Corsair's Vengeance LP line of DDR3 memory was made for big builds (with big cooling systems) stuffed into little cases; these low-profile kits clock in at an itty-bitty 1.03 inches, nearly half the height of most of the other memory out there. The newly available Corsair Special Edition Arctic White Vengeance Low Profile memory targets a couple other niches, too. It's still short, but the Low Profile White also runs at a scant 1.35V that Corsair claims makes it perfect for whisper-quiet PCs or builds suffering from low voltage constraints.
Like Jennifer's Lopez's marriage, DRAM manufacturers are going through a bit of a rough patch. DRAM insiders were popping Cristal when the industry saw a 77 percent surge in revenues between 2009 and 2010, but thanks to a dramatic death-spiral in DRAM prices, those same executives could soon be snuggling up to Wall Street bankers and MD 20/20 in the gutter. Today, a report surfaced that indicates that things could get worse before they get better for DRAM manufacturers; some experts theorize that PC owners may shift away from DRAM into the open arms of NAND flash memory.
Here's a reality check for anyone who's complained about the price of RAM recently. The year was 2006 and I was wrapping up a review of a Kingston HyperX 1GB DDR2-1066 kit for another publication. I looked up the street price and found it was $250, which at the time was on the high side of normal for a 1GB kit at that frequency. A 2GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2 kit was selling for $400 that same year. Back then, it wasn't cheap being a PC balla. And today? You can pick up an 8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 kit for $65 shipped. Times have changed, and for DRAM makers, it hasn't been for the better. That's why they're considering production cuts.
Samsung today announced the introduction of 30nm-class DDR3 DRAM modules for PC upgrades, and if you're to take the company at its word, these new modules are all that and a bag of fat free chips with all the flavor of regular chips. More specifically, Samsung promises that this new generation of memory is faster and more energy efficient, claims you'll be able to put the test when the parts ship through consumer and retail channels later this summer.
We're pretty sure no jobs exist for 'Door-to-Door DRAM Salesman,' but if you should see such an opening in the classifieds section of Craigslist, don't bother applying. The DRAM market is in a sorry state, profit margins are thin, and things don't appear to be improving with time. Case in point, A-DATA Chairman Simon Chen said the DRAM market is the worst it's been in 15 years, and that was back in 2008! Well, the numbers are in for the first quarter of 2011, and it's more of the same.
DRAM makers haven't had much to celebrate in a long time, and as profits took a nose dive, some wondered if they'd be better off bailing on the PC RAM industry, as OCZ did earlier this year. But at least one memory maker is optimistic about the DRAM and NAND flash memory markets going forward. Transcend chairman Peter Shu believes things are getting ready to improve in the second half of 2011, which is good news for memory makers, but at what cost?
The intelligent folks over at Samsung announced today that they're the first to start producing four gigabit (Gb), lower power double-data-rate 2 (LPDDR2) DRAM using a 30nm manufacturing process. Production actually started earlier this month, and in time, you should start to see lighter smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices as a result, Samsung says. Longer battery life is another bonus.
The DRAM market is in shambles and one way to weather the storm is to put more focus in the mobile market. According to iSuppli, the percentage of annual mobile DRAM shipments will climb from 11.1 percent in 2010 to 16.5 percent in 2014, and that could be a conservative figure. Samsung saw the writing on the wall and so its team of engineers went and developed 1 gigabit (Gb) mobile DRAM with a wide I/O interface. The new part is built using a 50nm manufacturing process and is intended for mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets.
Boutique system builders, OEMs, and DIY hobbyists have all been spoiled by rock bottom RAM prices in recent months, much to the dismay of memory makers struggling to stay afloat. The latter will get a little help this month, assuming contract prices for DRAM memory chips go up as expected. According to Nanya Technology, as reported by DigiTimes, contract prices are on pace to increase by at least 5 percent in February 2011.
The DRAM market is in shambles. There's really no sugar coating it at this point, and if your livelihood depends on DRAM, you may want to consider a new line of work. OCZ, which helped invent the whole enthusiast RAM market over a decade ago, saw the writing on the wall and decided to duck out of the DRAM business in time to focus on the much more profitable SSD sector. So what exactly has Eplida CEO Yukio Sakamoto smiling?