Samsung Acquires NVELO and SSD Caching Software Dataplex

Subject: Storage | December 16, 2012 - 06:59 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Samsung, Nvelo Dataplex, nvelo

Thanks to those of you that sent this in to us as it will likely be very big news to discuss during the upcoming CES in January.  Samsung Electronics announced it has acquired NVELO, a California based SSD technology company most popularly known for Dataplex, software used for storage caching.

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Many of the most popular caching SSDs from companies like OCZ, Corsair, Crucial and Mushkin are currently licensing the Dataplex software to bundle with select lines of drives to enable SSD caching technology without using Intel's Smart Response Technology.  We tested the Dataplex software on the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid back in December of last year and we found no issue with it compared to Intel's tech.

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Simple Dataplex installation process

As of this writing though Samsung does not have a caching system of its own or a line of drives using anyone else's technology.  Samsung in general prefers to have a completely vertical product line in which it can control as many aspects as possible: NAND, design, sales, etc.  It would appear that they have decided that simply buying up the privately held NVELO would be the simplest and surest way to make a splash.

"The acquisition of NVELO will enable us to extend our ability to provide SSD related storage solutions to customers. We are pleased with this transaction as the employees of NVELO share our vision to take SSD storage into the next-generation of performance and reliability," said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president of Flash product & technology, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics.

What we don't know of course is how this will affect the competing SSD vendors like OCZ and Corsair.  It seems unlikely that Samsung will kill the deal for currently selling SSDs but I wouldn't expect NVELO to be able to offer the software for license in the future.  Current sellers will need to be on the lookout for another software solution after the new year. 

On the other hand I am very interested to see what Samsung can do with NVELO's technology and what integration methods they'll devise for future products. 

Samsung's off kilter 27" LED LCD

Subject: Displays | November 29, 2012 - 10:56 AM |
Tagged: T27B750, Samsung, led lcd, 27, 1080p

The look of the Samsung T27B750 is certainly unique, though the size and shape of the footprint may turn out to be inconvenient for some desks.  On the other hand it does more than you would expect from your monitor, it has integrated WiFi, internet apps, a built-in browser as well as speakers and it even comes with a remote control.  The connectivity is a little questionable as well, there are HDMI, DisplayPort and DSub but it lacks a DVI input which seems odd, though it can be worked around.  It is too bad that the display is only 1080p and Tweaknews would have preferred that it be a 120Hz display to support 3D, however it does make a decent jack of all trades.

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"With the line between monitors and fully functional TVs becoming blurred with every model release and the ever expanding size of mainstream monitors for home consumers, your average household is rapidly turning to an all in one solution to save space and increase the overall value of their single purchase."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

Source: Tweaknews

A $250 Dual Core Cortex A15 powered Chromebook from Samsung

Subject: Mobile | November 23, 2012 - 11:59 AM |
Tagged: ubuntu, Chromebook, cortex a15, Samsung, linux, exynos 5

At $250 this Samsung Chromebook costs less than most tablets or phones but can outperform previous A9 powered models and the Atom D525 as well.  The processor is Samsung's Exynos 5, a dual core A15 chip running at 1.7GHz with ARM's Mali-T604 graphics  and is accompanied by 2GB of DDR3 and a 16GB SSD.  It can be loaded with Ubuntu 13.04 and offers a compelling and inexpensive alternative to Sleekbooks and Ultrabooks as it weighs 2.5lbs and is 11.4" x 8.09" x 0.69" and promises over 6 hours of battery life.  Check out how it performs at Phoronix.

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"Google recently launched the Samsung Chromebook that for $249 USD features an 11-inch display, a 16GB SSD, a promise of 6.5-hour battery life, and is backed by a Samsung Exynos 5 SoC. The Samsung Exynos 5 packs a 1.7GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor with ARM Mali-T604 graphics. With using this new ARM Cortex-A15 chip plus the Samsung Chromebook not being locked down so it can be loaded up with a Linux distribution like Ubuntu or openSUSE, it was a must-buy for carrying out some interesting Cortex-A15 Linux benchmarks. The Exynos 5 Dual in this affordable laptop packs an impressive performance punch."

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Mobile

Source: Phoronix

Samsung's new 21nm Toggle TLC Flash based Series 840 SSDs

Subject: Storage | November 20, 2012 - 12:48 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, 840, tlc

As part of their review of the Samsung 840 250GB SSD, The Tech Report covers the specifics of the TLC flash memory which is used in the 840 series as opposed to the MLC we saw in the 830 series.   As well they show off some of the capabilities of the control software, which Samsung has dubbed the SSD Magician utility.  Of course from there the benchmarking begins which showed performance continually below the similarly priced 830 series which hurts the new SSDs on the price to performance chart.  Overall they are hard pressed to recommend the drive over the previous models, not only because of the performance but also the shortened lifespan of TLC flash.  As that flash technology matures we may see those concerns fade, as Allyn pointed out in his review.

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"Samsung's 840 Series SSD combines a next-gen fabrication process with an extra bit per cell to lower the cost per gigabyte. We take a closer look at the implications and see how the drive stacks up against the competition."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Too big for comfort? The Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Subject: Mobile | November 19, 2012 - 11:48 AM |
Tagged: Samsung, galaxy note 2, phablet

Even with its overly large body the original Samsung Galaxy Note sold well, as it sported a large screen to go with its large body.  The second version now has a slightly larger screen of 5.5" and slightly smaller body but not enough to shrink the phone noticeably.  Apart from its size the other unique feature that the Note 2 has is the S Pen which allows you to draw and write on the screen, a feature that attracted many users to the original model.  Also worth noting is the graphics chip, instead of the more common Snapdragon this phone has a Exynos processor which is up to most tasks but when running apps which are optimized for the other graphics chips you may notice the quality degrade a bit.  TechSpot has a full review of this phablet right here.

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"The Samsung Galaxy Note II is big. Colossally big. It's important to get that description out of the way because anyone who sees or holds the Galaxy Note II will have no choice but to be taken aback by how large is the phone-meets-tablet.

The same predicament made doubters believe that the original Galaxy Note was too big to succeed, but millions of phones sold later, that proved to be a false prediction. The Galaxy Note II is a smooth and dynamic experience from top to bottom. It's probably too big as a phone or too small as a tablet for most, but many will find it's a comfortable compromise between the two form factors."

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Mobile

Source: TechSpot

Ready for the next OLED let down ... bendable cellphones

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | November 16, 2012 - 09:35 AM |
Tagged: oled, Samsung, smartphone

If the marketing had been accurate we would now all be using millimetre thin displays with vibrant colours and near instantaneous response, either on our desks or in some form of electronic paper.  Unfortunately organic LED screens have proven both difficult and expensive to make, with manufacturers still trying to find a way to make large OLED devices affordable for consumers.  The next possible product is one we have seen prototypes of but if Samsung is to be believed they will be hawking bendable plastic phones next year.  OLED phones would have several benefits, without glass they would weigh less than a traditional phone and could be somewhat slimmer, but the biggest benefit to OLEDs is that they can tolerate bending and twisting and still function properly.  Hit up The Register for more on Samsung's new plans as well as a look at some of the prototypes previously offered by their competitors, but not Apple.

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"Development work on Samsung mobiles fitted with flexible OLED displays is nearing completing, with handsets set to be released in the first half of 2013, it has been claimed.

A source said to be close to the matter reckons Samsung is almost ready to launch flexible displays for mobile handsets, the Wall Street Journal reports."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Samsung teams up with Ubisoft to include Assassin's Creed III with 840 Pro purchases

Subject: Storage | November 7, 2012 - 11:32 AM |
Tagged: ubisoft, Samsung, 840 pro

We're used to seeing various video card vendors tossing in some game titles to sweeten the deal. Now Samsung has jumped in the ring by including bonus copies of Assassin's Creed III with the purchase of 128, 256, or 512GB 840 Pro Series SSDs.

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For a limited time, those who purchase a new 840 Pro will receive a download code for the new game. Note: this deal *does not* apply to the TLC-flash-equipped 840 Series (non-pro).

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Press blast after the break:

Super Plane-to-Line Switching from Samsung

Subject: Displays | November 6, 2012 - 03:45 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, S27B970D, Super IPS, 2560x1440, 27

Super PLS is Samsung's attempt to improve IPS displays, they suggest that this technology will provide better brightness and viewing angles as well as lowering production costs, the latter benefit perhaps being the most attractive.  At a selling price of $1000 this might be hard to believe as is the 4th most expensive 27" on NewEgg right now.  ModSynergy also ran into issues trying to use the onboard speakers as HDMI cannot provide the maximum resolution of 2560x1440 and while using Dual-DVI you can get sound because there is no dedicated sound input jack. See if it is worth the investment by checking out their full review.

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"Today we look at Samsung's second integration of Super PLS technology in their lineup with this time the Series 9 S27B970D. What a great follow-up to the Series 8 S27A850D we had for you one month ago. It will be interesting to see and pinpoint the differences between both models aside from the higher price tag. One of the key differences being pushed off the bat by Samsung is the built-in calibration engine and factory professional tuning that the Series 9 S27B970D offers out of the box for unmatched visual experience, according to Samsung."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

Source: ModSynergy

Samsung Launches New ARM-Powered XE303C12 Chromebook

Subject: General Tech | October 20, 2012 - 06:40 PM |
Tagged: xe303c12, Samsung, laptop, google, Exynos 5250, Chromebook, chrome os, arm

While Android gets most of the attention, it is not the only operating system from Google. Chrome OS was released two years ago, and despite the rising popularity of smartphones and tablets, it is still very much alive and kicking on the cloud-connected “Chromebooks.”

In fact, earlier this week Samsung announced a brand new Chromebook powered by its own Exynos 5250 ARM System of a Chip (SoC). The new system is lighter than the company’s previous Chromebook offerings at 2.43 pounds and is less than an inch thick. The specifications are not impressive for a laptop, but in the context of a Chromebook where much of the processing is done on Internet-connected servers the internals should ensure that you get good battery life – up to 6.3 hours – out of the mobile machine.

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The 11.6” Chromebook has a display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, 1.5W stereo speakers, and a full physical keyboard with trackpad.

External I/O options include:

  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Headphone/Mic combo jack
  • 1 x SD card slot

The USB 3.0 option is interesting, and should allow you to hook up fast external storage should you need more caching space for offline use.

On the outside, the Chromebook very much resembles a standard laptop, but on the inside it is closer to the specifications of a smartphone or tablet. Interestingly, Samsung has chosen its Exynos 5250 system on a chip to power the XE303C12 Chromebook. That processor is packing two Cortex A15-based ARM CPU cores and an ARM Mali T604 GPU. While the Exynos 15 is capable of clocking up to 2GHz, it is unclear whether or not the Chromebook will feature chips clocked at that speed or not. It is certainly a possibility though, since the laptop form factor would provide ample cooling versus a more constrained smartphone or tablet. Beyond the SoC, Samsung has packed in 2GB of RAM and a 16GB solid state drive (SSD). Additionally, the XE303C12 Chromebook includes a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip – useful for business uses – and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi radio with a 2x2 antenna configuration.

The new Samsung Chromebook is available for pre-order now, and will be officially available for purchase at Best Buy, Amazon, Newegg, and other retailers beginning October 22, 2012. It has an MSRP of $249.99.

I’m interested to see how this compared to the Windows RT offerings, and whether the cheaper price will win people over versus those devices. On the other hand, it may be that Android tablets – like the Nexus 7, Nook Tablet, and new Kindle Fire tablets – are the favored devices for all but road warriors needing a decent keyboard. What do you think?

Source: Samsung

Samsung's SSDs probably aren't the reason for their profit margin, take advantage while you can

Subject: General Tech | October 9, 2012 - 12:41 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, 830 SDD

DigiTimes is reporting that Samsung's previous quarter earnings were over $7 billion (editor note: corrected typo), a record for the company continuing the trend from the previous quarter.  Samsung has a huge range of products from appliances to PCs and so the profit comes from a variety of business units, with the mobile division mentioned as a star player.  This is perhaps not the reason that 830 series SSDs are so inexpensive right now, but if you are thinking of upgrading your storage now is the time.  Right now at NewEgg you can grab the 830 256GB for $200, and the 128GB model is a mere $90.  You can also check Amazon and your other favourite retailers but for right now the Samsung 230 represents the best deal in SSDs going.  Take advantage now, as the 830 series is on its way out and if their profit margins drop the 840 series won't see the same discounts

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"Samsung previously indicated that its smartphone sales would remain strong in the third quarter. In addition, the company's system LSI division is set to register solid sales growth in the quarter, thanks to growing sales generated from its advanced process manufacturing targeting mobile application processors and CMOS image sensors used for high-end mobile products."

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Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes