Subject: General Tech | November 30, 2012 - 01:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nand, EMC, phase change memory
SSDs are not that old but already there is a challenge that must be overcome if it is to remain a viable storage medium. As Allyn has discussed many times in articles and on the podcast, as NAND process shrinks continue, the number of write cycles before failure drops which lowers the life expectancy of the drive even while it allows for high capacity chips and lower power consumption. Zahid Hussain is EMC's flash product division general manager and he is confident that his company will be able to do what Hynix, Samsung and others have so far been unable to do; work with Micron to replace the NAND chips with Phase Change Memory based chips. This type of chip is non-volatile and could also find its way into DIMMs as well. Read more at The Register.
"It is anticipated that, as NAND process geometries shrink beyond 15nm or so, the working life will fall off drastically, speed will slacken and the error checking and correction logic will become much more complicated. At that point, roughly, it is hoped, a post-NAND technology will be productised and deliver chips that are denser than flash, faster than flash, approaching DRAM speed, byte-addressable instead of block-addressable, and with a longer working life. That seems like a real big ask."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- RIM announces updates to developer ecosystem programs @ The Register
- Updating the 2012 AnandTech SMB / SOHO NAS Testbed
- Guru3D Rig of the Month - November 2012
- Double Fine’s Brad Muir dishes out BRAZEN details @ Kitguru
- In Calculator Arms Race, Casio Fires Back: Color Touchscreen ClassPad @ Slashdot
Podcast #221 - Intel Clover Trail, AMD's Trinity Desktop APUs, the Samsung 840 SSD with TLC, and more!
Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2012 - 02:56 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: trinity, TLD, ssd, Samsung, podcast, nand, clover trail, APU, a8, A10-5800k, a10, 830
PC Perspective Podcast #221 - 10/04/2012
Join us this week as we talk about Intel Clover Trail, AMD's Trinity Desktop APUs, the Samsung 840 SSD with TLC, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom Allyn Malvantano, and Scott Michaud
Program length: 1:21:21
Podcast topics of discussion:
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- 0:49:00 This podcast is brought to you by alxTech
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- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
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Biwin is a flash storage manufacturer founded in 1995 that holds headquarters in Shenzhen, China and specializing in USB, memory card, and SSD flash storage. They have 20 SMT assembly lines, ISO9001:2000 factories, and employ more than 50 skilled engineers. Recently, the company founded a subsidiary, Biwin America with headquarters in San Jose, California. The new company will further expand the company's SSD offerings by developing and producing advanced solid state drives for the Enterprise, Embedded, and Consumer markets.
Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for the newly founded Biwin America stated that the company "will be dedicated to developing flash storage solutions that deliver superior performance and reliability." He further noted that the team is very excited to bring new SSDs to the market.
A Biwin SATA 3 SSD
Biwin features 20 SMT (surface-mount technology) lines, die sorting, die packaging, and "sophisticated test and QC processes." They are bringing their experience with flash storage to bear on the US market as they prepare new and expanded SSD products that it will sell direct to OEMs as well as to consumers through authorized distributors.
More information on the company can be found here.
Subject: Memory | December 23, 2011 - 04:10 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: supply, ram, price increase, nand, dram market, adata
Computer enthusiasts and OEMs alike have been living the dream of extremely cheap RAM modules; however, Adata CEO Simon Chen believes that the dream may be close to ending. In 2012, the DRAM manufacturers will start to cut production such that they are reducing supply and thus can charge more than they currently can (they have been producing DRAM consistently over the past couple years such that there has been more than enough supply and thus a lower cost). After the holiday season, PC OEMs will start to replenish their inventories and when they do, they will be increasing inventories to a months supply instead of a two week supply.
Chen notes that the four major manufacturers of DRAM chips including Elpida Memory, Hynix Semiconductor, Micron Technology, and Powerchip Technology have suffered from selling the chips at such reduced prices for so long. While DRAM chips produced on older manufacturing processes may still be sold below the cost of production, newer DRAM manufactured on the 30nm process "will rebound from the current bottom level to a level above cash-flow production cost."
In addition to the reduced production and newer process, the demand for DRAM in general is expected to decrease due to the rising popularity of mobile computers, Chen notes. Further, the decrease in desktop DRAM demand is balanced out by increased demand for server memory from data centers purchasing additional RAM direct from the manufacturers as the server OEMs charge a hefty premium for RAM. Due to the shake up in the industry, "many makers of DRAM modules have shifted business operation to other areas" like ruggedized memory and to producing NAND flash chips for SSDs.
Admittedly, the memory makers are walking a fine line between spinning down production and being accused of price fixing; however, the ride has been a good one for consumers for a while now and the manufacturers are likely getting tired of the razor thing profit margins. Chen's analysis of the situation may be correct in light of that fact, the new process technology allowing for better yields combined with generally lower production while the big OEMs will be buying up more RAM for their own inventories may well spell the end of being able to impulse buy tons of DDR3 RAM! What are your thoughts on both Chen's analysis of the price increase and the industry itself- do you think prices are likely to go up next year?
According to VR-Zone, Intel's newest enterprise series 710 Lyndonville solid state drives (SSD) will be launching soon in a mid-august time frame, and will be carrying a price-per-gigabyte metric that only a corporate expense account could love.
The Intel 311. The 710 series will have the same 2.5" form factor.
The new drives will come in 100GB, 200GB, and 300GB capacities and will be priced at approximately $650, $1250, and $1900 USD respectively. Featuring 25mm eMLC HET, the drives feature 64MB of cache, user-controllable over-provisioning up to 20% (which helps drive longevity by reserving more of the drive for replacement of worn out cells), and a SATA II 3.0Gbps connection. The SATA 3Gbps connection is not likely to bottleneck the drive as it will only feature 270MB/s read and 210MB/s write speeds.
The eMLC HET flash chips are higher quality MLC chips that Intel hopes will provide enterprise level SLC enduring without the higher cost of the SLC chips. Interestingly, the drives only carry a 3 year warranty that is then further impacted by the state of the E9 wear level indicator so that the warranty expires once the three years are up or the E9 indicator reaches 1, whichever comes first. The consumer grade Intel 320 drives on the other hand carry a longer 5 year warranty.
My aging X-25 drive remembers the days when Intel pushed for driving down the cost of SSDs; however, does Intel still remember that goal?
Samsung recently began production on new 20nm MLC NAND flash memory chips with densities of 64Gb (Gigabit) and a toggle DDR 2.0 interface. The chips are not only twice as dense as their previous NAND chips, but Samsung also claims that they are capable of 400Mbps of bandwidth.
This 400Mbps bandwidth is thanks to a new toggle DDR 2.0 interface, which purports to bring a three times performance increase over the 133Mbps of bandwidth provided by the older toggle DDR1 interface with 32Gb NAND chips. Samsung further states that the new 64Gb MLC NAND chip offers close to a 50% increase in productivity versus 20nm 32Gb MLC NAND with a toggle DDR 1.o interface that Samsung began producing in April 2010.
The press release also states that:
"According to IHS iSuppli, the worldwide NAND flash memory market will continue to steadily grow from approximately 11 billion 1 Gigabyte (GB) equivalent unitsin 2010 to 94 billion 1GB equivalent units in 2015 with a CAGR of 54 percent. In addition, shipments of NAND flash memory with 64Gb or higher density are expected to account for approximately 70 percent of total NAND flash memory shipments in 2012, a huge increase from the three percent level in 2010."
The NAND flash market is certainly seeing rapid growth and technological progression, with the proliferation of SSDs from Intel, OCZ, Crucial, and others. As densities of flash memory get higher and manufacturing nodes get smaller, cheaper and more spacious storage will make it's way to both future mobile devices and solid state drives, which is good news for both consumers and Samsung.