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.
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