Has your PC been on th fritz lately? If so, there's a good chance it's the system memory causing all those headaches, according to Google's research. Google, which has several thousand computers in its data centers, collected real-world data on its systems and wrote a research paper (PDF) titled "DRAM Errors in the Wild: A Large-Scale Field Study."
"We found the incidence of memory errors and the range of error rates across different DIMMs (dual pin-line memory modules) to be much higher than previously reported," according to the paper written by Bianca Schroeder, a professor at the University of Toronto, and Google's Eduardo Pinheiro and Wolf-Dietrich Weber. "Memory errors are not rare events."
The results might surprise you. Google's research reveals that correctable memory errors occur in one of every three of the company's servers each year, and one in a hundred suffer an uncorrectable error, which usually leads to a crash.
It's important to note that Google's servers use ECC (error correction code) memory, yet each module, on average, suffered nearly 4,000 correctable errors per year. So what's the big deal if they're correctable? A correctable error on a Google machine is likely an uncorrectable error on your PC, says Peter Glaskowsky, an analyst at the Envisioneering Group.
However, Glaskowsky also points out that most consumer PCs aren't manipulating tons of data in memory.
Buffalo, who has offices in Japan, USA, Germany, UK, Ireland, and Taiwan, is well on its way to being the first to release a USB 3.0 hard drive. On Tuesday, the networking and storage company said its HD-HU3 series of USB 3.0 external hard drives would be the "world's first" to ship to retailers, Engadget reports.
The company also plans to offer NEC's IFC-PCIE2U3 2-port PCI-Express x1 host controller because, well, what good is a USB 3.0 drive without a controller to take advantage of it?
But before we get ahead of ourselves, it appears the drives will only be available in Japan when they ship later this month. According to Engadget, the 1TB model will run about $225 after the exchange rate, while the 1.5TB will cost $284. Later on, Buffalo plans to release a 2TB model, which will sell for around $530. Add another $60 for the controller.
Look for low-power DDR3 modules to hit retailers before the end of the year. That's because Elpida Memory today said it has finished development of its 40nm 2-gigabit (2Gb, with a lowercase 'b') DDR3 SDRAM and will ship samples next November. Mass production is slated to begin before the end of 2009.
On the manufacturing side, Elpida's smaller 40nm chips allows the company to achieve a 44 percent higher chip yield per wafer compared to 50nm, and a 100 percent yield for DDR3 products that operate at 1.6Gbps, the company said.
Elpida claims its 40nm 2Gb DDR3 chips use about two-thirds less current and support 1.2V to 1.35V operation, in addition to the DDR3 standard 1.5V. That's about a 45 percaent reduction in power consumption, which might not sound like much for a typical home user, but could add up in a server farm.
Acer’s entry-level easyStore H340 gives you everything you need to attach a robust Windows Home Server to your network, with plenty of room to expand. Its technical specs edge out HP’s comparably-priced LX195—both are budget servers equipped with a 1.6GHz Atom processor, but the H340 includes 2GB of RAM and 1TB of included disk storage. The feature that really sets Acer’s offering apart, however, is the availability of four hot-swappable drive bays, meaning you can add three additional 3.5-inch SATA drives with ease. And if those aren’t enough, the H340 also has five powered USB ports and even an eSATA port for you to go nuts with expansions.
If you don’t need terabytes of backup space for your network, the newest member of HP’s MediaSmart family may be the right fit for you. With 640GB of storage, the LX195 makes sense if your home network consists of just two or three PCs. Like its higher-end siblings, the LX195 lets you perform Mac OS backups, though you’ll have to partition additional drive space for Time Machine. Storage capacity is the LX195’s big weakness, since there are no extra internal drive bays or eSATA ports for additional hard drives. To enable WHS’s file duplication feature or add additional storage space, you’ll have to attach external drives with USB.
The LX195’s strengths lie in its small size and low power usage. It’s no bigger than a desktop speaker, and can be hidden out of sight under your desk. Its Atom processor draws very little power (especially when idle), and we couldn’t even hear the server operate during backups.
Corsair on Tuesday announced the launch of its new TX950W power supply, which takes its place as the flagship model in Corsair's TX series. The only higher wattage PSU the company offers is the modular HX1000.
The company's PSUs have earned a reputation as being reliable, and Corsair says this newest unit is "built using industrial-grade components to ensure clean and stable voltages." It comes with a dedicated +12V rail rated at a whopping 78A (936W), which the company says equates to 98.5 percent of the PSU's total power output.
Other specs include 80 PLUS Bronze certification (at least 85 percent energy efficient at typical load levels), six 6+2-pin PCI-E cables, active PFC, and a five year warranty.
No word on price or availability, though we'd guess it to be in the ballpark of $225.
It doesn't look like the oft-speculated Apple tablet will debut in November as The Wall Street Journalpredicted back in August, but if DigiTimes' sources prove reliable (and they often do), the real release could take place in the first quarter of 2010.
According to the news and rumor site's talkative sources, Apple has pegged Foxconn as its manufacturing partner to build what's sure to be a popular device, Apple tax be damned. And there will be plenty to go around, as sources say initial shipments should be in the neighborhood of 300,000 to 400,000.
The Foxconn-built Apple tablet will sport a 10.6-inch display and focus more heavily on e-book chores than it will on music playback. Expect a long battery life, the sources noted.
When you're on top, everyone comes gunning for you, especially in a lucrative market like the e-reader business. Not only will Amazon have to fend off competition from Sony, but it will also have to contend with startups and other newcomers hoping to grab a piece of the e-book pie.
Enter Christopher Maire, CEO of txtr, who said his firm would release an e-reader before Christmas rolls around. Or in other words, just in time for the holiday shopping spree.
"Reading is a 100 million market and we think is a big opportunity for providing an 'Easy tech' solution," Maire explains. "The e-reading design will be launched by Christmas, and is custom designed to include energy saving.."
Maire went on to say his company's device will include touch technology, a simplified form factor, and various connectivity options, including UMTS, GPRS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB. But the company's real advantage, Maire claims, is on the software side. The CEO says that txtr is a software stack company and it will share folders in the cloud, licensing its middleware stack to other manufacturers. At launch, Maire says his company's software will boast support for the iPhone.
Perhaps in an attempt to stave off the competition in what's shaping up to be a battle royal in the e-book reader market, Amazon has again dropped the price of its Kindle 2, this time from $299 to $259. In addition, Amazon said it will start selling an international version with a built-in AT&T SIM card for $279 on Monday, October 19.
“Kindle is the most wished for, the most gifted, and the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items we sell on Amazon, and we’re excited to be able to lower the price," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "We’re also excited to announce a new addition to the Kindle family–Kindle with global wireless. At home or abroad in over 100 countries, you can think of a book and download it wirelessly in less than 60 seconds."
The U.S. Kindle Store now comes crammed with more than 350,000 books, including 104 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers, Amazon says. And most of those sell for $10 or less. But Amazon also faces increasing competition from a number of other players suddenly panning for gold in the e-book market, including Sony, Asus, and others.
In preparation for the launch of Windows 7 and its multitouch capabilities, Gateway has announced two touchscreen all-in-one PCs built specifically for the upcoming OS.
On the higher end, the Gateway One ZX6810-01 will come with a 23-inch touchscreen display, an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S, a heaping 8GB of DDR3-1333 memory, a 64GB solid state drive for the OS and 1TB hard drive for storage duties, and ATI Radeon Mobility HD 4670 graphics with 1GB of memory. Cnet, who managed to get its hands on one already, praised the PC for its speed, while noting that the "touch input could be frustratingly unresponsive" at times.
Lower on the all-in-one totem pole sits the Gateway One ZX4800-02. At half the price of its bigger brother, this model boasts a 20-inch touchscreen display, an Intel Pentium dual-core T4300 processor, 4GB of DDR2-800 memory, a 750GB hard drive, and Intel's GMA X4500HD graphics. both PCs ship with 64-bit flavors of Windows 7 Home Premium.
Gateway says the ZX4800 will be available in late October or early November for $750, while the FX6810 will debut sometime in Q4 for $1,400.