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Intel Readies First Consumer SSD Based on 3D Xpoint Memory

Intel plans to launch the first consumer SSD based on its new 3D Xpoint memory technology, a successor to NAND flash which promises exponential gains in performance and capacity, some time in 2016. The Intel-branded drive will be called Intel Optane, will come in modern form-factors such as M.2/NGFF, SATA-Express, PCI-Express (add-on card), and will take advantage of the new NVMe protocol.

Early prototypes of Optane demoed at IDF already offer up to 5.5 times the throughput of NAND flash-based DC P3700 series SSDs, and we're only talking about single-queue performance. Compared to the queue depth of just 32 commands for AHCI, NVMe offers command queue depth of a staggering 65,535 commands. Since Micron Technology is the co-developer of 3D Xpoint, it's likely that we'll also see Micron/Crucial branded drives based on this tech.

Source: The TechReport

Seagate-Micron Alliance Announces 1200.2 SAS 12G SSD

Seagate Technology plc, a world leader in storage solutions, today announced the availability of the 1200.2 Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) Solid State Drive (SSD). The Seagate 1200.2 SAS SSD is the first product to result from a strategic alliance between Seagate and Micron Technology, Inc., announced in February 2015.

"Enterprise and cloud users face record growing storage demands challenging the performance of their IT systems to churn through mass amounts of data, while being restricted by opex/capex expenditure limits," said Brett Pemble, vice president of flash products, Seagate cloud systems and electronics solutions. "As our partners and customers depend on Seagate flash technologies to meet these challenges, we are leveraging our collaboration and innovation with Micron to exceed their expectations."

The framework established between Seagate and Micron has led to the development and production of this next-generation, high-capacity SAS SSD platform. It is the first 12 gigabits-per-second (Gb/s) SAS device to optimize dual channel throughput with up to 1800 megabytes-per-second (MB/s) sequential reads and offer multiple endurance choices within a single hardware and firmware design. These advantages engineered for the 1200.2 SAS SSD ensure it will deliver ultra-fast performance to match the needs of specific enterprise applications and workloads.

Intel and Micron Produce Breakthrough Memory Technology

Intel Corporation and Micron Technology, Inc. today unveiled 3D XPoint technology, a non-volatile memory that has the potential to revolutionize any device, application or service that benefits from fast access to large sets of data. Now in production, 3D XPoint technology is a major breakthrough in memory process technology and the first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989.

The explosion of connected devices and digital services is generating massive amounts of new data. To make this data useful, it must be stored and analyzed very quickly, creating challenges for service providers and system builders who must balance cost, power and performance trade-offs when they design memory and storage solutions. 3D XPoint technology combines the performance, density, power, non-volatility and cost advantages of all available memory technologies on the market today. The technology is up to 1,000 times faster and has up to 1,000 times greater endurance3 than NAND, and is 10 times denser than conventional memory.

ADATA Launches XPG SX930 Series SATA SSD

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launches the XPG SX930 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s Gaming SSD for professional gamers and overclockers. It comes with a JMicron controller and Enterprise-grade MLC plus NAND Flash, offering excellent performance and durability for gaming systems and workstations. Thanks to ADATA's exclusive pSLC Cache Technology and DDR3 DRAM Cache Buffer, the SX930 leads to victory when you're in a 3D battle with highly-improved efficiency.

Featuring Enterprise-grade MLC plus NAND flash, the XPG SX930 outperforms other SSDs with excellent durability. It is not only suitable for gaming systems, but also ideal for workstations, which require long-term and stable operation. By applying JMicron controllers, the sequential read/write speed of SX930 is up to 560/460 MB/s, and it's available in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB. In addition, the SX930 is equipped with the innovative and exclusive "pSLC Cache Technology" by ADATA, which can effectively enhance the data transfer speed for the ultimate performance to meet professional gamers' demands.

Micron Announces New Flash Storage Designed for Consumer Applications

Today, Micron Technology, Inc. announced a new addition to its expansive portfolio of flash storage products, providing a purpose-built solution for cost-sensitive consumer applications seeking high performance and reliability. The new TLC NAND is built on their 16-nanometer (nm) process and delivers a balanced set of features for applications like USB drives and consumer solid state drives. The market appetite for TLC is projected to be strong throughout 2015, constituting almost half of the total NAND gigabytes shipped.

Micron's 16 nm process-recognized by TechInsights as the Most Innovative Memory Device and 2014 Semiconductor of the Year-is a mature and proven storage technology, making it an excellent foundation for a reliable TLC design. TLC, or triple-level cell, is a technology that fits three bits in every flash data cell, creating greater cost and size efficiency. Customers of the technology will benefit from Micron's extensive design support team, who act as trusted advisors to ensure smooth qualification and optimal end-solution performance. Key flash customers and ecosystem partners worldwide have already begun working to integrate this new NAND with their latest designs, ensuring quick adoption in end applications.

Micron Announces M510DC SSD with TCG Enterprise-level Hardware Encryption

Micron Technology, Inc. has announced a new encryption-enhanced solid state drive (SSD) for read-centric data center workloads, accelerating the transition from legacy hard disk drives (HDDs) to higher-performance flash-based storage. The M510DC combines a suite of firmware data protection features with the market's first true TCG Enterprise-level data encryption for SSDs-a capability that is of paramount importance to the highly scrutinized medical, banking and government industries.

The M510DC SATA SSD provides a balance of performance, security, enterprise reliability, power and cost. The M510DC SSD is an ideal solution for improving application load times for content delivery networks (CDNs) and enhancing response times to enable quicker decisions in big data analytics. While early enterprise SSD deployments focused on high-endurance drives, data from Greg Wong, founder and principal analyst at Forward Insights, reveals that two-thirds of today's newly optimized data center SSD purchases require one drive fill per day or less. These market changes create a distinct opportunity for customers to focus on a cost-optimized SSD like the M510DC.

Micron Begins Shipping its First 20 nm-class GDDR5 DRAM Chips

Micron Technology announced during its Q3 FY-2015 earnings call, that it began shipping GDDR5 memory chips based on its 20 nm-class node. The company is reportedly shipping 8 Gb (1 gigabyte) GDDR5 memory chips. The company was last reported to be acquiring Japanese DRAM major Elpida, which also supplies GDDR5 chips to graphics cards, notebooks, and game console makers. The GDDR5 memory space has been saturated by companies such as Samsung and SK Hynix. The memory standard itself is on the brink of becoming obsolete; with AMD implementing HBM on its new high-end GPU, and NVIDIA expected to implement HBM with its upcoming "Pascal" GPU family. There is still quite a few GDDR5-equipped graphics cards to be sold, before HBM takes over GPUs of all market segments.

Source: Kitguru

Silicon Motion Announces SM2256 SATA 6 Gbps SSD Controller

Silicon Motion Technology Corporation, a global leader in designing and marketing NAND flash controllers for solid state storage devices, today announced that its SM2256 SATA (6 Gb/s) client SSD controller now supports Micron's new 16 nm 128 gigabit (Gb) TLC NAND flash, enabling high-performance and unprecedented reliability for a new class of cost-effective TLC-based SSDs.

SM2256, the world's first SSD controller supporting Micron's 16nm TLC NAND, offers the best performance and cost-optimized four channel SATA 6 Gb/s client SSD controller in the market. Using Micron's 128 Gb 16 nm TLC NAND, the SM2256 delivers up to 540 MB/s sequential read performance and 460 MB/s sequential write, as well as up to 90,000 random read IOPS and 80,000 random write IOPS. Leveraging Silicon Motion's proprietary NANDXtend error-correcting code (ECC) technology, the SM2256 enhances the endurance and retention of TLC NAND, delivering more than three times better reliability for TLC SSD as compared to the existing BCH ECC schemes.

Crucial Announces Ballistix DDR4 16GB Memory Modules

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced Crucial Ballistix DDR4 16GB performance memory. Ideal for gamers and enthusiasts who deal with content creation, virtual machines, RAM drives, and memory-intensive applications, the new Ballistix modules leverage Micron's new 8Gb DDR4 component technology to offer up the highest density DDR4 memory to date.

Until now, only expensive server systems have been able to reach these memory densities, but with Ballistix DDR4 16GB modules, users can achieve greater densities on high-end desktop systems like the latest Intel X99 platforms. Available across Sport LT, Tactical, and Elite product lines, each module includes Intel XMP 2.0 profiles for easy setup and support.

AMD to Skip 20 nm, Jump Straight to 14 nm with "Arctic Islands" GPU Family

AMD's next-generation GPU family, which it plans to launch some time in 2016, codenamed "Arctic Islands," will see the company skip the 20 nanometer silicon fab process from 28 nm, and jump straight to 14 nm FinFET. Whether the company will stick with TSMC, which is seeing crippling hurdles to implement its 20 nm node for GPU vendors; or hire a new fab, remains to be seen. Intel and Samsung are currently the only fabs with 14 nm nodes that have attained production capacity. Intel is manufacturing its Core "Broadwell" CPUs, while Samsung is manufacturing its Exynos 7 (refresh) SoCs. Intel's joint-venture with Micron Technology, IMFlash, is manufacturing NAND flash chips on 14 nm.

Named after islands in the Arctic circle, and a possible hint at the low TDP of the chips, benefiting from 14 nm, "Arctic Islands" will be led by "Greenland," a large GPU that will implement the company's most advanced stream processor design, and implement HBM2 memory, which offers 57% higher memory bandwidth at just 48% the power consumption of GDDR5. Korean memory manufacturer SK Hynix is ready with its HBM2 chip designs.Source: Expreview

Micron and Intel Unveil New 3D NAND Flash Memory

Micron Technology, Inc., and Intel Corporation today revealed the availability of their 3D NAND technology, the world's highest-density flash memory. Flash is the storage technology used inside the lightest laptops, fastest data centers, and nearly every cellphone, tablet and mobile device.

This new 3D NAND technology, which was jointly developed by Intel and Micron, stacks layers of data storage cells vertically with extraordinary precision to create storage devices with three times higher capacity than competing NAND technologies. This enables more storage in a smaller space, bringing significant cost savings, low power usage and high performance to a range of mobile consumer devices as well as the most demanding enterprise deployments.

New Micron "Ultra" Memory Products Enable Next-Generation Automotive Systems

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced the availability of ultra reliable, ultra high-speed and ultra high-temperature parallel NOR Flash and low-power DDR4 (LPDDR4) DRAM to meet the increasing memory requirements for the automotive market segment. Micron's G18 NOR family offers the industry's highest-performance parallel NOR, while Micron's automotive-grade LPDDR4 solutions are an industry-first.

These new products meet the needs of automotive applications that require ultra high speed. The G18 family's high performance (266 MB/s)enables faster boot and code execution for higher-density applications, while LPDDR4 enables 33 percent higher peak bandwidth than DDR4. Additionally, Micron's new solutions deliver long-lasting reliability and meet ISO/TS certification requirements-with the G18 family enabling three times faster throughput over quad SPI NOR, and the LPDDR4 products undergoing additional package-level burn-in testing. Furthermore, Micron's G18 NOR products have options that meet the industrial temperature (IT) range of -40 to 85°C and the automotive-grade automotive temperature (AAT) range of -40 to 105°C. The LPDDR4 products have options that meet the automotive-grade industrial temperature (AIT) range of -40 to 95°C, as well as some future options that will meet the automotive-grade ultra temperature (AUT) range of -40C to 125°C, which is the highest operating temperature range in the industry, expected to be available in 2016.

Micron Technology Breaks Ground on Expansion of Singapore NAND Flash Facility

Micron Technology, Inc., today hosted a groundbreaking ceremony with company and Singapore government officials to begin the expansion of its Singapore NAND flash memory fabrication facility.

Previously announced by the company in December, the approximate 255,000 square foot expansion will facilitate efficient implementation of 3D NAND production at the Singapore facility and give Micron the flexibility to gradually add incremental capacity in response to market requirements. In addition, the space will enable production of storage class and other memory technologies.

"Micron enjoys a strong relationship with Singapore where we employ more than 7,000 team members operating at four major facilities," said Micron President Mark Adams. "We're excited to expand our manufacturing footprint in Singapore, and we commend the government and Economic Development Board for fostering such a productive business environment."

Micron, Seagate Announce Strategic Alliance

Micron Technology, Inc., and Seagate Technology plc today announced a strategic agreement that establishes a framework for combining the innovation and expertise of both companies. The framework of the agreement will enable customers of the two companies to benefit from a focused approach to deliver industry-leading storage solutions, helping them innovate faster and more effectively

While initially focusing on next-generation SAS SSDs and strategic NAND supply, Micron and Seagate anticipate that this multi-year agreement will extend into future collaboration on enterprise storage solutions featuring Micron NAND flash memory. "As two of our key partners, we look forward to the benefits of this Micron and Seagate collaboration in future NAND flash-based storage technologies," said Mike Kerouac, President of Global Product Operations for EMC Corporation.

"The strategic agreement between Micron and Seagate promises to deliver new and innovative flash-based storage solutions," said Trevor Schick, Senior Vice President, EG Global Supply Chain, HP.

Crucial Introduces Next Generation Solid State Drives

Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced two new solid state drives (SSDs): the Crucial MX200, built to deliver leading speeds and features, and the Crucial BX100, designed to offer substantial yet affordable performance gains compared to a hard drive.

Crucial MX200 SSD: Available in 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities with respective MSRPs of £107.99, £191.99, and £360.99, the new Crucial MX200 delivers sequential reads and write up to 555MB/s and 500MB/s, along with random reads and writes up to 100k and 87k IOPS on all file types. Additionally, with an endurance rating up to 320 TBW (total bytes written) on the 1TB model, the Crucial MX200 delivers up to five times more endurance than a typical client SSD.

NAND Flash Industry Value Poised to Grow More than 10% in 2015: Trendforce

The shrinking NAND Flash production costs resulting from the NAND Flash industry's improving technology are expected to boost demand for various end products, including SSDs and eMMCs, according to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce. NAND Flash industry value is expected to rise consistently in 2015, reaching as high as US$ 27.6 billion on annual growth of 12%.

Based on the tendency for new hardware devices to be released in the third and fourth quarters of each year and the likelihood of demand being restrained in the first two quarters, Sean Yang, an assistant vice president of DRAMeXchange, believes the NAND Flash market will thrive mostly during the second half of 2015 rather than during the first half. Increased NAND Flash demand in both the third and fourth quarters is expected to benefit the NAND Flash industry tremendously by easing any potential oversupply that occurs in the two preceding quarters and allowing the market to reach a potential balance. By the end of 2015, the NAND Flash industry has a good chance of remaining healthy and growth is expected to continue.

Micron Announces Next-Generation Automotive Storage Solutions

Micron Technology, Inc., expands its automotive storage solutions portfolio with the introduction of their M500IT solid-state drive (SSD) in densities ranging from 60GB to 240GB and embedded multimedia card (eMMC) 5.0 memory. Both solutions are specifically designed to enhance automotive applications.

Micron's M500IT solid state drive (SSD) is the industry's first automotive-grade SSD with AEC-Q100-compliant NAND flash memory components and system-level qualification in select automotive applications and conditions. The M500IT is dramatically faster than hard disk drive (HDD) technologies, enabling nearly instantaneous system response times and fast application loads that are critical to the increasingly media-rich automotive experience. The M500IT SSD also includes hardware-based encryption, data-at-rest protection against unexpected power loss and an adaptive thermal monitoring system to secure user data at extended temperatures. The M500IT SSD uses AEC-Q100-compliant NAND flash memory technology and customized firmware to provide high quality and high performance for demanding automotive applications.

Micron Debuts the M600 Solid State Drives

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced a next-generation, client-class solid state drive (SSD) that sets a new bar for low-power, high-performance storage for personal computers. The M600 SATA SSD - specifically designed to take advantage of Micron's leading-edge NAND Flash technology - addresses the storage demands of modern mobile computing applications, including Ultrabook platforms and tablets, as well as performance-oriented PC desktops and video capture systems.

"Storage is an important enabler for ultrathin designs in personal portable computing devices," said Greg Wong, founder and principal analyst at Forward Insights. "Micron's M600 delivers the power efficiency and performance that helps to enable instant-on performance and responsiveness as well as the all-day battery life demanded by next-generation computing systems."

How Intel Plans to Transition Between DDR3 and DDR4 for the Mainstream

The transition between DDR2 and DDR3 system memory types was slower than the one between DDR and DDR2. DDR3 made its mainstream debut with Intel's X38 and P35 Express platforms, at a time when the memory controller was still within the domain of a motherboard chipset, at least in Intel's case. The P35 supported both DDR2 and DDR3 memory types, and motherboard manufacturers made high-end products based on each of the two memory types, with some even supporting both.

Higher module prices posed a real, and higher latencies, posed a less real set of drawbacks to the initial adoption of DDR3. Those, coupled with the limited system bus bandwidth, to take advantage of DDR3. DDR3 only really took off with Nehalem, Intel's first processor with an integrated memory controller (IMC). An IMC, again in Intel's case, meant that the CPU came with memory I/O pins, and could only support one memory type - DDR3. Since then, DDR3 proliferated to the mainstream. Will the story repeat itself during the transition between DDR3 and the new DDR4 memory introduced alongside Intel's Core i7 "Haswell-E" HEDT platform? Not exactly.

Angelbird Announces its SSD WRK Line of Entry-level SSDs

Angelbird, Austria's premium SSD manufacturer, presents its new SSD wrk, a robust and highly efficient entry level Solid State Drive (SSD). It is ideal for upgrading your computer or laptop to faster SSD technology.

Angelbird does not compromise in terms of quality in its new SSD wrk, using an ultra-fast SATA 3.1 6Gb/s interface, which is fully compatible with older computer set-ups and operating systems. The SSD wrk uses the SMI 2246EN controller and the case is made of high quality, matt black anodized aluminum, housing custom packed Multi-Level-Cell NANDs from Micron. Durability is guaranteed by the MTBF of at least 2 million hours. High reliability is also provided by the integrated EDC and ECC error correction capabilities. With a thickness of only 7 Millimeter, the SSD wrk fits even into the tightest notebook or desktop case.

Kingston Technology Leads the DRAM Module Industry: TrendForce

The global PC DRAM module market revenues arrived at US$ 7.3 billion in 2013, a 32% YoY increase from 2012's US$ 5.5 billion, according to DRAMeXchange, the memory and storage research division of TrendForce. The main factors leading to the revenue growth included price increases for PC DRAM, increased spot market demand, and the rising proportion of contract market transactions. The top ten module manufacturers accounted for nearly 88% of the entire market's revenue in 2013, with Kingston Technology maintaining its usual leading position within the industry. ADATA Technology and Ramaxel, which ended up in second and third place, respectively, showed respective revenue growth of 116% and 37%. As the module manufacturers' operations are becoming increasingly diverse, the ranking for 2013 is based solely on their annual DRAM revenue.

Micron Announces Monolithic 8 Gb DDR3 SDRAM

Micron Technology, Inc., one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the introduction of a monolithic 8 Gb DDR3 SDRAM component, enhancing its leadership position as a diverse memory solutions provider for enterprise applications such as data analytics. This new design is based on Micron's latest-generation 25 nm DRAM manufacturing process.

DDR3 is the mainstream DRAM technology for the enterprise market, and the addition of an 8 Gb monolithic component will enable cost-effective, high-capacity solutions optimized to support large-scale, data-intensive workloads.

Micron Collaborates With Intel to Enhance "Knights Landing"

Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:MU), one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced an ongoing collaboration with Intel to deliver an on-package memory solution for Intel's next-generation Xeon Phi processor, codenamed Knights Landing. The memory solution is the result of a long-term effort between the two companies to break down the memory wall, leveraging the fundamental DRAM and stacking technologies also found in Micron's Hybrid Memory Cube products.

"The ecosystem is changing and the importance of scalable on-package memory and memory bandwidth is now coming to light," said Chirag Dekate, Research Manager at IDC. "Memory is at the heart of the solution space which will benefit both big compute and big data. This announcement is a clear validation of how Micron is advancing the role and impact of memory on systems and the value that 3D memory can deliver."

Micron Technology Reports Results for Q3 of Fiscal 2014

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced results of operations for its third quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended May 29, 2014. Revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 were $3.98 billion and were 3 percent lower compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2014 and 72 percent higher compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2013.

GAAP Income and Per Share Data - On a GAAP basis, net income attributable to Micron shareholders for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 was $806 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, compared to net income of $731 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2014 and net income of $43 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2013.

SSD Price War on the Cards

The consumer SSD market could witness a price-war, with leading manufacturers spooling up production, according to industry sources. NAND flash chip supplier Micron Technology reportedly reduced supplies of its chips to other manufacturers, in a possible bid to increase production of consumer SSDs bearing its own channel brand, Crucial Memory. The company plans to double shipments of Crucial-branded SSDs quarter-over-quarter. Elsewhere, Kingston Digital ramped up SSD shipments to 600,000 units a month, to step up competition against SanDisk and Samsung.

SSD makers are likely to take advantage of the entry of M.2 standard in the consumer space, with the introduction of Intel's 9-series chipset. M.2 offers 10 Gb/s of interface bandwidth (physical layer PCI-Express 2.0 x2), and some non-standard implementations are wired to offer even 20 Gb/s (physical layer PCI-Express 2.0 x4). M.2 slots feature SATA 6 Gb/s wiring in some onboard implementations, which could pave the way for M.2 replacing 2.5-inch SATA as the highest selling SSD form-factor, in the near future.

Source: DigiTimes
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