Don't even bother trying to follow the memory market until you've taken a dose of Dramamine. The DRAM industry has more ups and downs than a Six Flags amusement park, only without all the thrills. According to A-Data, that doesn't look to change in 2010, and you should brace yourself for a memory shortage in the latter part of the year.
Speaking at a recent company event, A-Data chairman Simon Chen said strong PC replacement demand in both the consumer and business sectors will put the squeeze on memory makers to keep up. Chen expects demand to outpace supply by 1-2 percent in the second quarter, and then remain throughout the second half of the year.
Chen attributes the demand to Windows 7, which he says will spark a ton of replacement PC purchases. As a result, expect DRAM prices to go up, a trend we've already been seeing, especially in the notebook memory market.
What do you carry on your USB stick? Plans for world domination? Love letters from your mistress? Detroit Lions fan club information and links? Whether you're prone to any of these or simply aspiring to be a secret agent man, Corsair's Flash Padlock 2 USB flash drive might be just the tool you've been looking for.
This 8GB USB key sits in the sweet spot of 'put-it-in-your-pocket' storage, but unlike most other flash drives, this one comes "very cleverly and comprehensively designed to protect your critical business or personal data from unwanted exposure." This "clever" design entails a numeric PIN pad, which you can configure with anywhere from 4-10 digits. Adding a second layer of protection, the Padlock 2 boasts 256-bit AES encryption.
But what happens if you forget your PIN? Corsair says you can reset the drive to its factory default state, securely erasing all your data in the process.
My motherboard will not read dual-channel memory. It’s a Biostar TForce 4; the CPU is an AMD 64 X2 dual-core at 3.2GHz with 4GB of DDR/400 RAM. On boot it only reads single-channel RAM. Is my motherboard going bad?
Read the Doctor's answer for Richard after the jump.
Mushkin doesn't make the headlines too often, but the high-end memory maker this week announced one more addition to its Blackline series, the Blackline 4GB DDR3-2000 kit.
The new dual-channel kit sports Mushkin's now-familiar Blackline Frostbyte heatspreaders, but it's what's under the aluminum that counts. Mushkin rates its memory modules at 2000MHz with fairly tight 7-10-8-27 latencies at 1.65V.
This ranks as Mushkin's fastest DDR3 kit to date, although not the fastest on the market, and also the company's tightest-timed 2000MHz kit.
Mushkin says the new kit will be available soon for $180.
Micron earlier this week announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Numonyx in an all-stock transaction that would value the company at $1.27 billion.
"Acquiring Numonyx brings together two memory leaders and positions Micron to offer the most comprehensive, cost-competitive solutions in the industry to a broad range of customers and end-markets," said Steve Appleton, Chairman and CEO of Micron.
The agreement has Micron issuing 140 million Micron common shares to Numonyx shareholders, Intel, STMicroelectronics, and Francisco Partners. In addition, up to 10 million more Micron common share will be issued ratably to Numonyx shareholders, the company said.
Micron says it expects Numonyx's balance sheet to be debt-free after closing the deal.
Elecom, a PC peripheral maker better known in Japan, has launched a pair of memory card readers boasting support for SDXC memory cards.
First on the list is the MR-A001BK. Primarily a USB thumb reader, this one also supports nine other types of media, including SDXC cards up to 64GB in capacity and SD Pro high-speed cards topping out at 2GB.
The other card reader is the MR-A002. Available in black or white, this one supports 32 different types of media, which also includes SDXC cards up to 64GB. You can also shove a media stick in the MR-A002 without an adapter.
The MR-A001BK and MR-A002 will be available in Japan later this month for $21 and $27, respectively. No word on whether Elecom also plans to market these in the U.S.
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.