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Crucial Announces the M550 Series SSDs

Crucial announced its M550 series of performance SSDs, succeeding its existing M500 series. Built in 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch SATA, mSATA, and M.2 form-factors, the M550 series offers higher sequential transfer rates, and comes in higher capacities near existing price-points, over its predecessor. It also introduces a handful new features, such as NWA (native write acceleration), RAIN (redundant array of independent NAND), adaptive thermal protection (ATP), and hardware encryption. The drives appear to be based on a Marvell-made controller platform, with Micron-made MLC NAND flash. The mSATA 6 Gb/s and M.2 models come in capacities of 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB; while the 2.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s models include 1 TB capacity. The drives offer sequential reads as high as 550 MB/s, with up to 500 MB/s of sequential writes. They're backed by 3-year warranties, and should eventually replace the M500 series from their existing price points.

Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium Releases HMC 2.0 Specification

The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC), dedicated to the development and establishment of an industry-standard interface specification for the Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) technology, today announced its continued work to build the HMC ecosystem and support for the industry adoption of this groundbreaking technology through the development of a new interface specification. Today the HMCC also released a first draft of the new specification to a growing list of consortium adopters that now numbers more than 120. The new specification supports increased data rate speeds advancing short-reach (SR) performance from 10 Gb/s, 12.5 Gb/s, and 15 Gb/s, up to 30 Gb/s. The new specification also migrates the associated channel model from SR to VSR to align with existing industry nomenclature. The ultra short-reach (USR) definition also increases performance from 10 Gb/s up to 15 Gb/s.

The HMCC, founded by leading memory providers Micron Technology (Nasdaq:MU), Samsung Electronics, and SK hynix, has begun circulating this draft specification to a broad range of adopters, with the goal of incorporating adopter members' input and targeting a completion date of May 2014 for the final version. The first-generation specification was completed and released publicly in April 2013; several developer and adopter companies, including Altera, Xilinx, and Open-Silicon, have already begun leveraging the specification to design products and solutions that incorporate HMC technology.

Crucial Shows Off its DDR4 DIMMs and SO-DIMMs

Here is the first picture of a DDR4 SO-DIMM module, exhibited by Crucial at its 2014 International CES booth. The company revealed its first DDR4 server memory lineup, as its DDR4 SO-DIMMs, targeting micro-servers, and future notebooks, tagged along. DDR4 DIMMs and SO-DIMMs measure roughly the same as their standard (full-height) DDR3 counterparts, except that the index notch is positioned differently. DDR4 promises to up memory bandwidths, densities, and energy efficiency. Intel's next-generation HEDT (high-end desktop) platform could be the first client platform to support DDR4. Crucial unveiled the first Ballistix-branded DDR4 memory module, targeting some of those systems. DDR4 memory modules could start at speeds of up to 2133 MT/s, and module voltages as low as 1.2V. Compare those to the 1066 MT/s and 1.8V DDR3 started off with!

Crucial Announces New Memory Lineup for Mac Pro Systems

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today released a new lineup of high-performance memory solutions specifically designed for the new Mac Pro systems. This new memory is engineered to meet the component densities, speeds, and Serial Presence Detect (SPD) programming specifications of the new Mac Pro workstations, and is now available in densities up to 16 GB through select global channel partners and at www.crucial.com.

The new modules designed for Mac Pro workstations operate at 1866 MHz, which is the fastest mainstream DDR3 ECC UDIMM and RDIMM speed currently available, allowing users to leverage all the capabilities of the new Mac Pro systems. For further performance gains, modules are available in densities up to 16 GB. These high-speed, high-density memory modules provide users with increased system responsiveness, faster application load times, and an increased ability to multitask with ease when using data-intensive programs such as Apple FinalCut Pro or Adobe Photoshop software.

New 64 GB Crucial LRDIMMs Double a Server's Memory Capacity

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and server memory, today announced the 64 GB Crucial DDR3L Load-Reduced DIMMs (LRDIMMs) for servers, which enable more DIMMs per channel for up to twice the installed memory capacity per server. Additionally, these modules offer up to a 35 percent increase in memory bandwidth per server compared to standard DIMMs, and eliminate the channel ranking limitation of standard DDR3 registered DIMMs. The Crucial DDR3L LRDIMMs is designed for IT professionals that manage high-end server environments with demanding workloads.

The 64 GB Crucial DDR3L LRDIMMs operates using 1.35V, unlike the 1.5V common in DDR3 RDIMMs, making the new module more energy-efficient and cost-effective, especially in large deployments. Since Crucial LRDIMMs transmit power in a more efficient manner to the CPU (via the data path buffer), they use less voltage, which allows for additional power savings. These new memory modules are also compatible with OEM servers and warranties, allowing users to upgrade their existing server infrastructures without having to purchase an entirely new system. Crucial LRDIMMs fully support the latest Intel Xeon processor E5 family.

Crucial Introduces New Ballistix Sport Design for Gamers and Enthusiasts

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of the Crucial Ballistix Sport XT memory, which offers a new aggressively-styled, taller heat spreader design that improves thermal performance. Designed for gamers and enthusiasts looking for fast and responsive performance, Ballistix Sport XT modules offer XMP profiles for advanced speeds and timings as well as easy BIOS configuration in supported systems.

"The Crucial Ballistix Sport series is designed to provide mainstream users and performance enthusiasts with a reliable, no-hassle gaming experience," said Jeremy Mortenson, senior product manager, Crucial. "The new Sport XT memory offers an attractive new heat spreader styling for gamers who are looking for enhanced thermal performance, and a new colour that complements popular motherboards."

Crucial Announces the Ballistix Sport SODIMMs

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced new Crucial Ballistix Sport SODIMMs, designed to boost performance of gaming laptops, all-in-one systems, or mini ITX motherboards. Featuring XMP profiles for easy configuration and DDR3 speeds up to 1866 MHz, Ballistix Sport SODIMMs deliver a faster and more responsive gaming experience. Optimized for the latest 4th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 mobile processors, Ballistix Sport SODIMMs offer lower latencies and increased energy efficiency compared to standard SODIMMs.

Engineered to run on 1.35V instead of the standard 1.5V found in most laptop memory modules, Ballistix Sport SODIMMs can reduce DRAM power consumption in systems by up to 10 percent, enabling longer battery life. Offered in 4 GB and 8 GB densities, Crucial Ballistix Sport SODIMMs will be available in early July.

Crucial M500 SSD Series Now Available

Crucial started shipping its M500 line of consumer SSDs. Available in 2.5-inch SATA (7 mm-thick), mSATA, and NGFF M.2 form-factors, the drives combine Micron 20 nm MLC NAND flash with a Marvell-made processor. All three form-factors take advantage of 6 Gb/s SATA. The drive is available in 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB capacities for all three form-factors, while the 2.5-inch gets a 960 GB "terabyte-class" capacity option, as well.

Sequential read speeds on all capacities are as high as 500 MB/s, while sequential write speeds cap out at 130 MB/s and 250 MB/s for the 120 GB and 240 GB variants, respectively; and reach 400 MB/s on the 480 GB and 960 GB variants. The drives are backed by 3-year limited warranties, 1.2 million hours MTBF, and 72 TB total bytes written (TBW) write endurance (that's 40 GB per day). TRIM, NCQ, and SMART are standard issue. The 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB variants are priced at US $129.99, $219.99, $399.99, and $599.99, respectively.

Crucial Demos DDR4 DRAM Modules at CES

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced its first DDR4 DRAM demonstration at CES 2013. As a global brand of Micron, the Crucial DDR4 DRAM demonstration is based on Micron's 30-nanometer (nm) technology, the 4-gigabit (Gb) DDR4 x8 part is the first piece of what is expected to be the industry's most complete portfolio of DDR4-based modules, which will include RDIMMs, LRDIMMs, SODIMMs and UDIMMs (standard and ECC).

The new Crucial DDR4 DRAM modules use up to 20 percent lower voltage than previous technology, enabling smaller, more efficient form factors and longer battery lives. The DDR4 DRAM will have lower voltage, operating at 1.2V in comparison to current DDR3 offerings operating from 1.35V to 1.5V. The new memory modules enable mainstream data rates that are up to twice as fast as DDR3 memory. This will enable systems to process data faster, load applications faster, improve system responsiveness, and increase the ability to multi-task and handle data-intensive programs.

Micron Introduces the M500 Solid State Drives

Micron Technology, Inc. today introduced the M500 solid state drive (SSD), featuring terabyte-class capacity, new ultra-slim package designs, and increased response times at a more affordable price point. Available to consumers, businesses, and system builders under the Crucial brand, and to OEM customers under the Micron brand, the new M500 SSD is built start-to-finish by Micron, providing the quality and reliability that only a NAND flash memory and SSD manufacturer can provide. Watch this behind-the-scenes video to see how Micron designs and builds SSDs.

Benefits of Advanced NAND Flash Technology

The M500 SSD utilizes Micron's award-winning, 20-nanometer (nm) multilevel cell (MLC) NAND flash to achieve terabyte-class capacity and enable a new level of SSD price competitiveness; the 960 GB Crucial M500 SSD will be initially priced under $600.

Crucial Unveils Ballistix Low Profile Memory

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of Crucial Ballistix Low Profile (LP) memory, which delivers a true low profile design to provide more clearance around high-end CPU coolers and improve airflow throughout the system. Designed for performance enthusiasts and small form factor computer builders with limited space, Crucial Ballistix LP memory features all the performance benefits of Ballistix memory without the height concerns of taller modules.

Since overclocked systems with power-hungry processors are often heat-intensive and require oversized CPU coolers to regulate temperatures, clearance for memory modules is often limited. To address this, Crucial Ballistix LP memory modules are between 15 percent and 35 percent lower profile than competing modules. Using up to 10 percent less power (1.35V) than standard modules (1.5V), Crucial Ballistix LP memory modules also help reduce the cooling problem in high-performance systems, resulting in a lower thermal profile and less fan noise, and enable easier overall system cooling.

Crucial Ballistix Sport VLP DDR3 Memory Pictured

Micron's channel brand Crucial Memory is on the verge of launching half-height DDR3 memory modules for the enthusiast PC market, under the Ballistix Sport VLP series. Pictured below, next to standard Ballistix Sport modules, the VLP ("very low profile") series consists of memory modules that are nearly half the height of standard 240 pin UDIMMs, making them ideal for crammed up mini-ITX builds. The series will be available in most common configurations, the one pictured below runs at DDR3-1600 MHz with timings of 9-9-9-24, and 1.35V DRAM voltage. The modules will be available in 4 GB and 8 GB densities, and will make up single-, dual-, and quad-channel kits.

Source: Hardware.info

Crucial Supports Intel Demo Depot Program With High-Density Server Memory Modules

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, and Intel, a world leader in computing innovation, today announced the inclusion of Crucial server memory modules in the Intel Demo Depot Program. This service lends fully configured Intel Xeon-based servers to customers for evaluation and testing prior to final purchase. As a brand of Micron Technology, Inc., one of the largest memory manufacturers in the world, Crucial supplies the Intel Demo Depot Program with DDR3L registered DIMMs ranging from 8 GB to 16 GB densities, in speeds of 1600 MT/s and 1333 MT/s to support Intel's latest generation of servers.

The Intel Demo Depot Program consists of more than 200 servers and is available to interested customers throughout North America. Potential customers procure evaluation servers for 30-day periods to test equipment and proof-of-concept trials. Servers are also used by various technology manufacturers for demonstrations at tech-focused tradeshows and customer demos by Intel field account engineers.

Crucial v4 SSD Improves Performance of Mainstream Computers at an Affordable Price

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today introduced the Crucial v4 Solid State Drive (SSD), designed to deliver substantial yet affordable performance gains for mainstream SATA 2 (3 Gb/s) systems, the primary performance capability of computers purchased before 2011. Available in 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB capacities with MSRPs of $49.99, $69.99, $99.99, and $189.99 respectively, the Crucial v4 SSD can be purchased now through select global channel partners, or direct through www.crucial.com.

The Crucial v4 SSD offers read speeds up to 230 MB/s and write speeds up to 190 MB/s, enabling faster startup times, faster application downloads, faster transfer data speeds, and increased reliability compared to traditional hard drives. The v4 SSD joins the m4 SSD and Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution to round out the award-winning Crucial SSD portfolio.

Crucial m4 mSATA SSD for Ultrathin Laptops Now Available

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of the Crucial m4 mSATA Solid State Drive (SSD), designed primarily to address the rapidly emerging Ultrabook category and deliver powerful, proven performance for systems where space is at a premium.

The Crucial m4 mSATA SSD delivers the award-winning performance and reliability of the Crucial m4 SSD in a drive one eighth the size. Because of its tiny mSATA form factor, the Crucial m4 mSATA SSD can be mounted to an mSATA-enabled motherboard to serve as a primary storage in ultrathin laptops or act as a cache to complement the performance of an existing hard drive. Available in 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB capacities with MSRPs of $52.99, $80.99, $121.99, and $225.99, respectively, the Crucial m4 mSATA SSD can be purchased now through select global channel partners, or directly at www.crucial.com.

Crucial LRDIMM Server Memory Now Available to Support New Intel Xeon E5 Family

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of Crucial Load-Reduced DIMM (LRDIMM) server memory in support of the new Intel Xeon processor E5 family.

The rise of data center virtualization, cloud computing, and transactional databases has put additional strain on enterprise servers, causing them to struggle to meet user demands. Crucial LRDIMM server memory supports higher memory densities than standard DDR3 RDIMMs, allowing the addition of more DIMMs per channel, and providing flexible, scalable memory that allows applications to perform more effectively. By reducing the electrical loads presented to the CPU, Crucial LRDIMMs deliver up to twice the installed memory capacity for Intel Xeon processor E5 family-based servers, and increase memory bandwidth by up to 35 percent over standard DDR3 RDIMM modules, helping improve overall data center performance and efficiency.

Indilinx Everest Essentially Marvell Silicon with Custom Firmware: OCZ

For those who thought with the Indilinx buyout and release of Everest and Kilimanjaro series NAND flash controllers, OCZ is on course of becoming a largely self-sufficient SSD industry player, here's a revelation. Its new Everest series silicon, used in recently-launched SSD families (such as Octane and Vertex 4), is essentially a re-badged Marvell controller (found on SSDs such as Crucial M4, Intel SSD 510), with custom firmware developed by OCZ. This discovery by Anandtech was confirmed by OCZ (Indilinx).

The Indilinx Everest (Octane and Petrol series) and Everest 2 (Vertex 4 series), are both re-badged Marvell chips with Indilinx firmware. Although it doesn't change anything, it perfectly explains how OCZ could come up with two "new" SSD controllers (Everest and Everest 2) almost instantly, after the Indilix acquisition. Everest 1 is essentially a higher-clocked Marvell 88SS9174, while Everest 2 could very well be a re-badged Marvell 88SS9187, according to the source.

Source: Anandtech

Crucial Releases "000F" Firmware Update for M4 SSD, Enhances Power-Loss Protection

Crucial is known for issuing firmware updates for its M4 series SSDs that bring significant improvements, be it the 0009 update that introduced performance improvements by as much as 20%, or the 0309 update that fixed a lot of BSOD instability issues. Introduced on Wednesday, the newest firmware update, "000F", introduces the following changes:
  • Improved compatibility with certain SAS expanders and peripheral RAID cards.
  • Improved throughput stability under extremely heavy workloads.
  • Improved data protection in the event of unexpected, asynchronous power loss.
With higher performance, improved OS-level stability, and now with higher throughput stability and improved data protection in the event of power loss, Crucial M4 is closer to being the perfect consumer SSD.

DOWNLOAD: Crucial M4 000F Firmware Update Windows 7 Updater Utility, Manual Boot File, Instructions

Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution Now Available

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of the Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution for enhancing Windows 7-based PC performance. A simple upgrade that allows users to keep their existing hard drive, Crucial Adrenaline enables PCs to boot up to twice as fast and increases data access speeds by up to eight times. Crucial Adrenaline provides users with the best of both worlds: SSD-like performance with the high capacity of a traditional hard drive, all at an affordable cost.

Comprising a 50 GB Crucial m4 SSD, 3.5" adapter bracket, SATA cable, and NVELO Dataplex caching software, Crucial Adrenaline improves performance by intelligently placing, or "caching," the most frequently needed files on the SSD and leaves less frequently used files on the hard drive. Crucial Adrenaline is available now through select global channel partners, or directly at www.crucial.com/ssc, with an MSRP of $117.99.

Crucial Releases Firmware Update for M4 SSDs, Fixes BSOD Issues

Over last weekend, Crucial released a new firmware update for its M4 series SSDs, which aims to fix several blue screen of death (BSOD) issues that users are facing. Crucial's investigation into the BSOD complaints revealed that a bug in the older firmware caused the drives to become unstable after 5,184 hours of operation. After that, every hour the previously-rock-stable drives cause BSODs. The firmware update only applies to drives connected to SATA hosts, and not SAS expanders. Crucial is still working on a firmware update for drives connected via SAS expanders.

DOWNLOAD: 0309 Firmware Update for Crucial M4

Memoright Announces 7 mm-Slim SSDs

With the Ultrabook form-factor gaining prominence, there's an urgent need for notebook components to shape up, so is the case with storage devices. A little earlier this month, Crucial announced its latest M4 series SSD in the 2.5" SATA form-factor, which is just 7 mm-slim, as opposed to the ~9.3 mm thickness that's standard. It looks like more SSD makers are hopping into this trend, including Memoright, which launched its FTM Plus Slim series. For SSDs, slimmer 7 mm enclosures don't affect components inside, as SSDs are essentially a printed-circuit board with controllers, DRAM and NAND flash chips.

The FTM Plus Slim series have otherwise the same specifications as the regular (9.3 mm-thick) FTM Plus series. These drives are driven by SandForce SF-2281 controllers, with sequential transfer rates of up to 550 MB/s reads, 500 MB/s writes, and 55,000/50,000 read/write 4K IOPS. They take advantage of SATA 6 Gb/s interface to achieve those speeds. Like its thicker siblings, the FTM Plus Slim will be available in 60 GB, 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB capacities.

Source: VR-Zone

Crucial Ballistix Sport, Tactical, and Elite Memory Now Available in 8 GB Modules

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the immediate availability of 8 GB DDR3 memory modules across the Crucial Ballistix Sport, Tactical, and Elite series. By taking advantage of Micron's 4 Gb DRAM technology, the new 8 GB modules provide users with the maximum capacity, performance, and density needed to run data-and graphic-intensive applications smoothly and efficiently.

Available in low-latency DDR3-1600 MHz and DDR3-1866 MHz modules, Crucial 8 GB Ballistix modules can be installed in configurations up to 64 GB in some systems, including the new Intel X79 platforms. Additionally, the complete line of Ballistix memory features a new logo treatment and updated heat spreader designs.

Crucial Debuts the Ultra-Slim (7 mm) Crucial m4 Solid State Drive

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today introduced a 7 mm version of the award-winning Crucial m4 SSD to meet the need for thinner storage devices. With the same performance delivered by the standard 9.5 mm Crucial m4 SSD, the new ultra-slim 7 mm version supports the latest thin and light form factor laptop models, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad T420G, Acer Aspire 6920G, and new Intel-inspired Ultrabook devices.

The 7 mm Crucial m4 SSD is available in 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB capacities. The 512 GB capacity offering is one of the highest-capacity storage drives – magnetic or solid state – available in the market today for laptops with a 7 mm tall drive bay.

Crucial Adrenaline Cache Solution Comes to Boost Performance of Existing Hard Drives

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution for enhanced PC performance. Comprising a 50 GB Crucial m4 SSD, a 3.5" adapter bracket, and software, Crucial Adrenaline intelligently places, or "caches," the most frequently needed files on the SSD and keeps less frequently used files on the hard drive.

The combination of a cost-effective, high-performance SSD with an existing hard drive provides users with the best of both worlds: SSD-like performance with the high capacity offered by a traditional hard drive, all at an affordable cost.

Crucial M4 New 0009 Firmware Update Steps up Speeds by 20%

A new firmware update by Crucial for its M4 series SATA 6 Gb/s SSDs was released last weekend, marked 0009. The new firmware, applicable to Crucial M4 SSD models CT064M4SSD2 (64 GB), CT0128M4SSD2 (128 GB), CT0256M4SSD2 (256 GB), and CT0512M4SSD2 (512 GB), packs a large number of changes. To begin with, the update is said to increase sequential read speeds by 20%. Tests run by SSD Review verify this. PCMark Vantage Disk performance is also increased.

The new firmware also works to increase throughput performance, lower write latency, wider compatibility with latest chipsets (AHCI modes), and fixes various kinds of cold-boot failures. The firmware lowers SATA speed negotiation time with host controllers, resulting in faster boot. Depending on the model, the 0009 firmware update for Crucial M4 series SSDs can be downloaded from here.
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