Western Digital Confirms Development of Hybrid Hard Drives.Posted on : 2013-02-09 13:21:44
Author : Anton Shilov
Western Digital on Thursday confirmed that it had started development of hybrid hard drive (HHD), which combines rotating magnetic media and NAND flash in a single storage solution. With the acquisition of Hitachi GST and its expertise with solid-state drives, it is likely that the HHD initiative at WD will speed up.
"We are continuing investments in strategic growth areas such as SSD, hybrid drives and the digital home," said John Coyne, chief executive officer of WD, during quarterly conference call with financial analysts.
Last year Western Digital said that it started to evaluate feasibility of hybrid drives as solid-state drives did not, in WD's opinion, provide the right value proposition for the client PC market. The destiny of the hybrid drive initiative at Western Digital has so far been unclear.
Apart from Samsung Electronics and Toshiba Corp., which are the world's largest makers of flash memory, neither of leading-edge makers of hard disk drives - Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital - have unveiled broad lineups of solid-state drives for consumers. By contrast, various suppliers of branded memory modules have already launched large families of own-brand SSDs. Moreover, OCZ Technology, formerly known for memory modules, even managed to become a leading manufacturer of both client, server and enterprise solid-state storage solutions, posing a threat to hard disk drives.
So far, only Seagate Technology has released Momentus XT hybrid hard drive with 8GB of single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory and 750GB rotating media. Momentus XT uses Adaptive Memory technology to identify data usage patterns, and then move the most frequently retrieved information to solid state memory for faster access. Adaptive Memory effectively tailors hard drive performance to each user and the applications they use.
No details about forthcoming hybrid hard drive from Western Digital are available today.
Micron Announces its First DDR4 Module, Production in Q4Posted on : 2013-02-09 13:21:44
Author : Douglas Perry - source: Micron
Micron said that it has begun shipping "fully functional" DDR4 memory modules in sample numbers to customers.
DDR4 is expected to be shipping in volume in 2014, but Micron believes that it will enter volume production in the fourth quarter of this year and have the chips ready for applications in early 2013.
The modules were developed in collaboration with Nanya and manufactured as a the 4 Gb DDR4 x8 part in a 30 nm process. When in production, Micron says it will be offering RDIMMs, LRDIMMs, 3DS, SODIMMs and UDIMMs in standard and ECC versions. Initial speeds of the devices will reach 2,400 MT/s and eventually hit 3,200 MT/s.
"With the JEDEC definition for DDR4 very near finalization, we've put significant effort into ensuring that our first DDR4 product is as JEDEC-compatible as it can be at this final stage of its development," said Brian Shirley, vice president for Micron's DRAM Solutions Group, in a prepared statement. "We've provided samples to key partners in the market place with confidence that the die we give them now is the same die we will take into mass production."
Micron's roadmap looks especially interesting in the light of its planned acquisition of Elpida Memory, which could boost its DRAM market share to an estimated 25 percent, according to market research firm IHS. The company could grow into a serious competitor for Samsung, which announced the first DDR4 module in January 2011.
Digital Storm Adds Intel 3rd Generation Core Processors to its Entire Line of Gaming Desktops and NotebooksPosted on : 2013-02-09 13:21:44
Count Digital Storm as the latest custom builder to offer Intels 3rd generation Core processors (Ivy Bridge). The company isnt just offering them in a few systems, though; Digital Storm is going whole hog and offering the chips in its entire line of gaming desktops and notebooks.
In a press release, Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storms Director of Product Development said, Weve tested Ivy Bridge in every one of our systems and weve measured extraordinary overclocks at 4.8GHz at unbelievably low temperatures across the board.
The systems packing Ivy Bridge include those at Digital Storms high end as well as its new budget-friendly Marauder budget line, which has an Intel Core i5-3570K option starting at $1,199.
Samsung Starts to Mass Produce 4Gb LPDDR2 Memory Using 20nm-Class Technology.Posted on : 2013-02-09 13:21:44
Author : Anton Shilov
Samsung Hopes to Boost Amount of RAM Inside Smartphones and Tablets with New Chips.
Samsung Electronics, the world's largest maker of dynamic random access memory, on Thursday said it had begun production of 4Gb [512MB] LPDDR2 1066MHz memory components using 20nm process technology. Such memory solutions should allow to increase the amount of DRAM inside smartphones and tablets to 2GB, which will enable new classes of mobile applications and will let hardware makers to increase screen resolutions on mobile devices without compomising performance.
By stacking four 4Gb LPDDR2 components in a single LPDDR2 package, Samsung can deliver 2GB multi-layer memory solutions that boast thickness of 0.8mm. This new package is approximately 20% thinner than 2GB packages that stack four 30nm-class 4Gb LPDDR2 chips. The new 2GB package can process data at up to 1066MHz and thanks to thinner process technology promises to provide better energy efficiency compared to previous multi-layer LPDDR2 memory solutions.
Samsung began expanding the market for 4Gb DRAM last year with the first mass-produced 30nm-class DRAM, and now we are working on capturing most of the advanced memory market with our new 20nm-class 4Gb DRAM, said Wanhoon Hong, executive vice president of memory sales and marketing at Samsung Electronics.
Economic benefits of the new 20nm-class 4Gb LPDDR2 are projected to help speed up the growth of the 4Gb DRAM market. Samsung now expects the newly introduced 20nm-class 4Gb LPDDR2 will rapidly replace 30nm-class 2Gb-based 1GB LPDDR2 that was in limited supply at the 0.8 mm thickness.
According to IHS iSuppli, shipments of 4Gb LPDDR2 will steadily increase, taking approximately 13% of total mobile DRAM shipments in 2012, 49% in 2013 and 63% in 2014, with 4Gb mobile DRAM monolithic becoming the mainstream chip in the Mobile DRAM market around the end of 2013.
In the second half of this year, we expect to strongly increase the portion of 20nm-class DRAM within our overall DRAM output to make the 4Gb DRAM line-up the mainstream product in DRAM production, and therefore keeping the leadership position in the premium market and strengthening our competitive edge, added Wanhoon Hong.
AMD Begins Volume Manufacturing of A-Series "Trinity" APUs.Posted on : 2012-11-09 13:21:44
Advanced Micro Devices said during quarterly conference call with financial analysts that it began volume manufacturing of its next-generation A-series "Trinity" accelerated processing units (APUs) in the first quarter of 2012. Actual systems powered by the new Fusion APU will become available in the second quarter of the year.
"We are successfully ramping production of Trinity APUs as our customers are preparing to launch a record number of AMD notebook designs beginning this quarter," said Rory Read, chief executive officer of AMD, told financial analysts.
AMD A-series "Trinity" APUs are projected to improve AMD's competitive positions on the market of low-power and mainstream systems thanks to substantial improvements in x86 and graphics performance. In addition, thanks to usage of a new resonant clock mesh technology developed by Cyclos Semiconductor and implemented into Piledriver-class x86 cores, Trinity will be able to both offer ultra low-voltage models as well as very high-performance models. Rich family of different A-series "Trinity" Fusion APUs will broaden market prospects for the APU to a wide range of applications and form-factors, from ultra-thin laptops to full-size desktops.
The world's No. 2 supplier of x86 microprocessors plans to formally unveil its new code-named "Trinity" A-series Fusion accelerated processing units (APUs) on May 15, 2012, according to a media report and an X-bit labs source. The world's No. 2 supplier of microprocessors will introduce mobile versions of "Trinity" and will release desktop flavours later. AMD did not comment on Trinity APU launch date. According to unofficial information, Globalfoundries, AMD's production partner, began volume manufacturing of Trinity in mid-March, 2012.
AMDs second-generation code-named Trinity APU for mainstream personal computers (Comal for notebooks and Virgo for desktops) will be made using 32nm SOI HKMG process technology at Globalfoundries. The APU will feature up to four x86 cores powered by enhanced Bulldozer/Piledriver architecture, AMD Radeon HD 7000-series "Southern Islands" graphics core with DirectX 11-class graphics support, DDR3 memory controller and other improvements. The chips will be compatible with new infrastructure.
According to performance benchmarks conducted by AMD, the Trinity 35W APU with Piledriver-class x86 cores will provide 25% better x86 performance compared to Llano 35W (with K10.5+ "Husky" x86 cores) based on results obtained in PC Mark Vantage Productivity benchmark. AMD also claims that Trinity 35W will offer up to 50% better result in 3D Mark Vantage performance benchmark compared to Llano 35W.
AMD on Thursday announced revenue for the first quarter of 2012 of $1.59 billion (6% sequential decrease and 2% decrease year-over-year), net loss of $590 million and 2% gross margin as a result of one-time charge of $703 million for a limited waiver of exclusivity of certain 28nm APU products from Globalfoundries.
AMD Snags x86 Market Share from Intel Ahead of Ivy Bridge LaunchPosted on : 2012-10-09 13:21:44
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) managed to lessen the gap between it and Intel in the x86 space, even if just by a smidgen. According to Mercury Research's latest data, AMD's x86 market share jumped nearly a full percentage point from 18.2 percent to 19.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to Intel, which dropped from 81 percent to 80.2 percent, nearly the same margin as AMD's gain.
These figures represent x86 market share prior to Intel's Ivy Bridge launch, which became official earlier this week. Ivy Bridge is Intel's newest processor line built on a 22nm manufacturing process using 3D transistors, a combination that adds up to higher performing parts with a lower power consumption than that of previous generation Core processors (Sandy Bridge).
"One of the things that is clear is that the market is adopting new technology faster than it used to. I would expect Ivy Bridge to ramp aggressively," said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research, according to NetworkWorld.
That's bad news for AMD, though the Sunnyvale chip maker is attempting to counter Intel's Ivy Bridge launch with a series of price cuts to its A-Series APU and FX Series processors. Also helping AMD is the fact that buyers are trending towards lower cost notebooks, many of which have AMD inside, McCarron said.