We're just now starting to get used to seeing 6GB and 12GB of total memory in desktop systems, but such capacities are suddenly quaint compared to the latest 32GB modules Samsung's cooked up, even if not headed for the desktop.
According to Samsung, it's the world's first 32GB DDR3 RAM stick, and it was built using a 50nm process. A total of 72Gb (gigabit) DDR3 chip dies arranged in a row of nine quad-die packaged 16Gb DDR3s are packed on each side of the module, resulting in 32GB of total memory. And in addition to boasting higher capacity, Samsung says its 32GB RDIMM also improves throughput by 20 percent and consumes less power at 1.35V compared to previous sticks running 1.5V.
No word yet on price or availability, or when Samsung plans to launch its 8GB modules designed for the desktop.
Maingear has just unveiled its Axess HD Gamer, a low-profile HTPC rig that manages to muscle a fully fledged gaming PC into a low profile design.
"The Axess HD Gamer was conceived to deliver unsurpassed gaming performance fused with advanced media center capabilities all contained within a low profile case, making the perfect cornerstone for any home theater environment," said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of Maingear.
The base configuration includes an Intel Core i7 920 processor, 3GB of triple channel DDR3-1333MHz memory, an Asus Rampage II Gene X58 mATX motherboard, two Nvidia GeForce 9800GT videocards with 1GB of GDDR3 per card, 500GB hard drive, 16X DVD reader, Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit, and a Phantom Lapboard.
If that's not powerful enough, several upgrades are available, some of which include an Intel Core i7 975 processor, 12GB of memory, Blu-ray drive, a pair of Intel X-25M SSDs, and more.
PowerColor this week announced a new series of videocards it says are "environmentally friendly and cost efficient to the consumer." Kicking off the new Go! Green series is a pair of ATI cards - the HD 4650 and HD 4350.
Both cards come equipped with PowerColor's custom Silent Cooling Solution (SCS) passive heatsink, with the HD 4650 version adding heatpipes to the mix (SCS3). Partially as a result, PowerColor claims its HD 4650 consumes 38 percent less power than an Nvidia GeForce 9500GT videocard, while the HD 4350 boasts a 24 percent power savings over the Nvidia GeForce 8400GS. Likewise, the HD 4650 and HD 4350 offer up to 22 percent and 36 percent better performance than each one's respective Nvidia equivalent, PowerColor claims.
Availability is expected in July, but no word yet on price.
Worried your RAM might go up flames from the extra voltage you're pumping through? You can worry a little less with OCZ's XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) Memory Cooler Revision 2, the latest in a limited field of active RAM coolers.
"The first revision of the OCZ XTC Memory Cooler proved to be a very popular product with a wide range of enthusiast and power users," said Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management for OCZ. "We are excited to offer a follow-up design with improved performance, an enhanced feature set, and a sleek new look, all at the same affordable price point as the original."
Made of brushed aluminum, OCZ's newest XTC cooler installs over the top of your RAM modules by snapping into your motherboard's DIMM socket retention levels. Two 60mm fans provide airflow for your memory, and according to OCZ, a new, taller profile means you can use the second revision XTC cooler with memory kits sporting taller heatsinks. Fan speed is adjustable (low or high), and of course tricked out with blue LEDs.
By Intel's own admission, the chip maker's Core brand has a "mind boggling array of derivatives," a problem the company plans to solve by rebranding chips and simplifying its Core lineup. Going forward, the Core family will fall into one of three tiers: Core i3 (entry-level), Core i5 (mid-level), and Core i7 (high-level).
"It is important to note that these are not brands but modifiers to the Intel Core brand that signal different features and benefits," spokesman Bill Cader wrote in a post on Intel's website.
Cader went on to say that Intel's upcoming Lynnfield processors will be labeled as either Core i5 or Core i7 depending upon the feature-set and capability. Meanwhile, Clarksfield (mobile) will have the Intel Core i7 name, Cader wrote.
"In the back half of this year you'll begin to see Core i5 and more Core i7s coming to market," said Deborah Conrad, vice president and director of corporate marketing at Intel. "Then by the first part of next year you'll begin to see Core i3, and i5, i7. Then the old names will get retired as those products get phased out."
Intel's upcoming 32nm Arrandale (mobile) will initially fall under Core i3, but will later spread to both Core i5 and i7. Celeron will still exist as a brand for entry-level computing at affordable price points, Pentium for basic computing, and Intel's Atom nomenclature isn't going anywhere. However, the Centrino moniker will be phased out as a PC brand and instead be used as a name for WiFi and WiMAX products.
Sun spent the past five years touting its Rock chip project. The Rock project has only yielded delays till now and the much vaunted UltraSparc server chip with multiple cores is still nowhere to be seen. But according to an unconfirmed report, which quotes sources privy to the sensitive details of the project, Sun has finally decided to cancel the Rock chip project. Sun had time and again claimed that the 16-core UltraSparc chip would turn the tide in its favor in the high-end server chip segment. One popular belief is that Oracle, which will soon acquire Sun, may have ordered the cancellation. The cancellation will help Sun trim its R&D budget.
Not long after their acquisition of SiliconSystems, Western Digital has finally released their own line of high end SSDs.
The SiliconDrive III range of SSDs are primarily aimed at the aerospace, communications and military markets, and only come in sizes up to 120GB. But, they do feature SiSMART, will come as 2.5-inch SATA/PATA or 1.8-inch Micro SATA devices, and will feature native SATA 3Gb/s or ATA-7 interfaces. They’ll feature read and write speeds of 100MB/s and 80MB/s respectively.
Yesterday, the largest USB flash drives on the planet checked in at 64GB. Today, Kingston claims the capacity crown with the release of its DataTraveler 200 (DT200), the world's first 128GB USB flash drive that's twice the capacity of yesterday's biggest thumb drives.
"The new DT200's robust storage capability lets consumers store complete libraries of music, photos, and videos.," said Andrew Ewing, USB business manager at Kingston. "It is also a great tool for business users who carry around large databases or files."
Also available in 32GB and 64GB capacities, the DT200 series boasts read and write speeds of up to 20MB/s and 10MB/s, respectively. Other features include a capless design and password protection.
No word yet on availability, however pricing has been set at $120 (32GB), $213 (64GB), and $546 (128GB). Ouch!
Good news for Gigabyte fans who like to tweak their systems but fear one bad move (or BIOS flash) could ruin the whole experience. The motherboard maker has begun offering its DualBIOS technology on its entire lineup of motherboards and not just the high-end boards.
Gigabyte refers to its DualBIOS as a "hot spare" for your system, and that's essentially what is. DualBIOS boards contain two BIOS chips. Should the primary chip fail for any reason -- say a power outage during a BIOS update, or a particularly nasty virus infection -- the secondary BIOS automatically kicks in the next time you boot your system.
Gigabyte initially only offered its DualBIOS technology on premium boards, but look to see it on both entry- and mid-level mobos going forward as the company tries to increase its market share.
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.