The way things are going, we'd rather run a lemonade stand than try to make a buck selling RAM. The DRAM market continues to struggle, but in an attempt to turn lemons into lemonade, PNY has teamed up with Sony to offer a bonus full-length movie download with the purchase of one of PNY's new memory kits.
The new kits include 8GB and 4GB capacities in both 1333MHz desktop and 1066MHz notebook configurations. PNY says the 8GB kit is now the highest capacity memory in the company's line-up, which sells for $130 direct through PNY, and little less street.
As for the bonus flick, buyers can choose from "over 35 movie titles from a broad selection of genres... The bonus Sony movie downloads include recent blockbuster hits as well as favorite classics, such as The Da Vinci Code, Hitch, Big Daddy, As Good As It Gets, 21, and S.W.A.T."
We've been extensively following the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the DRAM market, and that's one business we're glad we're not a part of. Back in late 2008, A-DATA chairman Simon Chen said the DRAM market was the worst it has been in 15 years, and things haven't gotten a whole lot better since then.
Making the best of a bad situation, Samsung in the third quarter of 2010 became the only Top 5 DRAM supplier to achieve revenue growth, positioning itself as the dominant chip maker, market research firm iSuppli said. Samsung sold $4.4 billion worth of DRAM in the third quarter, up 14.3 percent from $3.8 billion in the second. Here's how it breaks down for everyone else:
Hynix: $2.24 billion Q3/ $2.31 billion Q2
Elpida: 1.73 billion Q3 / $1.91 billion Q2
Micron: $1.12 billion Q3 / $1.14 billion Q2
Nanya: $439 million Q3 / $473 million Q2
"Samsung has been vocal about its desire to expand its DRAM market share to as high as 50 percent," said Mike Howard, senior analyst for iSuppli. "The third-quarter results show Samsung has put its money where its mouth is. By investing heavily in expanding product and advancing its manufacturing technology, the company has been able to cut pricing and to eat into the market share of its competitors."
Samsung increased its market share from 35.4 percent in Q2 to 40.7 percent in Q3 and is on track to reach its goal in 2011.
Patriot Memory today announced new densities, speeds, and triple-channel kits added to its Viper Xtreme series. The new "Sector 7" tri-channel kits, as they're being called, come in both 12GB and 6GB capacities with speeds of 2000MHz and 1600MHz. Meanwhile, the new "Sector 5" dual-channel kits sport 8GB and 4GB capacities rated at 1600MHz.
"Today we introduce new speeds and capacities to our flagship heatshield design," says Les Henry, Patriot’s VP of Engineering. "Now enthusiasts using either the Intel P55 or X58 platforms have a variety of options in terms of capacity and speeds with our new high performance heatshield design. Our Viper Xtreme Series showcases our expertise in developing and delivering performance solutions for the enthusiast market."
Patriot is pretty jazzed about its "custom designed heatshield with a hefty copper insert" weighing 6 grams. According to Patriot, this design works better than traditional aluminum heatsinks.
If you're going for a biohazard theme, we can't think of a memory kit better suited than Mushkin's new Radioactive Series with yellow heatspreaders and matching logo.
"We're elated to offer viscerally engaging products for our friends in the gaming and high performance sectors. We have many plans to cater to enthusiasts, and this kit release is just the tip of the iceberg," said Wade Shiflett, Marketing Director, Mushkin.
ASUSTek's entry-level Eee PC netbooks are due for a slight upgrade, according to reports that point to changes on the Asus support site, which now displays some new models currently not on the market. Apparently, the names of the new SKUs are nothing but existing netbook appellations suffixed by the letter D, which identifies models that feature DDR3-ready Intel Atom N455 single-core processors (1.66 GHz). Following the upgrade, the Eee PC 1001PQ, Eee PC 1001PX, and Eee PX 1005PX will be known as the Eee PC 1001PQD, 1001PXD, and 1005PXD, respectively. Pricing and shipping details are still awaited as there has been no official word on the upgrades.
Elpida, Japan's biggest player in the DRAM market, announced today it has developed a 30nm class 2Gb DDR3 SDRAM for PCs and consumer electronics. According to Elpida, it's the industry's smallest 2Gb DDR3 around.
The smaller chip size allows Elpida to achieve a 45 percent higher chip yield per wafer compared to its 40nm products, the company claims. In addition, Elpida says the shrink will help contain rising chip costs associated with process migration. And as for JEDEC specs, everything is kosher.
"Elpida's new chip meets the JEDEC specs for the high-speed DDR3-1855 and 1.35V low-voltage, high-speed DDR3L-1600 memory chips, both expected to become mainstream industry products in 2011," Elpida said. "Also, the 30nm DDR3 SDRAM is eco-friendly. As a DDR3 SDRAM it achieves one of the industry's lowest levels of electric current usage (approximately 15 percent less operating and approximately 10 percent less standby usage compared with Elpida's 40nm products)."
Elpida said it will begin sample shipments in December 2010, with volume shipments slated for the same month.
In the midst of bombarding the market with a bazillion solid state drive models, OCZ has gone back to its roots and introduced a handful of desktop memory kits.
Taking aim at gamers with a green eye, the new kits consist of Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) and Extreme-Low Voltage (ELV) grade DDR3 that OCZ promises has the chops to fit in with an enthusiast oriented build.
"We are pleased to announce a complete range of low-voltage memory offerings designed for the latest crop of energy efficient platforms," said Eugene Chang, Vice President of Product Management. "In the past, lower voltage meant lower performance, but now with our extreme-low voltage optimized memory, consumers don't have to sacrifice high performance to also achieve energy savings."
OCZ's Platinum ELV line sips just 1.35 volts and come in 4GB and 6GB kits, while the company's new Reaper HPC and Gold ULV memory operate at 1.5 volts and are offered in up to 12GB capacity kits. Both the ELV and ULV kits are available in triple-channel and dual-channel form in DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1333 trim.
Those of you into the whole competitive overclocking scene may already be familiar with "Mat," or Matthias Zronek, whose most recent accomplishments include breaking not one, but two DDR3 frequency records.
He bested the previous records using Corsair Dominator GT GTX6 sticks, which he goosed to 3078.2MHz with latencies set to CL8-11-8-31, 1T and 3059.4MHz with slightly tighter timings of CL7-11-8-31, 1T.
"I've worked with the Corsair Dominator GT memory for quite some time now, and can easily say that these are great memory modules, dedicated to world-record overclocking," stated Matthias Zronek. What surprised me most is the potential of the Dominator GT GTX6. Even at 3000MHz and higher frequencies, at CL7, there is still headroom for lots of optimization."
Nice plug, but fair enough. As for the other core components, Mat used a Gigabyte P55A-UD7 motherboard and Intel Core i7 870 processor.
When you think of memory, Samsung probably isn't the first name to come to mind, but perhaps it should be. No other company produces more DRAM, and in the second quarter of 2010, Samsung further distanced itself from all competitors.
"Samsung's memory business long has pursued a strategy of taking the leadership in investment in new manufacturing processes, allowing it to be the first to move to advanced semiconductor process geometries, and thus enabling the company to make semiconductors at a lower cost and at greater efficiency than its competitors," said Mike Howard, senior analyst for DRAM technology at iSuppli. "The company's aggressive push into 40nm semiconductor lithography for DRAM manufacturing boosted the volume of its bit production dramatically. Meanwhile, Samsung's broad DRAM portfolio, including high-end devices like mobile and legacy parts, allowed it to achieve an ASP higher than the industry average."
Samsung cranked out 1.2 billion 1Gb density equivalent DRAM units in the second quarter, a 13 percent increase over its first quarter production and enough to pull in revenues of $3.8 billion.
While Samsung is flying high, Micron (Crucial's parent company) showed the weakest growth among the top-five DRAM suppliers in the second quarter. Micron's revenues rose by 4.1 percent to $1.43 billion, which iSuppli blames on manufacturing challenges at the company's Inotera facility.
The memory standards committee known as the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association announced the publication of JEDEC DDR3L, which the association says will enable a significant reduction in power consumption for a boatload of products that utilize memory, including laptops, desktops, servers, networking systems, and a a range of digital devices.
Those of you donning your detective caps might have guessed that the "L" in DDR3L stands for "Low Voltage," and you'd be right. Devices that adhere to the new standard will operate from a single 1.35V power supply voltage compared to 1.5V in existing devices, JEDEC said.
DDR3L-based memory devices will consume 15 percent less power compared to standard DDR3 (sometimes more), and a whopping 40 percent less than standard DDR2, all without taking a performance hit. The upshot here is longer battery life and cooling running devices.