New kit on the block; the KLEVV Cras DD4-3200MHz 16GB kit

Subject: Memory | November 5, 2015 - 04:17 PM |
Tagged: klevv, Hynix, ddr4-3200, cras

KLEVV is an unfamiliar brand but it falls under the purview of SK Hynix so they are not completely without a background in the field.  They have released a 4x4GB DDR4-3200 kit with timings of 16-18-18-36 @ 2T.  The plain exterior of the DIMMs is appealing but make note of the top strip of transparent looking material, that is for the LEDs which shine when the RAM is powered on and which Kitguru could not disable.  The kit did not like having its frequency increased however the timings can be improved, in Kitguru's case to 16-17-17-36 @ 1T though this had negligible inpact on performance.  If you are thinking about picking them up, be aware they are taller than many DIMMs and may interfere with larger coolers.


"You may not have heard of KLEVV – the newest player on the consumer memory scene. KLEVV’s parent company, Essencore, falls under the same SK Group umbrella corporation as semiconductor giant SK Hynix. We are looking at KLEVV‘s flagship DDR4 memory line – the Cras series."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:



Source: Kitguru

Super fast two wheeler or a solid quadrunner? A tale of two RAM kits

Subject: Memory | October 15, 2015 - 05:30 PM |
Tagged: quad channel, patriot, G.Skill, dual channel, DDR4-3000, ddr4-2400, 16GB

MadShrimps recently wrapped up two reviews featuring 16GB DDR4 kits.  The first is the $170 G.SKILL DDR4-3000 kit with two 8GB modules and timings of 15-15-15-35 while the second is the $106 Patriot VIPER 4 Series DDR4-2400 which has four 4GB DIMMs and timings of 15-15-15-35.  This provides a great way to compare the performance delta between a quad channel kit with lower frequencies against a dual channel kit with higher frequencies.  As they have used the same tests and lowered the G.SKILL to comparable frequencies the results of the charts are quite informative and demonstrate how little performance difference there is between these two kits.


"With the F4-3000C15D-16GVRB Ripjaws V kit from G.SKILL we will have the same memory capacity as the Patriot Viper 4 kit which we have recently reviewed, but with half the number of modules. The higher memory speed of 3000MHz at stock has also an impact on the operating voltage, which is now 1.35V instead of 1.2V and overclocking over this particular speed will usually need some extra voltage adjustments on the CPU side, a solid motherboard and UEFI construction but also a good CPU memory controller."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:


Source: Mad Shrimps

Driving your RAM at 3.6GHz

Subject: Memory | September 22, 2015 - 06:08 PM |
Tagged: Ripjaws V, G.Skill, DDR4-3600, ddr4

Bringing the frequency of your RAM up to 3600MHz certainly has an effect on price compared to DIMMs clocked at 2666MHz but does the performance justify that cost?  The timings of 17-18-18-38 @ 2T are tight for RAM of this frequency, though not as tight as 15-15-15-35 but perhaps that gives you some room for overclocking?  As shown in TechPowerUp's review it is not quite that easy, for example many Intel Z170 boards simply don't support these frequencies and updating your BIOS should be your first step before working with these DIMMs.  Synthetic benchmarks benefited from the full speed of these DIMMs but when it comes to actual gaming the results are negligible, especially considering you will be paying roughly triple the price for these DIMMs.  On the other hand if you simply need to have the best components on the market in your system you should check out the full review.


"Intel's new Skylake platform comes with DDR4 at increased memory speeds, and the first to help us investigate the benefits of high-performance DDR4 is G.Skill's latest design, the Ripjaws V. Wrapped in a new look, these ultra-fast 3600 MHz modules push the limits of your Skylake CPU."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:



Source: techPowerUp

Kingston Announces HyperX Savage DDR4

Subject: Memory | September 19, 2015 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: kingston, ddr4

With Skylake bringing DDR4 to mainstream desktops, Kingston has updated another one of their product lines to the higher standard. Previously, the company had a line of XMP-compatible RAM with a low heatspreader, called Fury, and a line of high-performance sticks with tall heatspreaders. This means that there was no combination (from Kingston at least) that brings 3 GHz RAM to systems with big CPU coolers that hangs over RAM slots.


As expected, kits are available all the way up to 64 GB (8x8GB). That pack is rated at 2800 MHz with a CAS latency of 14, versus the highest-bandwidth 3000 MHz kit (4x8GB) with a CAS latency of 15.

The RAM is supposedly available now, but I cannot find any listing online. Overclockers claims that they found a 2 x 4GB kit on for $72 USD, but I cannot verify that because the listing appears to have been removed. Kingston HyperX Savage DDR4 comes with a lifetime warranty.

Source: Kingston

Existing Corsair Water Coolers Support (At Least) Skylake

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Memory | August 3, 2015 - 08:10 PM |
Tagged: corsair, dd4, ddr3l, memory, PSU, hydro, h100, H100i GTX, H110, H110i GTX

Skylake is coming up, with rumors pointing to a release at Gamescom in Germany, which is August 5th through August 9th. Beyond seeing the retail packaging, we are beginning to see to companies open up about how their products relate to the new architecture and chipset.

Corsair put up a blog post a few days ago to explain how their memory, water coolers, and power supplies interact with Skylake and Z170. On the PSU side, nothing has changed since Haswell. In terms for memory, DDR3L is supported with Skylake under certain motherboards, but users should look to DDR4.

None of the above should be new information.


What might be new information, though, is that Skylake supports existing LGA-1150 cooler mounts. This means that the Corsair Hydro series of sealed CPU liquid coolers will support Skylake without modification. This is where Corsair's blog stops but, knowing Intel's typical release structure, this likely means that the story will not change for Kaby Lake or Cannonlake, either. These three architectures are expected to use the same socket, which should mean the cooler is the same too.

So your aftermarket cooler should have quite a bit of legs, even with the stock mounts.

Source: Corsair

Breaking: Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint Technology - 1000x Faster Than NAND

Subject: Storage | July 28, 2015 - 12:41 PM |
Tagged: XPoint, non-volatile RAM, micron, memory, Intel

Everyone that reads SSD reviews knows that NAND Flash memory comes with advantages and disadvantages. The cost is relatively good as compared to RAM, and the data remains even with power removed (non-volatile), but there are penalties in the relatively slow programming (write) speeds. To help solve this, today Intel and Micron jointly launched a new type of memory technology.


XPoint (spoken 'cross point') is a new class of memory technology with some amazing characteristics. 10x the density (vs. DRAM), 1000x the speed, and most importantly, 1000x the endurance as compared to current NAND Flash technology.


128Gb XPoint memory dies, currently being made by Intel / Micron, are of a similar capacity to current generation NAND dies. This is impressive for a first generation part, especially since it is physically smaller than a current gen NAND die of the same capacity.

Intel stated that the method used to store the bits is vastly different from what is being used in NAND flash memory today. Intel stated that the 'whole cell' properties change as a bit is being programmed, and that the fundamental physics involved is different, and that it is writable in small amounts (NAND flash must be erased in large blocks). While they did not specifically state it, it looks to be phase change memory (*edit* at the Q&A Intel stated this is not Phase Change). The cost of this technology should end up falling somewhere between the cost of DRAM and NAND Flash.


3D XPoint memory is already being produced at the Intel / Micron Flash Technology plant at Lehi, Utah. We toured this facility a few years ago.

Intel and Micron stated that this technology is coming very soon. 2016 was stated as a launch year, and there was a wafer shown to us on stage:


You know I'm a sucker for good wafer / die photos. As soon as this session breaks I'll get a better shot!

There will be more analysis to follow on this exciting new technology, but for now I need to run to a Q&A meeting with the engineers who worked on it. Feel free to throw some questions in the comments and I'll answer what I can!

*edit* - here's a die shot:


Added note - this wafer was manufactured on a 20nm process, and consists of a 2-layer matrix. Future versions should scale with additional layers to achieve higher capacities.

Press blast after the break.

Source: Intel

Crucial's 16GB Ballistix Elite 2666MHz, great frequency at the cost of timings

Subject: Memory | July 23, 2015 - 03:36 PM |
Tagged: ddr4-2666, crucial ballistix, 16GB

DDR4 has certainly ramped up the frequencies but as we have seen with previous generations of RAM, the timings tend to get looser as that frequency increases.  Take for example Crucial's 16GB DDR4-2666 kit which sports timings of CAS 16, tRCD 17, tRD 17 and tRFC 36.  Indeed to overclock the RAM to 2808MHz, Bjorn3D had to change the timings to 19-17-17-36, however at that speed it nosed slightly ahead of the Patriot kit running at 2800MHz @ 16-18-18-36 so tweaking this RAM can pay off and the Crucial Ballistix MOD Utility will let you know if you are getting into Kenny Loggins' areas.  At $170 it will not break the bank and it will beat out at least some of the competition in performance, albeit by a very slight margin.


"In this review we are going to be looking at one of the many DDR4 modules that Crucial offers for the 2011v3 CPU platform: the 2666Mhz 16-17-17-36 16GBs DDR4 Ballistix Elite Memory. So step inside and see how this memory stacks up."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:



Source: Bjorn3D

Computex 2015: G.Skill Teases New Trident Z DDR4 Memory

Subject: Memory | June 2, 2015 - 11:33 PM |
Tagged: trident z, G.Skill, ddr4, computex 2015, computex

G.Skill is teasing a new series of DDR4 memory modules at Computex. Dubbed Trident Z, the new modules will come in both dual and quad channel packs aimed at high performance gaming PCs and are overclocking friendly. 

GSkill Trident Z DDR4 Quad Channel Memory Modules.png

The Trident Z series feature large stylized aluminum heatspreaders paired with a colored accent bar that users can swap out to the color of their choice to match the other PC components. G.Skill is holding off on revealing the nitty-gritty details on these modules leaving us to guess at the clockspeeds and CAS latencies. They sure look fast though!

If the existing Trident X series and the company's extreme overclocking prowess is anything to go by, however, the new Trident Z series will likely push past 3,400 MHz supported clockspeeds at the high end. That's only speculation though.

Luckily, we will not have to wait long to find out the speeds and feeds of this new memory series. Trident Z modules will be avilable next month for to-be-announced prices.

Source: G.Skill

$170 for 16GB of very overclockable DDR4-2666

Subject: Memory | May 26, 2015 - 06:22 PM |
Tagged: ddr4-2666, G.Skill, Ripjaws 4

The price may still sting a bit but honestly, it is only about a small premium over many 16GB DDR3 kits so the pricing on DDR4 is getting much better.  G.Skill's 16GB DDR4-2666 quad channel kit has timings of 15-15-15-35 and are fully XMP compliant so getting them out of the clamshell packaging may be the hardest step in installing them.  Of course many readers here, just like at Bjorn3D, are not going to be satisfied with the default settings which brings us to the overclocking results.  3048MHz @ 16-16-16-37 was perfectly stable in their testing at 1.35V and for those who don't mind the long term effects of upping the voltage to 1.4V there is more headroom left. 


"G.Skill has been churning out enthusiast memory that overclocks like nothing else we’ve ever seen. Pop a set of Ripjaws 4 into your dream machine and settle into the BIOS for an overclocking experience like you’ve never had!"

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:


Source: Bjorn3D

How about that High Bandwidth Memory

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 19, 2015 - 03:51 PM |
Tagged: memory, high bandwidth memory, hbm, Fiji, amd

Ryan and the rest of the crew here at PC Perspective are excited about AMD's new memory architecture and the fact that they will be first to market with it.  However as any intelligent reader is wont to look for; a second opinion on the topic is worth finding.  Look no further than The Tech Report who have also been briefed on AMD's new memory architecture.  Read on to see what they learned from Joe Macri and their thoughts on the successor to GDDR5 and HBM2 which is already in the works.


"HBM is the next generation of memory for high-bandwidth applications like graphics, and AMD has helped usher it to market. Read on to find out more about HBM and what we've learned about the memory subsystem in AMD's next high-end GPU, code-named Fiji."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Corsair's 128GB DDR4 Unbuffered Memory Kits - for the rich and famous

Subject: Memory | May 14, 2015 - 07:16 PM |
Tagged: Vengeance LPX, Dominator Platinum, ddr4, corsair, 128Gb


Corsair has just released the three largest unbuffered DDR4 kits available for enthusiasts who can afford the asking price.  Two 128GB Dominator Platinum kits, one clocked at 2400MHz and one at 2666MHz along with a 2400MHz Vengeance LPX have just gone on sale.  All three kits consist of eight 16GB modules which means that the number of motherboards that support these kits is extremely limited, the EVGA X99 Classified, ASRock's X99 Extreme4 and the Asus X99-E WS are among the few.   As you can see below the investment is rather high but if you want bragging rights, or an amazingly large RAM drive then Corsair has a solution for you.



Corsair, a worldwide leader in high-performance PC components, today announced the availability of the world’s first available 128GB DDR4 unbuffered memory kits. Available in Corsair’s Vengeance LPX and Dominator Platinum Series lines, the new 128GB capacities give content creators an unprecedented amount of high-speed DDR4 SDRAM for memory-hungry applications.

The 128GB (8 x 16GB) DDR4 memory kits are designed for the latest Intel X99 series motherboards and support XMP 2.0 for the ultimate compatibility, reliability, and performance. The first available kits are rated at speeds of 2666MHz and 2400MHz and higher speeds will be announced soon. Like all Corsair memory, the new kits are backed by a lifetime warranty.

Dominator Platinum Series 128GB DDR4 Memory
The most advanced memory kits available, the Dominator Platinum series DDR4 modules feature a striking industrial design for good looks, patented DHX technology for cooler operation, and user-swappable colored “light pipes” for customizable LED lighting. Dominator Platinum memory is built with hand-screened ICs, undergoes rigorous performance testing, and incorporates patented DHX cooling technology for reliable performance in demanding environments.

Vengeance LPX Series 128GB DDR4 Memory
Vengeance LPX memory is designed for high-performance overclocking with aluminum heatspreaders for faster heat dissipation and eight-layer PCB for superior overclocking headroom. Each IC is individually screened for performance potential.

Pricing and Lifetime Warranty
Corsair Dominator Platinum and Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory kits are available from and Corsair’s worldwide network of authorized distributors and resellers. All Corsair memory is backed with a limited lifetime warranty and Corsair customer service and technical support.


Source: Corsair

G.Skill's Ripjaws 4; fast and relatively affordable memory for your Haswell-E system

Subject: Memory | April 27, 2015 - 04:45 PM |
Tagged: ddr4-3200, G.Skill, Ripjaws 4, 16GB

At $450 for 16GB of DDR4-3200, G.Skill's Ripjaws 4 kit is very well priced for DDR4 of that speed, especially if you like the active cooling fans.  This particular kit is has timings of 16-16-16-36 with a 2T command rate. It also requires an impressive 1.35V to hit full speed, well above the 1.2V specification but in line with many of the other DDR4 enthusiast kits.  Indeed when Hardware Canucks started their overclocking tests they raised that to 1.4V and managed a variety of tighter timings with reduced clock speed; worth noting is that all of those overclocks were successful when using a 1T command rate.  Check out their full review here and don't forget to sign up for our contest!


"G.Skill's Ripjaws 4 DDR4-3200 16GB kit gives Haswell-E buyers an excellent combination of price, out-of-box performance and overclocking abilities. It has everything you could possibly want in a DDR4 kit."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:


Corsair Releases Dominator Platinum DDR4 3400MHz Memory Kits

Subject: Memory | March 23, 2015 - 02:08 PM |
Tagged: overclocking, Dominator Platinum Series, ddr4-3400, ddr4, corsair

Speaking of components at the $999 price point, Corsair has just released a RAM kit aimed at the serious overclocker.  The Dominator Platinum Series 16GB DDR4-3400MHz kit now holds the record for fastest overclock at an impressive 4365.6MHz achieved on the Gigabyte X99-SOC board; you will be seeing more of both the motherboard and these DIMMs on this page in the near future. 

If you are looking for RAM that operates well using LN2 and serious overclocking these Corsair DIMMs are currently the best in class on the market.


Platinum Series DDR4 3400MHz 16GB memory kits which debuted at CES in January. The new kits are performance tuned to run air-cooled at an incredible 3400MHz and beyond on the Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion motherboard. The memory and motherboard duo together create one of the highest performance enthusiast PC platforms currently available.

Dominator Platinum Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 3400MHz DDR4 Memory
The fastest DDR4 memory available from Corsair, the Dominator Platinum 3400MHz 16GB (4x4GB, 16-18-18-36) memory kits have a striking industrial with an orange anodized heat spreader that matches the color scheme on Gigabyte SOC motherboards. Like all Dominator Platinum memory modules, the new kits have patented DHX technology for cooler operation, user-swappable colored “light pipes” for customizable downwash lighting, and Corsair Link compatibility for real-time temperature monitoring. Dominator Platinum memory is built with hand-screened ICs, undergoes rigorous performance testing, and incorporates state-of-the-art cooling for reliable performance in demanding environments.

“Each Dominator Platinum 3400MHz DDR4 memory module is built with hand-picked ICs and tuned timing parameters to achieve blistering performance on Gigabyte’s X99-SOC Champion extreme overclocking motherboard,” said Thi La, Chief Operating Officer at Corsair. “Achieving insanely fast memory clock speeds is just the beginning. We can’t wait to see the incredible high-performance machines that PC enthusiasts create with them.”

“Our Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion is engineered with highly optimized trace paths between the processor and DIMM sockets to enable incredible memory clock speeds,” said Colin Brix, Director of Marketing of Gigabyte’s Motherboard Business Unit. “We worked with Corsair to tune an exceptional edition of Dominator Platinum DDR4 that can help overclockers push the X99-SOC Champion to reach unprecedented memory speeds.”

World Record for Fastest DDR4 Memory Frequency
On March 20, professional overclocker Hicookie set the world record for fastest DDR4 memory frequency using the Corsair Dominator 3400MHz DDR4 memory and Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion motherboard. Using liquid nitrogen, Hicookie established a record-breaking speed of 4365.6MHz.

Source: Corsair

The Viper is a 2800MHz Patriot

Subject: Memory | March 9, 2015 - 01:55 PM |
Tagged: ddr4-2800, patriot, Viper 4, xmp

It is rather hard to get excited about DDR4 memory as it does not seem to offer much of an improvement over DDR3 nor is it affordable.  On the other had it is the only way to get Quad channel performance out of your X99 board and it is more power efficient.  The 16GB Patriot DDR4-2800MHz kit will set you back at least $300 and can run at either DDR4-2800MHz @ 16-18-18-36 or DDR4-2133MHz @ 15-15-15-36.  In testing Bjorn3D saw improvements in synthetic benchmarks such as AIDA64 and Sandra but little difference in gameplay performance.  Still if you are going to buy a Haswell E i7-5930k you are going to need some sort of DDR4 and this kit did hold up to the competition.


"Founded in 1985, Patriot designs, manufactures and markets high performance, enthusiast memory modules, flash memory, and mobile accessory products with the objective of offering a perfect blend of quality and value for consumers. Happy 30th Patriot! Patriots long tradition of enthusiast ram modules is continued in their Viper 4 Series, DDR4 16GB 2800MHz kit. The Viper 4 2800MHz kit is timed at 16-18-18-36 and should be plug and play with Intels’ XMP profile technology."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:


Source: Bjorn3D

Overclocker Cranks DDR4 Memory to a World Record Setting 4,351 MHz

Subject: Memory | February 6, 2015 - 08:40 PM |
Tagged: overclocking, kingston hyper x, kingston, ddr4, ces 20156, CES

Overclocker "Toppc" from MSI was able to crank a single stick of DDR4 memory to a world record 4,351 MHz at the International CES 2015 competition. Toppc paired the Kingston Predator DDR4 DIMM with an Intel Haswell-E Core i7-5960X processor and a MSI X99S Xpower AC motherboard. After disabling all but one CPU core and adding in copious amounts of liquid nitrogen, the 4GB memory module was overclocked to 4,351 MHz which was measured using CPU-Z (CPU-Z Validation) and verified with an oscilloscope (shown in the embedded video below).

This overclock is quite impressive even if it is not something you can run at home especially for DDR4 which is designed to use less power than DDR3. Out of the box the DIMMs are rated at up to 3,333 MHz which means they achieved an impressive 30.54% overclock (an increase of 1,018 MHz).

This kind of overclock will only result in marginal performance gains (at best) in everyday applications, but is still cool to see. Also, it surely won't hurt benchmark runs!


Corsair's overclockable Vengeance LPX DDR4-2800 kit

Subject: Memory | January 13, 2015 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: ddr4, ddr4-2800, corsair, Corsair Vengeance LPX, X99

With the release of the X99 chipset came the introduction of DDR4, which is not seeing the same uptake as DDR3 did at launch, though it is still selling well.  Part of this may be the pricing, DDR3 was expensive when it first launched but even stalwart early adopters may balk at the $340 asking price for the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 2800MHz.  The other main reason for the mild reception is the minimal performance gains which DDR4 offers, you can see a slight difference in synthetic benchmarks but when it comes to gameplay the performance increase is minuscule for the price you pay.  If you do have an X99 board then this kit is a good choice for you, not only can you often find similar kits on sale for significantly less that $300, Overclockers Club overclocked these DIMMs to 3200MHz at timings of 16-16-16-30.  Check out their review here.


"Packed full of promise, the latest modules in the Vengeance series of Corsair's DDR4 memory lineup deliver excellent performance when tweaked to get the tightest timings. Out of the box they come with 16-18-18-36 primary timings using just 1.2v to run the modules. By tweaking the applied voltage a little bit you can get the timings much tighter at the rated speed and even when running at my max overclock of 3200MHz. At this speed I was able to run the timings at 15-15-15-28 2T using over 1.4v applied to the modules."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:


Can you see the difference between these DDR4-3000 DIMMs?

Subject: Memory | October 20, 2014 - 02:12 PM |
Tagged: Vengeance LPX, corsair, Ripjaws 4, G.Skill, hyperx predator, kingston, ddr4, DDR4-3000

With the new DDR4 standard comes new speeds and of course updated branding from the major memory resellers.  As it is brand new there is a possibility that some memory is better than others at this point, which is why Kitguru assembled three different kits to test.  Corsair's Vengeance LPX, G.Skill's Ripjaws 4 and Kingston's HyperX Predator all have very similar specifications on paper though each has a distinctive look.  Read on to find out if there is a brand that you should be looking for right now, or if it is price and availability which should drive your purchasing decision.


"One of the key technological advancements that the Haswell-E processors and Intel’s latest High-End Desktop (HEDT) platform iteration have brought into the consumer limelight is DDR4. We compare three 16GB quad-channel memory kits from Corsair, G.Skill, and Kingston, all running at 3000MHz. Is there a specific set of ‘go-to’ memory at this early point in the DDR4 life-cycle?"

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:



Source: KitGuru

Huzzah! RAM reviews are much more interesting now

Subject: Memory | September 15, 2014 - 05:17 PM |
Tagged: kingston, hyperx predator, DDR4-3000, ddr4

Ah DDR3, it has been a long and fruitful partnership and it is good to know you won't be going anywhere soon but you now have a younger sibling that is attracting a lot of attention.  DDR4 has arrived, with a base clock of 2133MHz and many kits with higher frequencies also appearing for sale.  The ~$350, 16GB Kingston HyperX Predator kit which Legit Reviews just reviewed comes with two XPM profiles, one @ 3000MHz with timings of 15-16-16-39 and one @ 2666MHz at 14-14-14-36 and they also tested the kit @ 2133MHz with the previous timings.  As you read through the review you will notice that the synthetic benchmarks show much more drastic differences than do the gameplay tests, similar to what was seen with DDR3.  As with the previous generation it looks as though tighter timings trump frequency in the majority of cases.


"Now that the Intel X99 chipset has been released along with the Intel Haswell-E processor series we have entered the era of DDR4 memory. There are many DDR4 memory kits on the market and right now you can find 16GB to 64GB kits of DDR4 memory ranging in speeds of 2133MHz to 3333MHz. The sheer number of kits on the market for the platform launch is rather impressive and luckily there are a good number of Intel X99 based motherboards that are ready to support DDR4 memory frequencies well beyond the JEDEC standard clock frequency of 2133MHz."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:


IDF 2014: Through Silicon Via - Connecting memory dies without wires

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | September 10, 2014 - 03:34 PM |
Tagged: TSV, Through Silicon Via, memory, idf 2014, idf

If you're a general computer user, you might have never heard the term "Through Silicon Via". If you geek out on photos of chip dies and wafers, and how chips are assembled and packaged, you might have heard about it. Regardless of your current knowledge of TSV, it's about to be a thing that impacts all of you in the near future.

Let's go into a bit of background first. We're going to talk about how chips are packaged. Micron has an excellent video on the process here:

The part we are going to focus on appears at 1:31 in the above video:

die wiring.png

This is how chip dies are currently connected to the outside world. The dies are stacked (four high in the above pic) and a machine has to individually wire them to a substrate, which in turn communicates with the rest of the system. As you might imagine, things get more complex with this process as you stack more and more dies on top of each other:

chip stacking.png

16 layer die stack, pic courtesy NovaChips we have these microchips with extremely small features, but to connect them we are limited to a relatively bulky process (called package-on-package). Stacking these flat planes of storage is a tricky thing to do, and one would naturally want to limit how many of those wires you need to connect. The catch is that those wires also equate to available throughput from the device (i.e. one wire per bit of a data bus). So, just how can we improve this method and increase data bus widths, throughput, etc?

Before I answer that, let me lead up to it by showing how flash memory has just taken a leap in performance. Samsung has recently made the jump to VNAND:

vnand crop--.png

By stacking flash memory cells vertically within a die, Samsung was able to make many advances in flash memory, simply because they had more room within each die. Because of the complexity of the process, they also had to revert back to an older (larger) feature size. That compromise meant that the capacity of each die is similar to current 2D NAND tech, but the bonus is speed, longevity, and power reduction advantages by using this new process.

I showed you the VNAND example because it bears a striking resemblance to what is now happening in the area of die stacking and packaging. Imagine if you could stack dies by punching holes straight through them and making the connections directly through the bottom of each die. As it turns out, that's actually a thing:

tsv cross section.png

Read on for more info about TSV!

Intel Sent Us a Containment Chamber with Parts Inside

Subject: Motherboards, Processors, Chipsets, Memory, Storage | September 5, 2014 - 01:21 PM |
Tagged: X99-Deluxe, SSD 730, Intel, Haswell-E, ddr4, asus, 5960X

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I didn't know what I was getting into. When a couple of packages showed up at our office from Intel with claims that they wanted to showcase the new Haswell-E platform...I was confused. The setup was simple: turn on cameras and watch what happens.

So out of the box comes...a containment chamber. A carefully crafted, wood+paint concoction that includes lights, beeps, motors and platforms. 

Want to see how Intel promotes the Core i7-5960X and X99 platform? Check out this video below.

Our reviews of products included in this video: