Texas Instruments today unveiled what it claims is the industry's first high-temperature, nonvolatile Flash memory device for harsh environments. The SM28VLT32-HT has an operational capacity of 4MB and has been qualified to work in extreme situations ranging in temperature from -55C to +210C. At either end of the spectrum, TI says its 4MB part is good for at least 1,000 hours of operating life.
Life is hard, play short. No, that's not Nike's new slogan, but Crucial may want to adopt it to promote its new Ballistic Low Profile (LP) memory kits. Crucial's LP modules are not only shorter than regular sized memory kits, they're also between 15 percent and 35 percent smaller than some of the LP kits its competitors are using, the company claims. Another claim Crucial makes is that its LP kits deliver the same performance benefits of regular sized Ballistix memory modules.
Memory maker G.Skill is laying claim to the "world's fastest RAM" after an overclocker goosed the company's TridentX Extreme Performance memory kit to 1,950MHz (3,900MHz effective). Whether you want to qualify that as the world's fastest RAM is up to you (and clearly G.Skill does), but it is a new memory frequency world record, so there are some well deserved bragging rights to go around.
Historically speaking, if there's one thing memory chip makers could count on, it's that a new operating system from Microsoft would lead to double-digit percentage increases in quarterly DRAM shipments. That is, until now. According to IHS iSuppli, Windows 8 will have a positive impact in DRAM shipments, but quarterly growth this time around is expected to stay in single-digit territory.
It's too bad for Kingston there's not an award for 'Best DDR3 RAM Memory Name', because if there was, the company's new Predator modules would be a shoe-in. And then wouldn't it be awesome if Corsair or another competitor came out with an Aliens system memory line? Ah, but we digress. Killer name aside, Predator represents the newest addition to Kingston's HyperX memory family, and it takes direct aim at "extreme enthusiasts and overclockers," the company says.
Remember when high-end memory kits would set you back several hundred dollars? Those days are long gone, and for various reasons (all of which are great for consumers but stink for manufactures trying to flip a profit), they might never return. One of the reasons is that overclocking no longer carries such a heavy reliance on RAM. Memory is still important, but not like it was in the Pentium IV and AMD 64 era. But the biggest reason manufacturers are stuck in a low price rut is because they're caught in a "vicious circle of oversupply," GBI Research says.
Have you noticed how cheap NAND-powered memory devices have gotten? Flash drives and SSDs aren't quite a dime a dozen these days, but they're significantly cheaper than they have been in the past. While you and I may appreciate the decline in costs, low pricing is putting the pinch on NAND manufacturers, and Toshiba is cutting its NAND production by about 30 percent to compensate. (And drive up prices, of course.)
In even more "future tech" news, Micron announced today that it has started mass production of a 45nm phase change memory solution for mobile devices. Phase change memory -- so called because it uses heat from an electrical current to flip between varying physical states -- is considered a possible successor, or at least competitor, to Flash in the non-volatile memory market. Micron's chip is the first phase change memory solution to become widely available in quantity.
Computer memory might not be the sexy subject it once was back when your choice of RAM could make or break even a simple overclock, but if you're a power user looking to squeeze the most amount performance out of your system, memory still matters. It's those types of users Patriot Memory hopes to attract with its new Viper 3 memory series, purportedly engineered specifically for "the most demanding computing environments."
Patriot Memory's begun waving around a new flagship secure digital card line called the EP Pro Series. The new SDHC/SDXC flash storage cards were designed with high definition video and photography gurus in mind, the company says, and boast blazing fast read and write speeds that are nearly five times faster than the transfer speeds of standard SDHC cards.