In recent days, several SSD manufacturers have made it known that they wanted nothing to do with Samsung’s new 32nm NAND Flash chips. Now Samsung is coming clean and admitting to the issues. The new chips suffer from unacceptably slow write speeds, and are therefore not suitable for use in SSDs. It seems the problem lies mainly with the chips interaction with existing flash controllers.
According to Samsung, "… for quality SSDs, every NAND process geometry upgrade requires a matching upgraded controller. Should (Samsung's) 30nm-class NAND be used with a conventional controller of insufficient quality, performance slowdowns are indeed possible."
NAND flash memory uses floating-gate transistors to create arrays of memory cells. As these arrays scale to smaller and smaller sizes, errors will accumulate faster. Error Correcting Code (ECC) on the controller is used to correct these issues. If an insufficiently powerful controller is used, the memory may become corrupted. Samsung is currently working on its own flash controller to pair with the 32nm NAND chips. In the meantime, don’t expect SSD price drops for at least several months.
According to Samsung president Oh-Hyn Kwon, the memory maker has decided to ramp up production of DDR3 chips and put an end to the DDR3 shortage.
A DDR3 shortage is news to us, but Kwon said that the supply of DDR3 chips has tightened in recent times, which he blames on a faster-than-expected pickup in demand. To alleviate the potential problem, Samsung will allocate more capacity to DDR3 output, with most of the focus moving towards 40nm.
How this all will affect pricing remains anyone's guess. According to Kwon, industry players won't even known what kind of pricing trend to expect until after late November, but he did add that DRAM pricing has returned to "reasonable" levels.
It's been kind of quiet over at Samsung lately, and we now know why. The eggheads behind the scenes have been readying a slew of mobile technologies, not the least of which is a pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processors, which the S5PC110 and S5PV210, the company announced at the sixth annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum held at the Westin Taipei Hotel.
"More and more, user generated content currently accessed via the PC will be spread to mobile devices," said Dr. Kwang Hyun Kim, senior VP, strategic marketing team, Samsung. "PC-level performance with lower power consumption will become mainstream requirements for advanced mobile devices. Samsung developed S5PC110 and S5PV210 application processors to satisfy these conflicting requirements to enable a new level of user experience not previously possible."
Built around a 45nm Low Power fabrication processor, Samsung says both new chips will pave the way for longer battery life for mobile devices running on standard size batteries. On the performance side, the two CPUs will also come equipped with 32KB data and 32KB instruction caches, as well as 512KB L2 cache. All this in addition to a built-in 3D graphics engine and an integrated 1080p full HD codec engine - phew!
Samsung also announced a 5-megapixel system-on-chip (SoC) image sensor for high-end mobile phones, the world's first mobile display driver IC with embedded touch screen control, ramped up production of the company's proprietary OneDRAM fusion memory for handsets, and production of a new non-volatile memory technology called PRAM (phase change random access memory) that promises high-performance and low power consumption.
With this announcement, MetroPCS has stolen a march on Verizon, as the latter plans to offer such a LTE handset only in 2011, although it too plans to launch its LTE service in 2010.
“As the Internet goes ‘mobile’ we are excited to be at the forefront of this wireless evolution with the building out of our 4G broadband data services. We anticipate to begin offering our 4G LTE services and a dual-mode LTE/CDMA smartphone in our major metropolitan markets in late 2010,” said Roger D. Linquist, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of MetroPCS.
Both Samsung and Toshiba recently announced that they’d be among the first to release 2.5-inch 640GB hard drives for the mobile market.
Samsung’s new 640GB 2.5-inch Spinpoint M7 internal drive has a density of 516-Gigabit per square inch for each of the 320GB platters, which is a 28 percent increase per platter over it’s previous record setting 500GB internal drive. The density change allowed Samsung to up the storage capacity without adding additional platters.
On September 2nd Toshiba began shipping out their new sample 640GB 2.5-inch drive to OEMs and distributors. Given its density of 817.0 Mbit/mm2, the new drive will bring performance improvements over their previous generation of 5,400RPM drives, and will lower energy consumption by 28 percent.
With the latest crop of netbooks beginning to sport Intel’s new Atom N280, which features a slightly higher clock speed (1.66GHz vs. 1.6GHz) and a faster front-side bus (667MHz vs. 533MHz), how well does a netbook built around the earlier Atom N270 hold up? To find out, we put Samsung’s NC10 to the test.
The Samsung NC10 is a pearl-white clamshell with a chrome-like strip running around the outer edge of its base. It has a 10.2-inch, LED-backlit, anti-glare monitor; a 1.3MP integrated webcam; 1GB DDR2/667 RAM; a 160GB hard drive; and a 6-cell battery—basically, nothing we haven’t seen before. But while it’s not the newest kid on the block, the NC10 is still more than capable.
According to a recent report, Qualcomm is looking to launch a new personal television device called FLO TV. While it won’t have a station dedicated to our very own Ms. Florence Ion, it will support broadcasting of Qualcomm’s terrestrial digital TV service.
While the FLO TV service is already included with a handful of cellphones from Samsung, Motorola and LG, the idea behind the device will be to get better video through a terrestrial broadcast, rather than using the bandwidth of a 3G wireless network. This way, there shouldn’t be any network congestion or buffering to worry about.
It’s reported that the device will come with a capacitive touchscreen that will take advantage of a swipe and gesture-driven UI, 4GB of built-in memory, stereo speakers, and enough battery life to watch five hours of TV, or listen to 15 hours of music.
Samsung this week announced two new point-and-shoot digital cameras -- the TL225 and TL220 -- both of which sport two LCD screens, a 3.5-inch one on the back (slightly smaller on the TL220) and a less traditional placement on the front with a 2.5-inch display. So what's the point of a front-mounted LCD?
"With one LCD located on the front of the camera and other one on the back of the camera, photographers can now step out from behind the camera and join their subjects in the photo," Samsung wrote in a blog post.
Samsung also says the front-mounted display will come in handy for taking profile pics for social networking sites. We think it's the perfect feature who can't stop looking at themselves.
Both cameras also boast a 12.2MP, 1/2.33-inch CCD sensor, 27- to 124.2mm, f/3.5-5.9 8.6x zoom lens, and the ability to shoot 720p HD videos at 30fps.
The TL225 and TL220 will be available in September for $350 and $300 respectively.