Kingston has taken its popular HyperX memory line and transformed it into a high-speed SO-DIMM kit for notebooks, mini-ITX motherboards, and any other mobile platforms that use fun sized DIMMs. The dual-channel, plug and play kits zip along at 1600MHz without the need for XMP profiles and was designed specifically Intel's Huron River platform.
Kingston Technology, which focuses on memory products like RAM and solid state drives, is buying a NT$96 million (~US$3.3 million) stake in JMicron, DigiTimes reports. JMicron's board of directors approved the sale of 1.5 million shares to Kingston at around US$2.21 each. What's particularly interesting about this investment is that JMicron is one of the major players in the SSD controller market, as well as USB 3.0 storage devices, both of which are areas Kingston is active in.
Kingston has announced the launch of its first USB 3.0-certified external solid-state drive. According to the company, the drive is aimed at PC enthusiasts, prosumers and professionals. And just to make sure that there is no doubt about the target demographic Kingston has lent the famous HyperX badge to the drive. When paired with a USB 3.0 compatible device, the HyperX Max External USB 3.0 drive is capable of a read speed of up to 195MB/s and a write speed of up to 160MB/s. The company will begin selling the drive in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities in December. However, it hasn’t disclosed any prices.
"The HyperX MAX 3.0 External USB 3.0 Drive follows the tradition of Kingston's HyperX enthusiast DRAM family providing users with premium quality and extreme performance," said Andrew Ewing, USB product manager, Kingston®. "In addition to portability and speed, users will be pleased with the durability of this drive. Its Flash memory-based architecture is designed for the rigors of mobile use."
A week after it introduced a 96GB model of its enterprise-oriented V+ 100 SSD, Kingston has announced another addition to the SSDNow V Series. Available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities, the SSDNow v100 is targeted at both consumers and small businesses looking for an affordable “upgrade path for desktops and notebooks, short of a total system replacement.”
As you'd expect, the new SSDNow v100 drives feature Windows 7 TRIM support. A major difference between the enterprise-centric V+100 drives and the V100 series is the former's support for “always on” garbage collection across both TRIM and non-TRIM supported operating systems. But as Kingston clearly places a premium on that OS-independent garbage collection feature, the V100 is much more affordable. In fact, at $489.99 (stand-alone unit), the 256GB V100 is by far Kingston's most affordable 256GB SSD till date. The drive is capable of sequential read and write speeds of up to 250MB/sec and 230MB/sec, respectively.
“The SSDNow V100 drives ship as either a stand-alone unit or as an upgrade bundle kit. The desktop bundle kit includes the SSD, cloning software, cables (SATA data and power), and 3.5″ hard-drive mounting brackets and hardware. The notebook bundle includes the SSD, cloning software and a 2.5″ external enclosure allowing the replaced hard drive to be used as extra storage” Kingston said in a release.
Kingston today introduced the SSDNow V+100 solid-state drive, which features an “always on” garbage collection function, allowing it to be “optimized in both TRIM and Non-TRIM supported operating systems.” With the new SSDNow V+100 series, which is 25 percent faster than the previous generation, Kingston is trying to lure those enterprises that are still on older legacy OS' such as Windows Vista and XP that do not support TRIM.
The company has even added a 96GB option to its SSD range for the first time owing to consumer demand for “an SSD solution that ideally sits both price- and capacity-wise between the 64GB and 128GB drives.” Also available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, the drive boasts up to 230MB/s sequential read and 180MB/s sequential write speeds.
The prices are $ 220.00, $ 274.00, $ 390.00, $ 885.00, and $ 1,885.00 for the 64GB, 96GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB stand-alone drives, respectively.
There's a new CompactFlash card in town, Kingston's CompactFlash Ultimate 600x. With read and write speeds up to 90MB/s, it's Kingston's fastest card to date.
"The Kingston CF Ultimate 600x cards are great for photographers shooting in burst mode. For example, in a situation like a wedding or sporting event where the ability to rapidly take successive shots could make the difference between capturing the perfect shot or just missing it," said Mike Kuppinger, Flash card product manager, Kingston. "We are pleased to add the 600x card to our CompactFlash family of products which also includes the 266x Ultimate and 133x Elite Pro cards."
Kingston's shipping the new card in 16GB and 32GB capacities, both of which come with free downloadable data recovery software from MediaRECOVER.
No word on price, though a quick search online shows the CF/16GB-U3 (16GB) and CF/32GB-U3 (32GB) selling for around $110 and $185 shipped, respectively.
Plain and simple, solid state drives (SSDs) still cost too much for mainstream adoption. That epiphany seems to have hit Kingston's Scott Chen, VP of sales for Asia Pacific, who says that the price premium of SSDs over hard drives needs to drop by about 20 percent from the current 40 percent to drive widespread adoption.
Great, step one is identifying the problem, and step two would be fixing it. Sometimes it takes a give-and-take between consumers and manufacturers to prove there's a market for certain technology, but in this case, the ball is squarely in the manufacturers' court.
As it stands, the average cost of 1GB of NAND stands at $2.50, which would explain the horrible price-to-capacity ratio of SSDs compared to hard drives. According to Chen, the cost of 1GB of NAND needs to drop below $1 before we'll see any kind of widespread adoption of SSDs.
Chen isn't the only one who thinks so. Back in August, market research firm pegged $0.40 per GB as the price point NAND memory will need to hit before SSDs can become competitive with traditional HDDs.
DRAM makers have been through some tough times in recent years. That's true for nearly the entire tech industry, but the DRAM market in particular was hit hard by the global recession and reduced spending. An oversupply of chips and continued weak demand forced some DRAM makers to be on the brink of collapse, while others sought a government bailout. One firm asked workers to take unpaid leaves to keep from going out of business. At one point, A-Data chairman Simon Chen declared that the DRAM market was the worst it has been for 15 years.
That all happened back in 2008 and through most of 2009. Here we are approaching 2011 and while the situation is improved, there's a lingering fear that the DRAM market could collapse all over again. Scott Chen, vice president of Kingston, believes that DRAM makers could go through another crisis like the one above if demand doesn't pick up in the next 3-4 quarters.
Part of the problem is that DRAM makers can't seem to catch a break. Weaker than expected demand from the Chinese market is taking its toll, and prior to that, it was the European bond crisis. Going forward, analysts predict slow sales in the fourth quarter in China, which has traditionally been the high season.
DRAM makers will have to figure out a way to cope with yet another period of dormant sales. Kingston's strategy is to avoid any kind of capacity expansion, even if orders for DRAM modules and NAND flash products continue to grow. Should that happen, Kingston will look at outsourcing.
If you're looking to squeeze one last DDR2 upgrade out of your aging rig before moving to a DDR3 platform, you might want to go shopping now rather than put it off for another day. According to reports, Kingston Technology raised the prices for its DDR2 modules by 7 to 10 percent, prompting other memory makers to follow suit.
Further driving prices up, chip suppliers are currently in the process of converting production capacity to DDR3, resulting in a limited supply of DDR2 parts.
While you're shopping for memory, don't expect DDR3 prices to get any cheaper either, sources say. Those purportedly in the know say that current DDR3 prices don't have any wiggle room for further reduction in the third quarter, especially as stockpiles have started to run low.
Kingston has zeroed in on water cooling enthusiasts with its latest memory line, the HyperX 'H2O' series. Available in dual- and triple-channel packages, these kits run up to 2133MHz and include water cooling barbs integrated onto the heatsinks.
"Water cooling is desirable for its quiet operation and long-term reliability. We are bringing HyperX H2O to market as a solution for PC enthusiasts who want to build water-cooled systems using high quality Kingston products," said Mark Tekunoff, senior technology manager, Kingston®. "HyperX H2O is a natural extension of Kingston’s offerings for performance users. Our goal is for users of all levels and interests to have a Kingston product that meets their needs."
Kicking off the line are three kits, including:
4GB DDR3-2000 (CL9-11-9-27 @ 1.65V), two sticks
4GB DDR3 2133 (CL9-11-9-27 @ 1.65V), two sticks
6GB DDR3 2000 (CL9-10-9-27 @ 1.65V), three sticks
All three kits are available now, with pricing set at $157 (4GB DDR3-2000), $205 (4GB DDR3-2133), and $235 (6GB DDR3-2000).