Don't worry if you've never heard of IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), because you've certainly heard of the two companies which comprise the joint venture: Intel and Micron. And the big news coming from IMFT today is that the silicon duo have managed to unveil the world's first 25nm NAND Flash memory.
"To lead the entire semiconductor industry with the most advanced process technology is a phenomenal feat for Intel and Micron, and we look forward to further pushing the scaling limits," said Brian Shirley, vice president of Micron's memory group. "This production technology will enable significant benefits to our customers through higher density media solutions."
What this means to Joe Consumer is smaller, higher density designs at lower price points. So next-gen SSDs, for example, could very well end up with larger capacities without jacking up prices far and above what they already are. And according to Intel, performance will be on par with current 34nm products.
IMFT said it has already sent 8GB NAND samples to a handful of manufacturers. These samples represent the industry's first monolithic 8GB NAND devices, and at a die size of 167mm2, they boast twice the capacity of the company's highest density 34nm parts.
For more technical specs, as well as a quick tour inside IMFT's multi-billion dollar semiconductor plant in Lehi, Utah, see HotHardware's write-up here.
Samsung on Monday announced what it claims is the industry's first 30nm class DRAM to successfully complete customer evaluations in 2Gb (gigabit) densities.
"Our accelerated development of next generation 30nm-class DRAM should keep us in the most competitive position in the memory market," said Soo-In Cho, president, Memory Division, Samsung Electronics. "Our 30nm-class process technology will provide the most advanced low-power DDR3 available today and therein the most efficient DRAM solutions anywhere for the introduction of consumer electronics and server systems."
According to Samsung, shrinking down to a 30nm manufacturing process allows the company to raise production by 60 percent over 40nm-class DDR3. And as far as consumers are concerned, the company's Green DRAM lowers power consumption by up to 30 percent over 50nm-class DRAM. To give a real world example, Samsung says a 4GB, 30nm module will consume only 3W per hour in a new generation notebook.
I want to know if 32-bit Windows 7 will limit how much system memory I can install. I know that 4GB is the maximum that 32-bit Windows XP will recognize. Is this the same for Windows 7? Do I need to buy 64-bit if I want to install more than 4GB memory?
Read the Doctor's answer for Anthony after the jump.
Intel slapped their stamp of approval on the latest and greatest from Corsair. The “hand screened” and individually tested memory runs well past the 2GHz “fastest XMP-certified memory in the world,” also manufactured by Corsair.
The XMP-Ready certification was awarded to Corsair’s Dominator GTX (CMGTX1) running at just 1.65V and timings of 9-11-9-27. The new memory is available now within Corsair's Online storefront. In addition to the XMP-Ready certification at 2333MHz, Corsair guarantees the memory to operate at factory timings and voltages up to 2400MHz.
While price is hardly ever a factor for those interested in this bleeding-edge technology, even the most stone-faced enthusiast would balk at the $200 per 2GB stick price tag.
Both AMD and Intel have fully embraced DDR3, and as a result, no one wants DDR2 anymore. Demand for DDR2 has fallen by the wayside, while DDR3 is selling through the roof. For Korea-based DRAM makers, the situation has left them with a surplus of DDR2 modules, and they don't want them any more than consumers do.
The solution? Bundle DDR3 modules with DDR2 chips. Doing so will help clear out DDR2 inventories that have been piling up, and will also help keep the price gap between the two standards from widening. According to DigiTimes' industry sources, the strategy is to minimize the impact that a DDR2 oversupply and DDR3 shortage would have on the market.
As it stands, sport market prices for 1.3GHz 1Gb DDR3 chips are averaging about $3.08, compared to $2.50 for 800MHz 1Gb DDR2 chips, according to the latest data from DRAMeXchange.
While perhaps not as resilient as the 3.5-inch floppy disk, DDR2 is doing its damnedest to avoid obsolescence. The only trouble with that is that memory chip makers aren't showing much interest in prolonging DDR2's relevance in the market place, not when faced with steep drops in contract quotes for DDR2 chips.
Just about every DRAM maker has shifted their capacity to the production of DDR3 chips, and in some cases (like with Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation), production is so lopsided that shares of DDR3 wafers have climbed above 70 percent. That's a big change from the third quarter of 2009, when PSC's DDR3 production sat somewhere between 0-5 percent of overall output.
But PSC isn't the only one. Both Nanya and Inotera Memories have also ramped up DDR3 output. And according to DRAMeXchange, Nanya is likely to see DDR3 consume 90 percent of the company's production.
Mushkin this week beefed up its high-end Blackline lineup of DDR3 memory with new kits, including a 12GB triple channel DDR3-1600 package.
"These new memory products we are introducing give our customers superior flexibility with their systems. Whether they are looking for a high density 8GB or 12GB kit with fast DDR3-1600 CL7 performance, or a lower density kit that allows them to overclock their machines to levels they never dreamed possible, Mushkin Enhanced has their needs covered," said Brian Flood, director of product development.
There's overkill, and then there's Kingston just-announced 24GB HyperX memory kit, which is like swatting a fly with a cinder block laced with grenades.
"We are pleased to make available the largest HyperX memory kits ever for the prosumers, multimedia pro, or super enthusiast who wants everything," said Mark Tekunoff, senior technology manager, Kingston. "Users working with the latest operating systems like Windows 7 can keep multiple programs open, run memory intensive video or photo applications, or run numerous virtual machines using 24GB or 16GB of DDR3 HyperX memory and create more efficiency and performance gains than ever before."
The massive 24GB kit comes rated at 1600MHz with timings set at 9-9-9-27. It consists of six DIMMs, each running at 1.65V.
For the more modest enthusiast, there's also the dual-channel 16GB kit with the same settings, but you'll save yourself a little over $500.
The 24GB kit is available now for $1,598, while the 16GB kit sells for $1,065.
The new year is supposed to bring about change, but it might just be more of the same, at least in the memory industry. According to Simon Chen, chairman of memory maker A-Data, DRAM chip supply will remain tight throughout most of 2010.
On the plus side, Chen doesn't anticipate any major price hikes. But he did warn that with major producers playing it conservative the past couple of years rather than putting a bigger focus on capacity expansion, supply will have a tough time keeping up with demand.
Chen's comments fall in line with a recent DRAMeXchange report suggesting the market will see a shortage, which seems to be the general sentiment in the memory industry. Elpida Memory CEO Yukio Sakamoto recently voiced the same concern.
As for A-Data, Chen said his company plans to add 3 or 4 new overseas offices, bringing the total to 16 or 17. The new offices will most likely be opened in China, India, or both.
If you've never used one of G.Skill's Pi-series memory kits before, you're missing out, but not for long. The memory maker today announced it's working on five additional dual-channel Pi-series DDR3 kits ranging in frequency from 2000MHz to 2400MHz. Here's how it all breaks down:
F3-19200CL9D-4GBPIS, 2400MHz, CL 9-11-9-28
F3-18400CL8D-4GBPIS, 2300MHz, CL 8-11-8-28
F3-16000CL6D-4GBPIS, 2000MHz, CL 6-9-6-24
F3-16000CL7D-4GBPIS, 2000MHz, CL 7-9-7-24
F3-16000CL8D-4GBPIS, 2000MHz, CL 8-9-8-24
Each kit comes rated at 1.65V and is intended for Intel's Core i5 750, Core i7 860, and Core i7 870 processors, G.Skill said.