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.
Biostar today adds to its T-Series motherboard lineup, this time with a hybrid board capable of running both DDR2 and DDR3 memory (not at the same time).
"Needless to say, the double DDR2/DDR3 design make it possible for users to enjoy better compatibility and cost saving on future memory upgrade," Biostar wrote in a press release. "This motherboard also supports Biostar's exclusive G.P.U. energy-saving technology."
The TP45E Combo motherboard dedicates two slots to each memory standard with support for up to 4GB of DDR3-800/1066/1333, and up to 8GB of DDR2-667/800/1066. Other notables include "whole solid capacitors," 1600MHz frontside bus support, 3 PCI slots, 2 PCI-E x1 slots, a single PCI-E Gen2 x16 slot, 6 SATA ports, and 5.1 surround sound.
We're not sure what it is about Corsair and May 20, but on that same date last year, the memory maker set a world record for DDR3 memory frequency by pushing its Dominator kit to 2462MHz. Fast forward a year later, and on May 20, 2009, Corsair Labs announced it had coaxed 2533MHz out of a 6GB triple channel DDR3 Dominator GT kit, which the company says is the highest frequency ever achieved on a Core i7 platform using three modules.
"When it comes to overclocking and memory, Corsair has proven -- once again -- that its engineering team truly is the best," said Kevein Conley, Vice President of Engineering for Corsair. "As the new world record shows, Corsair's modules are second-to-none in terms of performance, stability, and quality."
To set the new mark, Corsair slapped a Dominator GT 2000C7 tri-channel kit into an Evga X58 3X Classified motherboard and ran fairly aggressive 7-8-7-20 timings. Other components included an Intel Core i7 Extreme 975 processor, GeForce 8800 GTS videocard, and a Corsair P256 SSD.
Whether you're chasing a world overclocking record or ever thought to yourself, "Self, if only I could get this RAM to sub-ambient temp levels, I think it'd really shine," Corsair's Cooling Ice Series T30 apparatus might be just what you've been waiting for.
Designed specifically for both Corsair's Dominator and Dominator GT modules, the T30 is a thermo-electric cooling (TEC) unit that hooks up to your existing water-cooling setup. Water block, humidity sensors, and control circuitry are all included, just bring your own 3/8-inch tubng. Once installed, Corsair claims the T30 will cool your modules up to 20C degrees below ambient temperature, which, according to the company's own testing, was enough to increase memory frequency overclocking by up to 100MHz over standard cooling.
If street pricing holds true to the MSRP, that extra 100MHz will run you $199. No word yet on availability.
Not only is there still a market for DDR2 modules, but there are even new products still coming down the pipeline. Take for example OCZ's just-announced Blade and Platinum Series Low Voltage kits, which the company says have been qualified to excel at low voltages.
"Though enthusiasts are known for applying increased voltage to modules in order to obtain higher performance, our newest modules offer exceptional speeds at lower voltages improving overall performance and stability," commented Eugene Chang, Vice President of Product Management at the OCZ Technology Group.
The new series comes in 4GB kits with speeds ranging from DDR2-1066 to DDR2-1200. Regardless of stock frequency, each kit comes rated at 5-5-5-18 latency timings and consumes just 1.8V. Giving the stock frequency ceiling, 1.8V is pretty impressive when you consider some enthusiast kits have required up to an uncomfortable 2.3V.
RAM, like water, is a commodity. And just as there’s a clear difference between putrid L.A. County tap water and water choppered in from the peaks of Mt. Everest, the quality of RAM can vary wildly. But quality is not the sole factor to consider when you’re trying to achieve optimum memory performance from your system.
These days, a user is faced with a plethora of options spanning different technologies, speeds, and capacities. We’re here to help you make heads and tails of all that so you’re prepared when you configure your next rig. Armed with a slew of RAM-based benchmarks, we set out to answer three of the hottest questions in memory today: Is DDR3 for AMD’s new AM3 Phenom II CPUs worth the expense? Should you pay for high-speed RAM or stick with the standard stuff? Finally, just how much memory is enough? We test three common amounts of RAM for Intel’s Core i7 to identify the sweet spot.