DRAM contract prices have refused to budge during the second half of June, according to DRAMeXchange. The first half had witnessed an increase in contract prices and chip suppliers, encouraged by the token recovery, were planning to increase prices.
Although analysts expected DDR3 contract prices to rise on the back of increased demand resulting from the launch of ultra-thin notebooks, DDR3 prices have remained stagnant. DDR2 contract prices have remained static just as anticipated.
The contact prices for 2GB DDR3 and 2GB DDR2 chips have averaged $23 and $21.50, respectively, in the second half of June. On the other hand, the contract prices for 1GB DDR3 and 1GB DDR2 chips are $1.25 and $1.16, respectively.
Zotac, a relative newcomer to the videocard market, has doubled up the amount of GDDR3 memory found on most GTX 275 videocards to 1792MB. Sparkle and EVGA are the only other two GPU partners to pack the same amount of memory on the GTX 275.
"We try to deliver the best performance value for gamers. With the new Zotac GeForce GTX 275 1792MB, we've managed to achieve a balance of performance and value for those that demand more video memory for gaming at extreme HD resolutions," said Carsten Berger, marketing director, Zotac International.
Additional memory aside, Zotac's GTX 275 follows closely Nvidia's reference specification, with core, shader, and memory clockspeeds checking in at a 633MHz, 1404MHz, and 2268MHz, respectively, 240 stream processors, and a 448-bit memory interface.
More and more memory kits are starting to ship with high-profile heatspreaders, and the latest modules to receive Kingston's T1 makeover is the tri-channel HyperX 1600MHz 6GB kit.
"The 1600MHz frequency is a sweet spot amongst gamers, and combining it with the popular T1 heatspreaders gives enthusiasts a performance advantage through improved heat diffusion while overclocking and gaming," Kingston wrote in a press release.
Kingston says its revised 6GB kit -- part number KHX12800D3T1K3/6GX -- is available now for $155 MSRP. Other HyperX kits sporting "heavy-duty" aluminum T1 heatspreaders include the triple-channel DDR3-2000MHz and DDR3-1866MHz kits, and dual-channel DDR2-1066MHz and DDR2-800MHz kits.
We're just now starting to get used to seeing 6GB and 12GB of total memory in desktop systems, but such capacities are suddenly quaint compared to the latest 32GB modules Samsung's cooked up, even if not headed for the desktop.
According to Samsung, it's the world's first 32GB DDR3 RAM stick, and it was built using a 50nm process. A total of 72Gb (gigabit) DDR3 chip dies arranged in a row of nine quad-die packaged 16Gb DDR3s are packed on each side of the module, resulting in 32GB of total memory. And in addition to boasting higher capacity, Samsung says its 32GB RDIMM also improves throughput by 20 percent and consumes less power at 1.35V compared to previous sticks running 1.5V.
No word yet on price or availability, or when Samsung plans to launch its 8GB modules designed for the desktop.
Worried your RAM might go up flames from the extra voltage you're pumping through? You can worry a little less with OCZ's XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) Memory Cooler Revision 2, the latest in a limited field of active RAM coolers.
"The first revision of the OCZ XTC Memory Cooler proved to be a very popular product with a wide range of enthusiast and power users," said Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management for OCZ. "We are excited to offer a follow-up design with improved performance, an enhanced feature set, and a sleek new look, all at the same affordable price point as the original."
Made of brushed aluminum, OCZ's newest XTC cooler installs over the top of your RAM modules by snapping into your motherboard's DIMM socket retention levels. Two 60mm fans provide airflow for your memory, and according to OCZ, a new, taller profile means you can use the second revision XTC cooler with memory kits sporting taller heatsinks. Fan speed is adjustable (low or high), and of course tricked out with blue LEDs.
Most chip manufacturers are busy readying the move to a 32nm manufacturing process, including Toshiba, which back in April of this year said it would begin mass producing 32Gb (gigabit) chips from the shrunken process by next month. But forget about 32nm - Toshiba says it has made a breakthrough in the use of strontium germanide (SrGex) that will make 16nm possible sooner than expected.
The breakthrough involves the development of a gate stack and interlayer with high carrier mobility that can be applied to metal-insulator-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MISFETs), ElectronicsWeekly.com reports. Today's MSIFETs use silicon for the channel, however the substance is reaching its design limit in terms of current handling capabilities.
Germanium presents design challenges too, namely the development of thin gate structures. According to Toshiba, it can get around these challenges by combining SrGex, a compound of strontium, and germanium, for use as an interlayer between the high-k insulating layer and the germanium channel.
The details get even geekier, but you'll have to wait for Toshiba to present the technology at the 2009 VLSI Symposia in Kyoto, Japan later this week.
According to some recent research, Samsung is the current leader in the half-billion dollar SSD market.
Having pulled in $185.88 million in revenues, Samsung held about 31.7 percent of the $585 million market in 2008. In second place was storage array SSD supplier STEC with $92.06 million, or about 15.7 percent. SanDisk finished third, selling $54.94 million worth of flash memory, giving them a 9.4 percent market share (down noticeably from their 17.3 percent market share in 2007).
Carved from wood and utilizing pieces from at least 6 different pocket watches (some over 100 years old!), the designer, Rob Smith, claims he spent about 10-12 hours constructing the 16GB USB thumb drive. Adding to the aesthetic appeal, 26 rubies reflect light from the drive, and when plugged in, it glows green from beneath the gears "giving the key a good sense of movement."
Tough times for memory chip makers continue, but relief may soon be coming, if not for just a short period of time. According to Simon Chen, chairmen of A-Data Technology, DRAM prices have a very good chance of returning to cost levels in the third quarter of 2009, DigiTimes reports.
The comments came during the Computex Taipei trade show, in which A-Data has been showing off new memory products, including overclocked DDR3 memory kits and SSDs. However, Chen did caution that while pricing may soon go up, a full recovery isn't likely to take place until 2010. Contract pricing for June will be a telltale sign of things to come, Chen said, and DRAM chip makers would be wise to closely monitor and control their inventory.
It's been a strange and wonderful ride watching solid state drive technology finally start to come into its own and threaten traditional hard disk drives. Frustrating too, as the handful of SSDs that manage to blaze a performance trail cost an exorbitant amount per gigabyte, while some of the lower cost drives based on the JMicron controller suffer from stuttering problems. That's why we're thrilled to see JMicron take a mulligan.
According to news site DailyTech, JMicron plans to unveil a new NAND flash controller at Computex. Designed to fix the aforementioned stuttering problem, the JMF612 chip will use an ARM9 core in a 289-ball TFBGA package and support the use of up to 256MB of DDR or DDR2 RAM for external cache duties.
The other part of the equation involves a new generation of NAND flash chips that are smaller, faster, and cheaper to manufacturer. At least one company -- IM Flash Technologies, a joint venture between Intel and Micron -- is said to already be building 34nm NAND, and SSDs based on the new chip(s) will support NCQ. Moreover, JMicron's refreshed controller has been specifically designed to take advantage of these new NAND chips.