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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.

Intel SSD 525 Starts Selling in Japan

Intel's performance-segment mSATA SSDs, the SSD 525 series, started selling in Japan under OEM packaging, although freely available in ground stores (much like bare hard drives). Based on the LSI-SandForce SF-2281 processor and Intel's own 25 nm MLC NAND flash chips, the SSD 525 is available in four capacities: 30 GB, 120 GB, 180 GB, and 240 GB. The 240 GB variant stands out, with speeds of up to 550 MB/s reads with 500 MB/s writes; while the others max out at 500 MB/s reads with 275 MB/s writes. The 30, 120, 180, and 240 GB variants are priced at 5,180¥ ($57), 14,480¥ ($160), 20,800¥ ($228), and 26,980¥ ($295), respectively.

Source: PC Watch

Updated: MSI's Client SSD Lineup Piloted by Reflex Series, Pictured

Since the last couple of weeks, we've known of MSI's plans to enter the client SSD market, thanks to a leak by LSI-SandForce. Today we're getting the first pictures of what MSI has been secretly working on. Called the Reflex series, MSI's first SSDs are built on the most widely used performance SSD platform, a combination of LSI-SandForce SF2281 controller and 25 nm synchronous NAND flash.

MSI's Reflex series will be launched in three variants, the RX-60 (60 GB), the RX-120 (120 GB), and the RX-240 (240 GB), respectively. Performance numbers differ with model. The RX-60 offers up to 525 MB/s reads with 495 MB/s writes, and 85,000 IOPS 4K random write performance. The RX-120 ups that to 550 MB/s reads with 515 MB/s writes, and 90,000 IOPS 4K random writes. Leading the pack is the RX-240, with 560 MB/s reads, 525 MB/s writes, and 90,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The three are built in the 2.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gb/s interface. Pricing and availability information is awaited.

Source: InsideIndustryNews

Update (23/07): MSI Europe informed us that while the product is real, it will not be available for purchase in Europe, and that there are no plans to sell the drives in the old continent, in the near future. MSI Europe's statement follows

Hynix' Own-Branded SH910 SSD Detailed

Korean memory giant SK Hynix is launching its own branded consumer and enterprise SSD lines, à la Samsung (the other Korean memory giant). It is starting off with high-performance consumer SSDs targeting Ultrabooks, built in the 2.5-inch 7 mm-thick SATA form-factor. The SH910 series SSDs combine Hynix' homegrown H27QDG8VEBIR-BCB MLC NAND flash chips built in the 25 nm fab process, with LSI-SandForce SF-2281 processor.

The drive will be initially available in two capacities, 128 GB and 256 GB (higher than usual capacities thanks to adjusted overprovisioning). Both drives offer sequential transfer speeds of up to 520 MB/s reads with 500 MB/s writes; up to 60,000 IOPS 4K random seek, 35,000 IOPS random write; and feature-set that includes 128-bit AES encryption, TRIM, NCQ, and SMART. A performance review can be found at the source.

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Micron Emerges as Front-Runner To Buy Out Elpida

Following a rapid turn of events, Micron Technology has emerged as a front-runner in the race to buy out ailing Japanese DRAM major Elpida. Elpida revealed Micron as the winner of the second round of bidding for the right to negotiate exclusively to buy it. DRAMeXchange predicts that Micron may offer up to 300 billion JPY (US $3.75 billion) for the deal, and the Micron+Elpida combine that emerges out of the deal, with its DRAM capacity, could bring about a revolutionary change in the industry.

The Elpida buyout, according to market analysts at TrendForce, will give Micron the capability to compete with Korean DRAM heavyweights SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics, in high-volume DRAM manufacturing. Elpida has been known for investments in DRAM R&D, and isn't behind the two Korean companies in terms of volume manufacturing. Its 30 nm-class DRAM yield-rate is nearly mature, while the next-generation 25 nm process is in testing phase.

Source: DRAMeXchange

OCZ Adds 1 TB Capacity to Octane Series

OCZ introduced a new high capacity variant of its Octane consumer SSD series, the OCT1-25SAT3-1T. Built in the 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, the new Octane variant provides 1 TB of unformatted capacity. Based on the Indilinx Everest processor, the drive packs 25 nm MLC NAND flash, and utilizes 512 MB of DRAM cache. It is rated to provide sequential transfer speeds of up to 460 MB/s (reads), 330 MB/s (writes), with 4K read/write random access performance of up to 24,000 IOPS and 32,000 IOPS, respectively. All modern consumer SSD features are present, including TRIM, NCQ, ECC, and 256-bit AES data-encryption. Slated for mid-May, the Octane 1 TB by OCZ won't exactly be cheap.

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

SuperSSpeed GoldHyper ​​SLC SSDs Tested

While SSDs with single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash are relegated to enterprise segment owing to their high-cost and write endurance (unless they are low-capacity cache SSDs), one company made efforts to bring them to the PC enthusiast market. SupperSSpeed took advantage of the fact that SandForce SF-2281 supports SLC NAND flash, backed it up with Intel-made 25 nm SLC NAND flash memory, and made it available in capacities common in the PC segment: 60 GB and 120 GB. The 120 GB variant packs cutting-edge 128 Gbit SLC NAND flash chips, while the 60 GB variant packs more mature 64 Gbit ones. Thanks to SandForce and its overprovisioning mojo, the drives lack external DRAM caches. Expreview put the two drives through its battery of tests, and concluded that these are the best SSDs in terms of transfer speed yield, and random-access performance, not to mention that by design, these drives have higher write endurance.
More numbers follow.

64 GB Variant of Plextor M3 Series Surfaces

A 64 GB variant of Plextor's M3 SSD series surfaced in Japan, carrying the model number "PX-64M3". The series was originally designed to capture higher market price points. Built in the 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, the PX-64M3 is driven by Marvell 88SS9174, packs 25 nm MLC NAND flash, and offers sequential speeds of up to 520 MB/s reads, and 175 MB/s writes, with up to 55,000 IOPS 4K random access and 40,000 IOPS 4K random writes. Slated for market release on April 21, the Plextor M3 64 GB is priced at 10,980 JPY (US $135).

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Intel SSD 910 Series PCI-Express Launch Imminent

Intel is on the brink of launching its new line of enterprise PCI-Express SSDs, codenamed "Ramsdale", carrying the market name "SSD 910 Series". The new SSD 910 series is coming to existence leapfrogging SSD 710 series, which was also codenamed "Ramsdale", but never made it to the market. The original Ramsdale SSD 720 was meant to be primarily based on SLC NAND flash memory with the probability of an MLC variant, Intel decided against launching it, probably because it was hedging its bets on 25 nm HET-MLC NAND flash, which provides endurance levels closer to SLC, while offering the capacity-advantage of MLC. The SSD 910 implements this new NAND flash standard that attempts to offer the best of both SLC and MLC.

The new SSD 910 will be available in two capacity options: 400 GB and 800 GB. Built as a PCI-Express expansion card, the SSD 910 consists of three stacked PCBs that hold SSD subunits and HET-MLC NAND flash chips, lots of them. Each of these subunits interfaces with the core logic over SAS. The core logic connects to the host over PCI-Express 2.0 x8 bus interface. The 400 GB variant provides sequential read speeds up to 1 GB/s, and up to 750 MB/s writes. The 800 GB variant provides up to 2 GB/s reads, with up to 1 GB/s writes.

Intel SSD 330 Series Could Have Sweet Pricing: Report

Intel's upcoming mainstream consumer SSD line, the SSD 330 series, could have attractive pricing, which could catalyze further proliferation of SSD technology, according to a LaptopReviews report, citing tease-listings by online retailers and other sources. The new lineup will embrace SATA rev. 3.0 (6 Gb/s) standard, and offer performance that takes advantage of it. The 120 GB variant of the SSD 330, for example, was listed for US $149, on, the listing is removed. This gives it a price/GB on par with other 120 GB SATA 6 Gb/s SSDs in the market, which underwent several rounds of price-adjustments to get there.

The SSD 330 series from Intel, will be available in three capacities, 60 GB, 120 GB, and 180 GB. The 120 GB and 180 GB variants offer sequential transfer-rates of up to 500 MB/s (read) and 450 MB/s (write); the 60 GB variant offers 500 MB/s (read), and 400 MB/s (write). These drives use IMFlash Technologies-made 25 nm MLC NAND flash, and offer standard feature-set that includes support for TRIM, NCQ, 256-bit AES data-encryption, and limited SMART attributes.

Source: LaptopReviews

Intel's Future SSD Plans Detailed

After asking around Taiwan, Digitimes has apparently found out Intel's SSD intentions for the rest of this year. As soon as May the Santa Clara-based chip giant is said to bring out the 300 Series ' Maple Crest' drives, as well as the 720 Series (Ramsdale). The 300s are consumer-grade solutions, while the 720s target enterprises and feature a PCIe interface.

The 720 Series SSDs will come in 400 GB and 800 GB capacities and, like the 300 Series, will utilize 25 nm MLC (multi-level cell) NAND Flash memory.

In Q3 Intel is set to be making the transition to 20 nm NAND and will release the 500 Series 'King Crest' models, while later on, in Q4 we should see the arrival of the 100 GB, 200 GB, 400 GB and 800 GB Taylorsville drives part of the 700 Series, and the Jay Crest and Oak Crest SSDs bearing the 300 Series banner.Source: Digitimes

Elpida's Rexchip Foundry Capacity Key to DRAM Pricing

Even as Elpida has filed for bankruptcy protection and is dealing with restructuring, its disposal of a subsidiary Taiwan-based DRAM foundry Rexchip will impact DRAM supply and pricing, sources told DigiTimes. Rexchip has a monthly foundry capacity of 800,000 12-inch wafers and uses 65,000 wafers currently. Elpida has just finished development of 25 nm DRAM technology, which gives it competitiveness over other DRAM majors, Samsung Electronics and SK-Hynix.

As analyzed in an older report, should Elpida's restructuring take a turn for the worse, leading to an exit from the DRAM industry, it could have huge consequences on the competitive environment of the industry. DigiTimes currently reports that DRAM prices are slowly, but surely creeping back up. DRAM contract prices for March have risen 5.7% on average, the prices of 4 GB DDR3 modules have gone as high as US $18.75, with average prices of $18.50.

Source: DigiTimes

Eurocom Adds Intel 520 Series SSDs to Mobile Workstations and Mobile Server Offerings

Eurocom Corporation announces support for Intel's new high performance 520 Series of Solid-State Drives inside their Mobile Workstations and Mobile Server solutions.

The addition of the Intel 520 series of SSDs to Eurocom's extensive list of storage drives gives customers an even greater choice when customizing their purpose built systems. Customers have a myriad of choices between Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives and Hybrid Drives.

Intel Readies the 313 Series SLC-Based Solid State Drives

According to a fresh report, April will not 'only' see the launch of the Ivy Bridge processor family, as Intel is also preparing the arrival of some new solid state drives specifically designed to be used in SSD/HDD storage setups (made possible by the Smart Response Technology).

The incoming SSD Caching drives are known as the 313 Series (they will replace the 311 Series aka Larson Creek), they come in 2.5-inch (7 mm thick) and mSATA form factors, and make use of 25 nm SLC (single-level cell) NAND Flash memory chips (the 311 models pack 34 nm NAND). The 313 Series SSDs have a SATA 3.0 Gbps interface and will be available in 20 GB ($99) and 24 GB ($119) capacities.

Source: VR-Zone

Hitachi GST Ships the Industry’s First 25 nm SLC NAND Flash Enterprise-Class SSDs

Demonstrating its commitment to delivering leading-edge technologies and solutions for enterprise-class servers and storage systems, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (Hitachi GST) today announced that its Ultrastar enterprise-class solid state drive (SSD) family is the industry's first to use 25-nanometer (nm) single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash.

The Ultrastar SSD400S.B family combines Hitachi's proven enterprise hard disk drive (HDD) expertise with Intel's extensive capabilities in developing high-endurance SLC NAND flash memory and advanced SSD technology. The drives also conform to the Trusted Computing Group's Enterprise A Security Subsystem Class encryption specification, helping customers protect sensitive data, and reduce the costs associated with drive retirement and reuse.

Intel Debuts the 520 Series SATA 6.0 Gbps Solid State Drives

Intel Corporation announced today its fastest, most robust client/consumer solid-state drive (SSD) to date, the Intel Solid-State Drive 520 Series (Intel SSD 520), a 6 gigabit-per-second (gbps) SATA III SSD produced using Intel compute-quality 25-nanometer (nm) NAND memory process technology. Aimed at delivering world-class performance for even the most demanding PC enthusiasts, gamers, professionals or small-medium businesses (SMBs), the Intel SSD 520 has fast throughput performance, new security features and unmatched reliability to meet even the most intensive user requirements.

Any consumer application requiring high throughput and bandwidth, low latencies and accelerated speed will benefit from the Intel SSD 520. Software developers, architects, accountants, engineers, musicians, media creators and artists are just some of the professionals that will find that the Intel SSD 520's full package of features can make a dramatic impact on their productivity. With faster performance for graphic renderings, compiling, data transfers and system boot-ups, users can speed through multi-tasking or once-cumbersome application wait times with an Intel SSD 520 Series.

OCZ Octane 6 Gb/s Performance Looks Promising

Anandtech posted the first set of performance figures of OCZ Octane. The enthusiast community is looking at the outcome of OCZ Octane eagerly, because it is based on OCZ's own newest high-performance SATA 6 Gb/s SSD processor, the Indilink Everest, the first major Indilinx controller after OCZ's acquisition of the company. It adds to the options available to enthusiasts, between SandForce SF-228x based SSDs, and Marvell 88SS9174.

The [p]reviewer put the 512 GB 6 Gb/s variant of this drive though the site's "Heavy Workload 2011" test suite, in which it edged past Intel SSD 510 250 GB, but fell behind OCZ Vertex 3 MaxIOPS 240 GB and Kingston HyperX 240 GB, both driven by SandForce SF-2281 processors. So far the performance yield looks encouraging, considering that OCZ has managed such performance on a drive with relatively higher capacity. Apart from the Indilinx Everest, OCZ Octane features 512 MB of cache and Intel 25 nm Sync MLC NAND flash memory. OCZ will also introduce a value variant that uses the SATA 3 Gb/s interface and Async MLC NAND flash. Complete reviews of this drive will surface in the coming days.

Source: Anandtech

Intel To Revamp SSD Lineup in 2012

It looks like Intel has concrete plans with its SSD lineup moving into 2012. A roadmap slide sourced by VR-Zone reveals that its main SSD lines feature major additions or replacements that will take shape by the third quarter of 2012. To begin with the enterprise-grade 700 Series, Intel will have launched SSD 720 "Ramsdale" family of PCI-Express SSDs with SLC NAND flash memory, and SSD 520 "Cherryville", a successor of SSD 510; by the end of 2011. These products will lead the lineup through, with no changes in the first quarter of 2012.

In 2012, Intel will launch "Ramsdale MLC" PCI-Express SSD, a variant of Ramsdale that uses MLC-HET NAND flash memory, that increases capacities, while offering endurance roughly comparable to SLC, if not as fast as it. Capacities will double over Ramsdale SLC, into 400 GB and 800 GB. Around that time, Intel will also launch SSD 500 Series "King Crest", a new 2.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s SSD that succeeds SSD 520 "Cherryville" family, and makes use of 25 nm MLC-HET NAND flash instead of standard 25 nm MLC NAND flash. Its capacity options are unknown.

Elpida Develops Industry's First 25 nm Process 4-Gigabit DDR3 SDRAM

Elpida Memory, Inc., the Japan-based third largest Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) maker in the world, today announced it had completed development of the industry's first 25-nanometer (nm) process 4-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM. The new chip is also the smallest 4-gigabit DRAM. The new cutting-edge smallest available 4-gigabit chip uses ultra fine-width 25nm process migration technology. Back in May, Elpida finished development of a 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM using the advanced 25nm process and began sample shipments in July.

By using ultra-fine process technology the 4-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM becomes a more energy efficient chip and achieves higher productivity. As a 4-gigabit product, its density is double that of Elpida's 2-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM based on the same process node. The newly developed 4-gigabit DRAM enhances productivity by about 45% compared with Elpida's 30nm 4-gigabit DDR3 SDRAM. Compared with this same 30nm DDR3, it reduces operating current by about 25-30% and standby current by about 30-50%. It has also realized the industry's highest speed data transfer rate.

Intel Readies SSD 520 Series SATA 6 Gbps High-Performance Client SSDs

Intel is in no mood to settle down its high-end client solid-state drive (SSD) lineup, the company is preparing a new line of SSDs in the 2.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s form-factor that succeeds the SSD 510 Series. Called the SSD 520 Series, the new line consists of various size options that didn't exist with SSD 510 Series, improvements in performance and price per gigabyte, and a few new features. While the SSD 510 is available only in two sizes (capacities): 120 GB and 250 GB, SSD 520 Series comes in a lot more: 60 GB, 120 GB, 160 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB. It's as if Intel is taking SandForce SF-22xx SSDs head-on at each price-point.

Sequential and random access performance figures are known to vary between different models (capacities) with Intel SSDs, but there's one set of them that we have in hand, perhaps it's of the fastest model: up to 530 MB/s read, 490 MB/s write sequential performance; and 40,000 IOPS reads and 45,000 IOPS writes random performance. SSD 520 Series drives make use of 25 nm MLC NAND flash memory, and a complete feature-set for today's client SSDs: TRIM, SMART, NCQ, and ACS-2 compliance. The drives are rated with 1.2 million hours MTBF, can operate between 0 and 70°C, and withstand up to 2.7 G (RMS) vibration. Production of Intel SSD 520 Series SATA 6 Gb/s drives are expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Source: VR-Zone

Intel Acknowledges SSD 320 Series ''8 MB Bug''

Intel's 320 Series SSD is the silicon giant's big push of SSD technology into homes and offices. The SATA 3 Gb/s compatible 2.5" SSDs offer generally good price per gigabyte by SSD standards, and is even backed by a 5 year warranty after some customers were skeptical about the low NAND flash rewrite cycle capacity of the new 25 nm MLC NAND flash chips. Off late, several customers have been noting a bug in its firmware that drops capacity down to 8 MB, making data occupied on the rest of the capacity inaccessible. This bug came to be popularly known as the "8 MB bug".

Intel's Support Community boards have been piling up with complaints about this bug by users of 320 series. Then earlier this week, Intel's Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) Solutions Group acknowledged this bug. It asked customers to contactIntel representatives or Intel customer support, and said that it will provide an update when it has more information. In all likelihood, this is yet another case of buggy firmware by Intel, which haunted it through the 34 nm X25-M and some older SSDs.

Source: TechSpot

Intel SSD 710 and 720 Series Detailed

First making their existance known in April, Intel's new enterprise-grade 710 Series and 720 Series solid-state drives (SSDs) are inching closer to launch, with more specifications being known. The two series are very distinct from each other, the 710 series codenamed "Lyndonville" comes in the 2.5-inch SATA form-factor, with SATA 3 Gb/s interface; while the 720 series codenamed "Ramsdale" comes in the PCI-Express add-on card form-factor, probably using the PCI-Express x8 interface.

Intel 710 series SSDs make use of new 25 nm MLC NAND flash, cached by 64 MB of DRAM. It comes in capacities of 100, 200, and 300 GB; offer transfer-rates of 270 MB/s read, 210 MB/s write; with 36,000 IOPS and 2,400 4K IOPS performance; and offers endurance of 500 TB for the 100 GB model, and 1 PB (petabyte, equals 1024 TB) for the 200 GB model on full capacity. The Intel 720 series SSDs use PCI-Express interface, 34 nm SLC NAND flash, comes in capaities of 200 GB and 400 GB; transfer rates of 2,200 MB/s read, 1,800 MB/s write; 180,000 IOPS with 56,000 IOPS 4K random write performance; and massive endurance figures of 36 PB for 200 GB (8K random writes).

Super Talent Readies New SandForce-Driven USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Super Talent is readying a new USB 3.0 flash drive, the RC8. This is essentially a SandForce-driven SSD on a stick. It uses a SF-1222 controller, coupled with 25 nm MLC NAND flash memory over 8-channels. It is available in capacities of 25 GB, 50 GB, and 100 GB. When plugged into a USB 3.0 port, the drive can offer read and write speeds of over 200 MB/s. It is backwards-compatible with USB 2.0, where its transfer rates are restricted to around 40 MB/s. Expect the 50 GB variant to be priced around US $110.

Source: TechScreens

Intel Extends SSD 320 Series Warranty to 5 Years

After taking some flack from the community on the relatively low maximum rewrite-cycle count capacity on its 25 nanometer MLC NAND flash chips, Intel decided to extend the warranty of its new 320 Series SSDs which use the 25 nm chips to 5 years, to assure buyers that 3,000 rewrite cycles is plenty for its target buyers. Maximum rewrite cycle count is the maximum number of times a cell of the NAND flash chip can be rewritten. 3,000 appears like a small number, but Intel believes that consumers don't have much to worry about that. The company feels that with a consumer's typical usage, the drive should work flawlessly for at least 5 years, and has extended the warranty to back its assertions.

In a Chip-Shot (Intel's micro-PR), the company said: "Confident in the enhanced reliability features of its recently introduced third-generation solid-state drive (SSD), Intel announced it has extended its limited warranty for the Intel SSD 320 Series from three years to five years. The extended warranty term will apply to all Intel SSD 320 Series drives, including those already purchased. Additional limitations apply to enterprise usage levels." Intel's SSD 320 Series is a successor of X25-M G3 series, which uses the same essential controller and specifications, but uses 25 nm MLC NAND flash chips.

Source: Intel

Intel, Micron First to Sample 3-Bit-Per-Cell NAND Flash Memory on 25 nm Process

Intel Corporation and Micron Technology Inc. today announced the delivery of 3-bit-per-cell (3bpc) NAND flash memory on 25-nanometer (nm) process technology, producing the industry's highest capacity, smallest NAND device. The companies have sent initial product samples to select customers. Intel and Micron expect to be in full production by the end of the year.

The new 64-gigabit (Gb) 3bpc on 25nm memory device offers improved cost efficiencies and higher storage capacity for the competitive USB, SD (Secure Digital) flash card and consumer electronics markets. Flash memory is primarily used to store data, photos and other multimedia for use in capturing and transferring data between computing and digital devices such as digital cameras, portable media players, digital camcorders and all types of personal computers. These markets are under constant pressure to provide higher capacities at low prices.
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