Samsung this week unveiled what it claims is the industry's first monolithic four gigabit (Gb), low power double-data rate 2 (LPDDR2) DRAM built on a 30nm manufacturing process. The new chip is specifically intended for high-end smartphones and tablets
"The mobile device market is gaining momentum with the advent of tablet PCs, which is adding significantly to the already surging smartphone segment," said Jun-Young Jeon, vice president, memory product planning team, Samsung Electronics. "Samsung will work closely with mobile device designers to bring high-performance, high-density mobile solutions to market as rapidly as possible."
According to Samsung, its new LPDDR2 part can transfer up to 1,066Mbps, offering similar performance to desktop memory. It's also more than twice as fast as previous mobile DRAM technology.
Samsung said it will begin sampling 8Gb (1GB) LPDDR2 DRAM this month by stacking two 4Gb chips in a single package, whereas previous 8Gb LPDDR2 DRAM used four 2Gb chips. The upshot here is a 20 percent height reduction, which should help result in slimmer mobile devices, and 25 percent less power consumption.
Samsung played its cards right by making its Galaxy S smartphone available to all major carriers, something we wish more manufacturers would do. Maybe now they will. According to market research firm Gartner, Samsung is now the top Android smartphone provider in the U.S.
Thanks to the Galaxy S, Samsung was able to capture 32.1 percent of the U.S. Android market in the third quarter of 2010 based on retail sales. That's up 9.2 percent from one quarter ago. The Galaxy S, which is available with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, U.S. Cellular, and Cellular South, recently surpassed the three million shipment mark.
Perhaps what's most impressive about this is that Samsung's strategy propelled the company past HTC, makers of the first Android smartphone (T-Mobile's G1) as well as a bevy of Android devices since then.
Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays power some of the most popular handsets and devices on the market today, but a supply chain shortage has had a dramatic impact on OEM’s both large and small. It’s a problem that has taken most of the year to solve, but it appears as though Samsung might finally be prepared to make amends in 2011 with more production facilities finally coming online, along with new competitors from Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.
This additional capacity is likely going to lead to better prices and vastly improved availability going into 2011, a trend that anyone on the market for a new device should be thankful for. China is also rumored to be working on an OLED supply chain as well, which if true should finally put all of the supply issues to bed once and for all.
Samsung wants the world to know that its new enterprise solid state drives (SSDs) with built-in hardware encryption are the shiznit, or to use plain English, they boast government grade AES 256-bit encryption.
"Faster and more secure than its predecessor, our new corporate-focused SSD is the only one with self-encryption built on TCG's Opal standard that's available on the market today," said Jim Elliot, Vice President, Memory Marketing and Product Planning, Samsung.
By Samsung's estimation, a lost or stolen notebook ends up costing a company $200 per lost record. Samsung's SSDs include always-on hardware encryption with the data encryption and user authentication taking place in the drive controller rather than being stored in software. According to Samsung, its self-encrypting SSDs also perform 2.4 times higher than an SSD with software encryption and 3.7 times higher than an HDD with software encryption.
Samsung may not have beaten the iPad in one fell swoop, but they have made a respectable splash with the release of the Galaxy Tab around the world. The device has now sold 600,000 units according to a Korean newspaper. This makes it the most popular Android tablet by an order of magnitude.
This is the first Android tablet to have the tacit support of Google. The Big G has said Android 2.2 Froyo (like on the Galaxy Tab) is not meant for tablets. But Samsung is a close partner, so Google was apparently willing to allow the Android Market and Google apps to be shipped with the Tab.
The Galaxy Tab is going to be available on all major US carriers this holiday season. The Tab also managed 30,000 sales just in South Korea in one week. So consumers are at least willing to try Android on a tablet, but Google might make them regret that purchase. Future versions of the OS may bring specific tablet improvements, and users would have to wait for that to trickle down to their devices.
Is the only thing stopping you from picking up a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone is that you wish it had a higher price tag? Then oh boy are you in luck. We just got word from Samsung that its partnership with Giorgio Armani is extending to the Galaxy S.
The exclusive edition Giorgio Armani Galaxy S comes in a specially designed body that looks a lot like the Captivate (AT&T's Galaxy S), albeit with a patterned back metal cover and Giorgio Armani logo across the top. There's also a spattering of exclusive content, including ringtones, fonts, and on/off animation.
"The long-standing partnership between Samsung and Giorgio Armani has produced a finely crafted handset that reflects the user’s refined tastes. It has been magnificent to see Samsung’s design and technological expertise matched with one of the most prestigious and stylish brands in the world," said YH Lee, Senior Vice President of the Samsung Mobile Marketing.
The Giorgio Armani Galaxy S will go on sale starting in December in Italy, with a global roll out to follow in 2011. No word on price, though WWDFashion says it will retail for around 700 Euros, or about US$965.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab is perhaps the most talked about tablet since the iPad, mainly because it presents the first real threat to Apple's dominance in the tablet space. Reviews have started appearing on the Web and we'll add our own impression before long, but in the meantime, we have a pair of launch dates to share.
First up is AT&T, which announced it will launch the Galaxy Tab on Sunday, November 21 in non-subsidized form. There's no mandatory two-year service agreement that accompanies the device, the trade-off being higher upfront pricing to the tune of $650. For those who care to do so, AT&T will offer a $15 pay-as-you-go plan for up to 250MB of usage/month, as well as a $25/month plan for up to 2GB of data. Neither plan requires a long-term contract.
Meanwhile. U.S. Cellular is taking the opposite approach and will begin selling the Tab on November 19th for $400 after a $100 mail-in-rebate. That's a subsidized price and requires a two-year service commitment. You can choose between U.S. Cellular's $15/month plan for up to 200MB of data, or $55/month for up to 5GB of network data usage.
There was a lot of confusion about Windows Phone 7's microSD card support approaching the launch. Most phones do not have a slot, and some of those that do are not accessible. One notable exception is the Samsung Focus on AT&T, which gives users easy access to the card. Now Engadget has gotten word that AT&T is recommending that people not try to swap in a bigger card, or risk degrading performance.
The problem is in the way Windows Phone 7 uses that extra space. It is merged with the internal NAND flash memory to create one data store. So a card that isn't up to snuff could bring things to a messy halt. AT&T says that cards will be available in the future that are "Certified for Windows Phone 7". They have also cautioned that the speed class rating is not the only determining factor.
Microsoft was aware of this issue prior to the launch, but for some reason AT&T is only getting around to telling customers now. Do you have a Samsung Focus? Have you successfully swapped the microSD card?
We've been extensively following the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the DRAM market, and that's one business we're glad we're not a part of. Back in late 2008, A-DATA chairman Simon Chen said the DRAM market was the worst it has been in 15 years, and things haven't gotten a whole lot better since then.
Making the best of a bad situation, Samsung in the third quarter of 2010 became the only Top 5 DRAM supplier to achieve revenue growth, positioning itself as the dominant chip maker, market research firm iSuppli said. Samsung sold $4.4 billion worth of DRAM in the third quarter, up 14.3 percent from $3.8 billion in the second. Here's how it breaks down for everyone else:
Hynix: $2.24 billion Q3/ $2.31 billion Q2
Elpida: 1.73 billion Q3 / $1.91 billion Q2
Micron: $1.12 billion Q3 / $1.14 billion Q2
Nanya: $439 million Q3 / $473 million Q2
"Samsung has been vocal about its desire to expand its DRAM market share to as high as 50 percent," said Mike Howard, senior analyst for iSuppli. "The third-quarter results show Samsung has put its money where its mouth is. By investing heavily in expanding product and advancing its manufacturing technology, the company has been able to cut pricing and to eat into the market share of its competitors."
Samsung increased its market share from 35.4 percent in Q2 to 40.7 percent in Q3 and is on track to reach its goal in 2011.
After months of speculation, is looks like the rumored Nexus S Android phone is real. This device Is expected to be the follow up to Google's Nexus One which was released last January. The name is still far from certain, but the assumption is that the 'S' comes from manufacturer Samsung. The images leaked to Engadget show a device with a large screen (probably a 4-inch Super AMOLED), a front-facing camera, and no physical trackball or trackpad.
The phone is expected to be very similar internally to the line of Samsung Galaxy S phones, but there isn't any Galaxy S branding on the phone in the leaked pics. The Nexus S will most likely be running on Samsung's Hummingbird processor, and will probably come running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. A 5MP camera is also expected.
A leak earlier in the day on the Best Buy website indicated that the device may be an exclusive to the retailer this holiday season. Some photos on Flickr purport to be taken on a Nexus S/Samsung GT-i9020. FCC filings on that model number indicate this will be a T-Mobile band phone. The Best Buy ad also mentioned T-Mobile. Hit the link above for more images. So what say you Internets? Is this a desirable device?