Las Vegas Sphere has 4,000TB SSD storage delivering 400GB/s throughput — World's only 16K display requires some exquisite technology to keep it going

Las Vegas Sphere
(Image credit: Sphere Entertainment)

We’ve written previously about some of the technology that powers the Las Vegas Sphere, including the 16K interior LED screen, and the ultra-high resolution 18K camera system. Now, details have emerged of the storage employed by the massive music and entertainment arena located east of the Las Vegas Strip.

Everything about the Sphere is bleeding edge, and Hitachi Vantara has detailed how its software technology processes Sphere's original and immersive content and helps stream it to both the 160,000 square-foot interior LED display and 580,000 square-foot Exosphere.

Hitachi Content Software for File, which Hitachi describes as a “high-performance, software-defined, distributed parallel filesystem storage solution”  is an integral part of things. It consists of 27 nodes, with 4PB of flash storage for playback within Sphere.

Postcard from Earth

The system streams content in real-time to 7thSense media servers, each streaming 4K video at 60 frames per second. As you might expect, this is a world-first in terms of technology capability at this scale.

"Sphere represents a new, completely immersive and visually powerful entertainment experience," said Octavian Tanase, Chief Product Officer, Hitachi Vantara. "To make sure that the technology behind it was ready to meet the challenge, Hitachi Vantara worked closely with the Sphere team to test, measure, and enhance how the data is processed, streamed, and projected. Quality-wise, the resolution and color are second to none, and this project has exceeded our already high expectations."

For Darren Aronofsky's original immersive film, Postcard from Earth, the system had to handle over 400GB/s of throughput at sub 5 milliseconds of latency and a 12-bit color display at a 444 subsampling.

"Sphere is home to many firsts, one of which is streaming immersive, high-resolution video content on a scale that has never been done before," added Alex Luthwaite, SVP, Show Systems Technology, Sphere Entertainment. "Hitachi Vantara worked with our team to develop a solution that's fast, reliable, and efficient."

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Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.