Much to the chagrin of memory makers (and delight of consumers), DRAM contract prices have remained static in the second half of June, but that's getting ready to change. Memory makers expect supply to tighten up in July as more orders continue to come in following stronger demand from PC makers.
Looking longer term, industry sources indicate contract prices for DRAM chips have started showing signs of a rebound and should continue to improve for the rest of the year. Furthermore, the price gap between branded finished memory chips and eTT (effective tested) chips is expected to widen significantly in the second half of 2009, DigiTimes reports.
If you've been putting off that memory upgrade, now might be a good time to pull the trigger.
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.
AMD will replace its Better by Design strategy with a new open platform strategy called AMD Vision Technology in September – to accompany the launch of its next-gen Tigris notebook platform, according to a Digitimes report, which cites unnamed sources at notebook makers. Under the new open platform strategy, Notebooks will be classified into three levels based on their processor and GPU, with each receiving a label signifying its level. The three levels that will be used to classify notebooks will be AMD Vision Ultimate, AMD Vision Premium and AMD Vision.
While no official announcement has yet been made, word on the web is that OCZ will expand its Vertex Series SSDs with Turbo editions. As the name implies, these will be faster than the already speedy Vertex drives.
If the rumblings hold true, look for the Turbo edition to ship in 30GB, 60GB, 120GB, and 250GB capacities. According to OCZ rep Tony, the new SSDs will feature hand picked controller and hand picked NAND along with dedicated firmware, all of which will result in a 10 percent performance increase over existing Vertex drives. While the specs may change between now and release, Tony says you can expect up to 278MB/s read and 213MB/s write speeds.
No word yet on price or availability, although Tony did say the Turbo drives will carry about a 10 percent pricing premium over current Vertex drives.
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.
First spied at CES earlier this year, ViewSonic has begun shipping its VPC100 All-in-One PC in the U.S. Billed as being eco-friendly, ViewSonic says the VPC100 uses about 50 percent less plastics and requires roughly 45 percent less power than a traditional computer.
The spec sheet screams nettop and consists of an 18.5-inch LCD display with a 1366x768 resolution, Intel Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus), 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 160GB hard drive, four USB 2.0 ports, WiFi, Super Multi DVD writer, and Windows XP.
The VPC100 is available now with an MSRP set to $599, an street pricing hovering around $550.
Finally, here’s a 3D gaming solution that doesn’t send us headfirst into a vomit bag. GeForce 3D Vision is Nvidia’s attempt to revive stereoscopic 3D, a century-old technology that has never been implemented successfully in PC gaming (despite many headache-inducing efforts in the late ’90s). Along with wireless shutter glasses and an IR emitter, this $200 kit comes with the promise that you’ll be able to enhance your existing library of DirectX games by turning them into true 3D experiences—if you’re running a GeForce 8800 GT or better videocard. And for the most part, the promise is delivered —but not without some serious issues.
This partnership is a huge shot in the arm for Intel - which has been waiting for its chance to gain real traction in the mobile phone market - as it has found a huge customer for its mobile chipsets in the form of Nokia. Intel has also agreed to acquire a Nokia HSPA/3G modem IP license from Nokia. On the software front, they have resolved to give a push to open-source mobile Linux software projects.
SanDisk today unveils what it claims is the world's fastest 32GB SDHC card, the 32GB SanDisk Extreme, boasting read and write speeds at up to 30MB/s.
"The market for entry to mid-level DSLR cameras is growing, and SDHC is becoming the de-facto card format for these devices," said Susan Park, director, retail product marketing, SanDisk. "Our card's 32GB of storage and upt to 30MB/s read & write speeds enable DSLR users to shoot without worrying about storage or speed limitations."
The new card meets the SD Association's new Class 10 specification, and according to SanDisk, exceeds the requirement for today's high definition (AVCHD) video recording. The sustained write speed is enough to store 160 minutes of full HD 1920x1080 pixels at a 24MB/s data transfer rate.
The SanDisk Extreme SDHC 32GB cards will start shipping to "major retailers" in August with no word yet on price. In addition, the current 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB capacity SanDisk Extreme SDHC cards will be upgraded from Class 6 to Class 10, also in August.
Following an influx of solid state drives aimed at both the high-end and mainstream market, for awhile there it looked like SSDs might actually give traditional hard drives a run for its money. But as it turns out, money remains the issue, and higher per gigabyte costs will keep SSDs from being a threat to HDDs in 2009, and the same will probably hold true in 2010, memory makers say.
In the mobile sector, SSDs will close out the year with only a 1-1.5 percent penetration rate, and less than 10 percent in the low-cost PC segment, according to data by DRAMeXchange.
But it's not all gloom and doom for SSDs. Memory makers say the upcoming transition to 30nm and lower nodes will push NAND flash prices down, while some remain hopeful that Windows 7 will change the storage landscape.