For the past couple of years, a team of HP scientists have sat tucked away in a laboratory with the sole goal of pushing memristor research. What exactly is a memristor? Put simply, it's an electrical resistor with memory properties, and according to HP, memristors could push the speed of flash-based media tenfold or higher.
"This is sort of the missing element of the processor puzzle. It takes its place alongside the resistor, capacitor and inductor [as the fourth basic circuit element in chip engineering]. And it could change the way we do IT," said Stan Williams, HP senior fellow and Director of quantum Science Research.
Williams made those comments during the Flash Memory Summit in August 2009, and now less than a year later, Williams said they have discovered that the memristor "has more capabilities than we previously thought." No longer do Williams and Co. think memristors will just apply to storage devices, but they say "the memristor can perform logic, enabling computation to one day be performed in chips where data is stored, rather than on a specialized central processing unit."
If they're right, this could end up extending Moore's Law even after it's no longer possible to shrink transistors, Williams said.
We can remember when G.Skill wasn't really in the discussion when it came to high end modules, but that hasn't been the case for some time now. Case in point: the memory maker just released a DDR3 kit rated at 2500MHz, which ranks as the fastest memory around.
"G.Skill is dedicated to continuously developing the best performance memory modules on the market, to satisfy the demands of extreme overclockers and gamers. We are proud of the continual milestones we are still setting in the memory industry, and we believe the collaboration with Asus brings the best technology synergy for furture product development," said Tony Chou, Senior R&D Manager at G.Skill.
The collaboration Chou refers to involves strict testing of their new Trident memory on Asus' P7P55D-E Deluxe and P7P55D-E EVO motherboards. G.Skill also said the dual-channel kit has been specifically designed for Intel's Core i7 860 and 870 processors.
Unfortunately, the memory maker also left out a few details, including latencies, pricing information, and availability.
Do you really need 16GB or 24GB of RAM? For most users, the answer is 'probably not.' But could you picture pairing Intel's Core i7 980X processor with a 24GB DDR3 kit? Sure you could, and Corsair is ready to oblige.
The Fremont, CA-based memory maker announced a pair of new Dominator kits this week, both of which border on the excessive. According to Corsair, the new 16GB and 24GB kits have also been "rigorously qualified and tested" on Intel's X58 (24GB) and P55 (16GB) platforms. But who are these really for?
"We continue to see increasing demands for high density solutions from programmers, scientists, videographers, and other data-intensive users," stated John Beekley, VP of Technical Marketing at Corsair. "These new 1600MHz modules will enable a new level of processing speed for handling these large data sets."
Both kits sport latencies of 9-9-9-24 and are available now. The 16GB kit runs $1,000, while the 24GB kit checks in at $1,450, and both include Corsair's Airflow fan.
Have you turned on your Xbox 360 console today? If so, you may have noticed that you're now able to save data to removable USB memory drives, just as Microsoft promised a couple of weeks ago.
In early May, you'll be able to snag Microsoft's own-branded memory sticks from outlets like Gamestop, but the question is whether you'd even want to in the first place. According to Gamestop's pre-order pricing, an 8GB memory stick will run you $40, while you can expect to pay $70 for a 16GB flash drive. The good news here is that you can use any USB flash drive, "so long as you're aware that the maximum amount of data moved or stored is 16GB on any one device," Kotaku reports.
Microsoft has been aggressively upping the storage ante for its Xbox 360 console of late. Two weeks ago, the Redmond outfit released a 250GB standalone hard drive with transfer kit after previously saying the company had no plans to do so. Could Blu-ray be next? Don't hold your breath.
Toshiba said it is investing heavily in chip-making equipment that will enable the world's No. 2 NAND flash memory maker to produce microchips built on a sub-25nm manufacturing process.
The shrink to below 25nm will pave the way for higher capacities on smaller slices of silicon that are cheaper to produce, so it's a win all around. Toshiba's current product is stuck at 32nm and 43nm, and the company will spend $160 million this year in order to build a test production line for the smaller chips.
According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei Business Daily, Toshiba will soon begin churning out NAND chips with circuitry widths in the upper 20 nanometer range in the second half of this year. NAND chips with circuitry widths in the lower 20 nanometer range could begin as early as 2012.
The ever-volatile DRAM market continues to battle its share of supply and demand issues, the latest of which could affect smartphones and other gadgets with embedded RAM. Citing un-named industry sources, DigiTimes says prices for 512Mbit DDR, which are used for multi-chip package (MCP) memory products found mainly in mobile handsets, have shot up over 40 percent the past month due to tight supply.
The average spot price for 512Mb (64Mbitx8) SDRAM has gone from $1.53 a month ago to over $2.20 currently, the sources said. But mobile handsets aren't the only sector being affected.
Demand for 64Mb and 32Mb DDR memory in DVD players, hard drives, consumer electronics, and even home appliances have started to exceed supply.
Part of the reason for the widespread supply and demand issues can be traced to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC)'s withdrawal from the SDRAM foundry business. Prior to discontinuing the line earlier this year, SMIC used to allocate capacity of around 20,000 wafers for production of SDRAM chips.
We'd all love to deck out our rigs with high-capacity, high-performance SSDs, but for most, it just isn't practical. That doesn't mean the benefits of an SSD are lost on the mainstream market, and if you're willing to settle for a lower capacity drive, there are some compelling options finally starting to appear.
As a result, there's a rush among SSD makers to cater to entry-level and mainstream consumers, and Kingston thinks it has a leg up on the competition. Citing un-named industry sources, DigiTimes says Kingston has shipped about 30,000 low-priced SSDs, prompting other companies to release low-priced units of their own.
If you ask Kingston, its 30GB SSD is the better option over Intel's new 40GB X25-V, and if looking strictly at street pricing, they're right, even if just barely. Intel's 40GB X25-V streets for about $125, or about $3.12 per GB. Kingston's 30GB SSDNow V Series streets for $92, or about $3.07 per GB. Kingston's drive is also rated a little bit faster with up to 180MB/s read and 50MB/s write speeds, compared to 170MB/s and 35MB/s, respectively.
Of course, hard drives still trump SSDs in capacity and price per GB, which begs the question, is anyone interested in these so-called value oriented SSDs? Hit the jump and sound off!
Following a brief power outage at one of Samsung's production bases in Kiheung on Wednesday, there was some concern over what impact it would have on the company's production. Looking to put everyone's mind at ease, Samsung says the one hour blackout will not have a significant impact.
That's good news in what's already a tight DRAM market. The blackout hit Samsung's 12-inch Fab 13 and Fab 14 facilities, which are mainly responsible for DRAM and NAND flash production. Fab 13 churns out about 120,000 wafers every month, while Fab 14 pushes out about 130,000.
This isn't the first time a power outage has rocked Kiheung. In 2007, a serious blackout forced Samsung to temporarily shut down six of its production lines, most of which wreaked havoc on the company's NAND flash products.
Corsair today lifted the capacity ceiling on its compact Flash Voyager Mini USB flash drive line by announcing a new 32GB model, which is twice the size as the previous capacity king.
"USB flash drive users love the convenience and ruggedness of the Flash Voyager Mini form factor," stated John Beekley, VP of Technical Marketing at Corsair. "The increase in density to 32GB allows users to carry their digital world with them at all times on this compact drive."
The ruggedness Beekley refers to comes in the form of a rubberized housing. And to keep the size down, all Flash Voyager Mini drives come equipped with a cap-less retractable USB connector.
Corsair says the new 32GB model is available now from "authorized distributors and resellers worldwide." Pricing looks to have settled around $100 street.
Eye-Fi this week announced a new lineup of wireless memory cards that are twice as nice as previous gen models in a number of ways. According to Eye-Fi, the new X2 series transfer data twice as fast as before, serve up to twice the capacity, and now have twice as many hotspots to work from.
"Just in time for spring outings and summer road trips, we're giving users the ultimate Eye-Fi experience -- it's faster and even more convenient," said Jef Holove, CEO for Eye-Fi. "Uploading and sharing your memories with friends and family is as simple as finding a nearby Starbucks and turning on your camera. We do the rest."
There are three cards in the new series, including the Eye-Fi Connect X2 (4GB), Explorer X2 (8GB), and Pro (X2). All three cards are rated for Class 6 performance and come capable of uploading photos and vids to a home PC or one of more than 25 online sharing sites, like Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, or Picasa.
Both the Explorer X2 and Pro X2 come with lifetime geotagging and one-year of hotspot access, while the Pro X2 is also capable of creating an ad hoc connection
Pricing for new cards has been set at $50 (Connect X2), $100 (Explore X2), and $150 (Pro X2).