It's that time of year again, when CES looms just around the corner and company's giddy with anticipation begin teasing with sneak peeks of what's to come. Enter Kingston, the memory maker who over the weekend released a few photos of its upcoming liquid-cooled memory modules.
To be released under the company's HyperX brand, the liquid-cooled DDR3 kit comes with barbs for connecting to existing water cooling loops. And while these modules will obviously be aimed at overclockers, Kingston didn't say what frequency the upcoming chips will ship at, or any other specs, such as voltage or latencies.
According to Bit-tech, the modules are currently undergoing testing in Kingston's labs before the company makes a formal announcement during CES next month.
Timing the purchase of RAM can be as maddening as trying to predict the stock market. It's entirely possible to plunk down a wad of cash on a memory kit, only to watch as prices plummet a week later. That said, if you're in need of a memory upgrade, now might be a good time to buy.
Or at least that's the message we take away from market research firm DRAMeXchange, who warns that a DRAM shortage looms. The firm notes a lack of capital investment as the reason why, adding that there's already a shortage of some memory densities because of a recovery in the PC market. DRAMeXchange says some OEMs paid as much as $55 for 2GB DDR2 modules in the sport market.
The firm says that year-on-year PC shipment growth could climb to 13 percent in 2010, putting pressure on memory makers to keep up with demand.
Hynix today announced what it claims are the industry's first 2Gb (gigabit) GDDR5 chips using the 40nm manufacturing process. Boasting 7Gb/s of bandwidth and processing power of up to 28GB/s with a 32-bit I/O, these rank as the highest density graphics memory available.
But it's not all about sheer speed. Hynix says its new 2Gb chips also impress on the power consumption front. With an operation voltage of 1.35V, energy consumption drops down by 20 percent over previous parts built on 50nm technology, the company claims.
Hynix will begin mass producing the new chips in the second half of next year to coincide with increased demand for high-performance graphics memory.
You better be packing some serious server duties, CAD use, or other RAM-hungry task to even consider a 24GB memory kit, such as the 24GB Dominator tri-channel DDR3 memory kt Corsair released this week.
"Corsair's 24GB Dominator memory kit is perfect for high-performance computing applications, including computation research, HD digital content creation, working with multiple virtual machines, and other data-intensive applications," said John Beekley, VP of Technical Marketing at Corsair.
Corsair claims its new 24GB kit has gone through rigorous testing in high performing systems built around Intel's X58 platform. The kit consists of six 4GB DDR3 modules clocked at 1333MHz with 9-9-9-27 timings and a 1.65 vDIMM.
As you might expect, a 24GB kit doesn't come cheap, and this one's no exception. It's available now direct from Corsair for $1,350.
Toshiba today reached another milestone by launching a 64GB embedded NAND flash memory module, which ranks as the highest capacity yet achieved in the industry.
The 64GB part serves as the flagship chip in a new line of six embedded NAND flash memory modules, including 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities. Each one offers full compliance with the latest e*MMC standard and are designed with a variety of consumer electronics in mind, such as digital video cameras, smartphones, mobile phones, and even netbooks.
On the technical side, the 64GB embedded devices combines sixteen 32Gb (gigabit) NAND chips fabricated with Tosbhia's 32nm manufacturing process. It also contains a dedicated controller
Corsair this week unveiled what it says is the "world's fastest DDR3 memory for extreme overclockers and performance enthusiasts," the Dominator GTX 2250.
Designed for Intel's X58 and P55 platforms, the new kit supports up to a 2250MHz frequency in a 1 DIMM (X58 and P55) or 2 DIMM (P55) configuration. In each case, timings come rated at 8-8-8-24 at 1.65V. In a three DIMM triple channel configuration, the kit runs slightly slower at 2133MHz, also with the same timings and voltage.
"Corsair has a long history of delivering the fastest overclocking memory on the planet, and our engineering expertise and unique understanding of the enthusiast market allows us to continue to push boundaries," said Kevein Conley, VP of Engineering at Corsair. "Corsair Dominator GTX modules are the most tightly-screened, highest-quality and feasted DDR3 memory modules in the world, and we look forward to seeing what the enthusiast and overclocking community can do with these exciting new products."
Corsair said its new kits will also work on AMD platforms, though at up to 1800MHz with timings rated at 6-6-6-18 at 1.65V.
The memory maker says "availability will be extremely limited" and launch exclusively on the Corsair Online Store on December 8, 2009 at 9AM Pacific Time.
According to iSuppli, DDR3 is on pace to claim 50.9 percent of the market in Q2 2010, barely edging out DDR2. But what's most impressive is that DDR3's market share sat at only 14.2 percent in Q2 2009, and just 1 percent in Q2 2008.
"DDR3 is 50 percent faster than today's dominant DRAM technology, DDR2, while using about 30 percent less power," said Mike Howard, senior DRAM analyst for iSuppli. "For PC users across the board, this means faster performance. For notebook users, it can result in longer battery life."
Claiming a little over half of the market will be just the beginning, and iSuppli forecasts DDR3 will account for 71 percent of all DRAM by the end of next year.
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Both Intel and AMD fully embrace the DDR3 standard, and while DDR2 used to enjoy a pricing advantage, that gap recently closed all but completely.
There's not much time left to get on Santa's 'Nice' list, and if your'e hoping to score some RAM this holiday shopping season, that's a place you'll want to be. Why? Because memory makers are forecasting a DRAM price drop in December.
In addition to the usual seasonal demand, DRAM vendors say it's likely chip makers who have already turned a profit will decide to flex their cost competitiveness muscle and slash prices to drive up shipments.
The latest rumblings run counter to previously reports which suggested that major DRAM producers would try to push chip prices upward, but that no longer appears likely. The opposite has already begun, with the average spot price for branded 1Gb DDR2 chips trending down 0.76 percent to close at $2.60 on Tuesday, according to data from DRAMeXchange.
Talk about déjà vu. it's been a rough year-plus for DRAM manufacturers, who have had to contend with an oversupply of chips, falling prices, and a global recession on top of it all. At least one vendor said the DRAM market was the worst he'd seen it in 15 years. So it's a little bit curious that after finally showing signs of a rebound, memory makers appear stoked about an expected reduction in production costs in 2010.
It would make sense, provided the savings aren't passed on to the consumer, but that's usually not the way it works. Nevertheless, as memory makers compete with each other in a race to shrink dies, production costs are set to go down pretty significantly, DigiTimes reports.
Samsung has already adopted a 56nm process for over half of its DRAM output and has been churning out DDR3 chips using 40nm technology in small volume since the fourth quarter. By the second half of 2010, Samsung is expected to be heavily focused on 40nm.
Eplida and Nanya are also flirting with shrunken dies. And according to a recent iSuppli report, the worldwide DRAM industry has the manufacturing capacity to last through 2012.
It all sounds positive, until you consider the current condition of the memory market. But hey, from a consumer side, this is gravy. Bring on the faster, less expensive DDR3 modules.
Further proof that DDR2 is on its way out, several memory backend suppliers have been preparing for a major DDR3 push, news and rumor site DigiTimes reports.
Memory packaging and testing firms Powertech Technology, Formosa Advanced Technologies Company, and Walton Advanced Engineering all say that DRR3 will account for 90 percent of their DRAM shipments by the end of next year, up from 40 to 50 percent at the end of 2009. Walton estimates that some 90 percent of its overall DRAM revenue will come from DDR3 in 2010.
The writing has been on the wall for some time now. DDR2 pricing began rising months ago until DDR2 contract prices finally jumped ahead of DDR3 at the beginning of October.