Toshiba announced it has enhanced its NAND flash portfolio with new embedded NAND flash memory devices that feature toggle-mode DDR NAND for improved performance. These higher performing 24nm e-MMC devices wedge open the bottlenecks typically associated with single data rate NAND, enabling faster random access and sequential performance. The icing on the cake is that they're cheaper to boot, a combination we'll take 8 days a week.
You better stock up on Dramamine if you intend to follow the volatile DRAM market, which has had more ups and downs than Nicholas Cage's career. Should you buy now or wait a month? That's always the question, and making matters even more confuzzling, the answer often depends on who you ask.
Transcend chairman Peter Su, for example, says that DRAM chip prices are too high right now, and one of the keys to pushing new devices to the end market will be lowering DRAM parts to below $2. At the same time, Su notes that chip vendors, module makers, and consumers all seem content with current NAND flash prices. Go figure.
According to Su, both DRAM and NAND flash chip pricing is expected to rise in the second half of 2010, even though he thinks they're too high already. This, he says, will negatively impact the demand for devices with embedded memory, which is everything from smartphones to digital cameras, MP3 players to handheld consoles, and more.
We've been saying for months now that it's only a matter time before DRAM prices go back up and it will no longer be possible to pick up a high capacity kit with just the loose change in your pants pocket. That time hasn't quite come yet, but according to data by DRAMeXchange, prices for 1Gb DDR2 and 1Gb DDR3 are steadily increasing.
As it currently stands, 1Gb of DDR2 runs $1.53 while a Gb of DDR3 costs $1.66. That doesn't sound like much (and it isn't), but those prices represent increases of 8.5 percent for DDR2 and 5.1 percent for DDR3.
Meanwhile, contract prices for 2GB DDR2 and 2GB DDR3 sticks have shot up $27.50 and $29.50, respectively, in just the first half of September, and we still have the rest of the month to go.
Once again, if you've been eying a memory upgrade, you may want to bite the bullet rather than continue to play Russian Roulette with market prices.
There's fast, and then there's stupid-fast, and a new hybrid SSD drive will fall into the latter category if it can live up to the speed claims being put out by its manufacturer, who says a single DDRDrive X1 can hit a staggering 300,000 IOPS.
The new drive combines 4GB of DDR memory for high-speed operation along with 4GB of NAND flash memory for backup duties. By doing so, the manufacturer claims a full 4GB backup will take no longer than 60 seconds. Equally impressive, the drive scales at a 1:1 ratio with multiple drives, making it theoretically possible to backup 32GB, 64GB, or even 128GB in 60 seconds with the appropriate configuration.
DDRDrive CTO Christopher George says the hybrid drive was designed with a maximum IOPS performance in mind, and according to the X1's spec sheet, it offers 512B reads and writes up to 300,000+ and 200,000+ IOPS, respectively, and 4KB reads and writes up to 50,000+ and 35,000+ IOPS, respectively. By comparison, Intel's fastest SSDs offering 35,000 IOPS in 4KB read and 3,300 IPOS in 4KB writes.
Less impressive is the DDRDrive X1's read and write transfer rates, which is bound by its PCI-E Gen 1 interface and checks in around 250MB/s (read) and 155MB/s (write).
As seekers of all-out performance, it’s only natural that we’d covet super-fast RAM for storage duties, but there have always been obstacles to this fantasy scenario. The first is cost, as RAM is crazy-expensive per gig compared with hard drives. Second, RAM is volatile memory: When it loses its electric charge all the data goes bye-bye, so if you put your OS on a RAM drive and then unplug the machine—D’oh! Simply put, RAM drives just aren’t very practical. Still, the idea is intriguing, and Gigabyte’s i-RAM actually works extremely well and overcomes the aforementioned obstacles, but we do have a few complaints.