auto group, said LG CNS, a data center operator affiliated with South Korea's LG Group, is in charge of infrastructure construction and operation. "Based on our technology and know-how, we will establish a leading position in data center construction," an unnamed Hyundai E&C official said in a statement on March 21. 

The builder said that the data center can deploy about 1,000 racks per data hole with a design that adjusts the distance between columns to respond quickly to the rapid expansion of equipment and provide a high-performance computing environment of more than 10 kilowatts per rack. A data center rack is a type of physical steel and electronic framework that is designed to house servers, networking devices, cables and computing equipment. 

CPP Investments said in a separate statement that the Jukjeon data center with a total gross floor area of 99,070 square meters will consist of four above-ground floors and four below-ground floors to provide commercial space for cloud service, internet service and information technology companies. It is close to the Pangyo Techno Valley, a technology hub known as South Korea's Silicon Valley. 

"Demand for data centers in the Asia Pacific continues to grow and is boosted further by the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies in South Korea are in need of digital infrastructure as the country is emerging as a technology and innovation hub in the region," Gilles Chow, a CPP managing director in charge of real estate in North Asia, was quoted as saying. 

Hyperscale computing is ideal for running infrastructure for information technology services offered by global companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. South Korea's biggest web service operator Naver joined hands with and the state-run Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) to establish an AI research center that focuses on the application of hyperscale computing.

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