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Samsung Launches Sixth Generation 3D V-NAND SSDs

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing 250-gigabyte (GB) SATA solid state drive (SSD) that integrates the company's sixth-generation (1xx-layer) 256-gigabit (Gb) three-bit V-NAND for global PC OEMs. By launching a new generation of V-NAND in just 13 months, Samsung has reduced the mass production cycle by four months while securing the industry's highest performance, power efficiency and manufacturing productivity.

"By bringing cutting-edge 3D memory technology to volume production, we are able to introduce timely memory lineups that significantly raise the bar for speed and power efficiency," said Kye Hyun Kyung, executive vice president of Solution Product & Development at Samsung Electronics. "With faster development cycles for next-generation V-NAND products, we plan to rapidly expand the markets for our high-speed, high-capacity 512 Gb V-NAND-based solutions."

Epic Games Supports Blender Foundation with $1.2 million Epic MegaGrant

Epic Games, as part of the company's $100 million Epic MegaGrants program, is awarding the Blender Foundation $1.2 million in cash to further the success of Blender, the free and open source 3D creation suite that supports the full range of tools empowering artists to create 3D graphics, animation, special effects or games.

The Epic MegaGrants initiative is designed to assist game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers doing outstanding work with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.

AMD Files a Patent for Cooling of 3D Stacked Memory

Scaling and manufacturing of ever shrinking semiconductor devices is becoming more challenging as smaller nodes are introduced. As we have approached 7 nanometers, economies of scale are becoming more influential than scales of manufacturing. For example, the development of the 7 nm node development cost more than 3 billion USD, while smaller nodes are expected to see that price cross the 5 billion USD mark. So given that we are approaching the limit where we can't squeeze more transistors in two-dimensional space without huge economical impact, we have to utilize another dimension in order to keep performance improvements coming.

AMD has filed a patent for cooling a 3D stacked memory with thermo-electric coolers - TECs, also known as Peltier devices. Being that TECs are made out of P-type and N-type semiconductors, they can easily be integrated into existing silicon manufacturing methods and controlled like a regular device. The process AMD has patented basically describes how to insert the TEC between memory and logic devices, where it draws heat from either logic or memory with each side being able to dissipate the heat. That effect is possible due to nature of TEC, where the direction of heat flow is changed inverting the voltage.

Kingston Introduces Next-Gen KC2000 NVMe PCIe SSD

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced KC2000, its next generation M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD for enterprise and power users. Kingston's KC2000 NVMe PCIe SSD delivers powerful performance using the latest Gen 3.0 x 4 controller and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND. Offering superior read and write speeds up to 3,200 and 2,200MB/s, respectively, KC2000 delivers outstanding performance and endurance, and improves workflow in desktop, workstations and high-performance computing (HPC) systems.

KC2000 is a self-encrypting drive that supports end-to-end data protection using 256-bit AES Hardware-based encryption and allows the usage of independent software vendors with TCG Opal 2.0 security management solutions such as Symantec , McAfee , WinMagic and others. KC2000 also has built-in Microsoft eDrive support, a security storage specification for use with BitLocker.

HTC Vive Pro Eye: Hands On with Hardware and Software

The Vive Cosmos was not the only major announcement coming out of HTC's Vive business unit at CES this year. While that has massive mainstream appeal, the company was quick to let us know that it was still to early to comment further than what has already been covered in the aforelinked news post. Instead, they invited us to their suite to take a closer look at the Vive Pro Eye- one of the few things that really stood out for us at the trade show.

The Vive Pro Eye is, as the name would suggest, a new SKU with integrated eye tracking in the Vive Pro HMD. Working together with Tobii, the Vive Pro Eye allows for a more natural control mechanism within VR via eye controls, which in turn means a revamped menu navigation system is possible. This allows for increased accessibility to end users with disability, more optimization on VR performance, and detailed analysis of VR experiences for both the client and the businesses alike. Read past the break for a breakdown of our experience with the Vive Pro Eye, and the various demos on hand to showcase the feature.

Sennheiser's AMBEO Soundbar will be available from May

Immersive 5.1.4 sound and deep bass that has to be heard to be believed: Sennheiser's new AMBEO Soundbar will be available from May. Created by the audio specialist to be one of the world's best soundbars, the AMBEO Soundbar places the listener inside the sound experience with incredible realism, delivering 3D sound that blurs the line between playback and reality from a single all-in-one device. Visitors to CES can experience the AMBEO Soundbar at the Sennheiser booth.

Sennheiser's soundbar has been developed under the audio specialist's AMBEO trademark. The AMBEO 3D audio technology program is dedicated to creating immersive audio solutions that deliver the ultimate in audio capture and reproduction to transform the way users experience content. Bringing this transformation to the living room, the AMBEO Soundbar is another milestone in the program. "We are thrilled to be introducing the AMBEO Soundbar as Sennheiser's first foray into the home entertainment speaker category. We have developed it with the ambition to create one of the best soundbars on the market - an elegant all-in-one solution for all those seeking an immersive 3D, audiophile-grade home entertainment experience," said Stephane Hareau, Global Head of Products - Consumer at Sennheiser.

Distributed GPU Rendering on the Blockchain is The New Normal, and It's Much Cheaper Than AWS

Otoy, based in Los Angeles, announced a few months ago the launch of RNDR, a cloud rendering platform that is based on the same blockchain used on the Ethereum platform. The idea is simple: it leverages a distributed network of idle GPUs to render graphics more quickly and efficiently.

The solution takes advantage of the unused power of our GPUs, and allows those who need to render images at full speed to do so through this platform. RNDR distributes the revenue through its own blockchain in a decentralized fashion, and in a recent survey of 1,200 of its contributors Otoy said it has the world's largest cloud rendering platform. One that has even been praised by Hollywood director and producer J.J. Abrams, founder of Brave and Basic Attention Token Brendan Eich, and famed talent agent Ari Emanuel.

Samsung Electronics Brings Next Wave of High-Performance Storage with Mass Production of Fifth-Generation V-NAND

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing its fifth-generation V-NAND memory chips with the fastest data transfers now available. In the industry's first use of the 'Toggle DDR 4.0' interface, the speed for transmitting data between storage and memory over Samsung's new 256-gigabit (Gb) V-NAND has reached 1.4-gigabits per second (Gbps), a 40-percent increase from its 64-layer predecessor.

The energy efficiency of Samsung's new V-NAND remains comparable to that of the 64-layer chip, primarily because the operating voltage has been reduced from 1.8 volts to 1.2 volts. The new V-NAND also has the fastest data write speed to date at 500-microseconds (μs), which represents about a 30-percent improvement over the write speed of the previous generation, while the response time to read-signals has been significantly reduced to 50μs.

Memblaze Launches New PBlaze5 Series NVMe SSDs

Beijing Memblaze Technology Co., Ltd. newly released high-performance PBlaze5 910/916 and low-power 510/516 series NVMe SSD. They adopt the 64-layer enterprise-level 3D-NAND and support NVMe standard protocol with a user capacity up to 15.36TB.

The PBlaze5 910/916 series NVMe SSD features 6GB/s sequential read bandwidth, 1 million IOPS read performance and 89/11microsecond read/write latency. With the high performance shared by PBlaze series products, PBlaze5 910/916 series boasts advanced features like High-speed TRIM and Multiple-namespace, with higher QoS and more flexible.

Corsair Launches MP300 Budget M.2 NVMe 3D TLC NAND SSD Series

Corsair today launched a new series of SSDs under their brand. The MP300 carry a more budget affiliation, offering a high-speed NVMe solution (which Corsair says is up to three times faster than SATA) for relatively low prices. Like other budget NVMe solutions, the Corsair MP300 runs on a PCIe 2x bus, instead of the higher performance 4x (which carries higher cost for the controllers, hence, the price savings).

With that bus, Corsair is quoting up to 1600 MB/s read speeds, and up to 1040 MB/s writes, which are still more than enough for mainstream workloads. The usage of 3D TLC NAND also helps in the cost savings, naturally - and doesn't carry the same performance and longevity issues as it may have had in its inception. Corsair is selling these drives at 120, 240, 480 and 960 GB capacities, at €59.99, €94.99, €154.99, and €314.99 respectively.

Marvell Launches New 88SS1084 and 88SS1100 NVMe SSD Controllers

Marvell, a leader in storage, networking and connectivity semiconductor solutions, today announced its latest NVM Express (NVMe ) solid-state drive (SSD) controller family for mainstream and high-performance PC client and edge computing SSDs. The Gen 3x4 PCIe SSD controllers, the 4-channel 88SS1084 and 8-channel 88SS1100, bring leading performance, endurance and reliability to the industry and will help broaden the adoption of NVMe SSDs across emerging client and edge computing applications. The controllers integrate Marvell's fourth generation of NANDEdge technology, offering the advanced error correction capabilities to address the increasing demands required to enable future SSD solutions with emerging 96-layer triple level-cell (TLC) and quad level-cell(QLC) NAND architectures.

As gaming, video-on-demand, CAD, imaging, photography and video surveillance proliferate and scale, NVMe SSDs can meet the increasing storage performance and capacity requirements that these end use applications seek. The new Marvell client NVMe SSD controller family can provide up to 3.6GB/s of bandwidth and up to 700,000 input output per second (IOPS). The 88SS1084 and 88SS1100 devices can save system power consumption by supporting lower voltage NAND devices and LPDDR4 DRAM components. These features enable PCs and edge computing devices to process and store increasingly data-intensive workloads more quickly and reliably.

Kingston Adds 2 TB Model to UV500 Series SSD Lineup

Kingston's UV500 family of SSDs debuted last April with capacities ranging from 120 GB all the way up to 960 GB. However, Kingston has decided to add a 2 TB model to the existing lineup due to increasing demands for higher capacity drives. Like its siblings, the 2 TB model also employs the Marvell 88SS1074 controller and 3D TLC NAND. It will also carry the same features like support for 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption and TCG Opal 2.0. While the 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB models are available in 2.5-inch, M.2, and mSATA formats, the 2 TB model only comes in the 2.5-inch form factor. In terms of performance, the 2 TB variant delivers sequential read and write speeds up to 520 MB/s and 500MB/s, respectively. It also offers 4 KB random read performance up to 79,000 IOPS and 4 KB write performance up to 50,000 IOPS. Backed by a 5-year warranty, the UV500 2 TB SSD is priced at $695.50 according to Kingston's website.

3D Headphone Startup Shut Its Doors After Raising $3.2 Million in Crowdfunding

In the business world, companies fail all the time, and startups are no exception either. Ossic is the latest startup to make the headlines after announcing over the weekend that the company is shutting its door. The audio startup had successfully raised $3.2 million through Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns to produce their high-end "3D sound" Ossic X headphones. The headphones, which costed between $199 to $299, incorporated special head-tracking technology to deliver surround sound in VR environments. Apparently, they were also capable of determining the shape of the user's ears and customize the sound profile to match the user.

Ossic had received over 22,000 pre-orders over the company's life. Unfortunately, the company only managed to produce 250 pairs of their Ossic X headphones and delivered around a dozen of them to Kickstarters. As the well has run dry, Ossic has no other alternative but to cease operations. Kickstarter backers are extremely angry - and with right as they will not receive their headphones or refunds. A Facebook group with over 2,500 members threaten to pursue a class action lawsuit against the company.

Western Digital Introduces New Black 3D NVMe SSD

PC gaming is increasingly immersive, with richer and more intense visual content than ever before, and gamers are faced with making technology choices to maximize their experience. To push leading-edge performance, lower power consumption and extended durability for PC gaming systems, Western Digital Corporation today introduced a high-performance Western Digital Black 3D NVMe SSD featuring the company's own SSD architecture and controller. The drive accelerates data for PC applications to enable users to quickly, access, engage and capture today's high-resolution video, audio and gaming content.

With growing demand for rich content, PCs must have the capability to run intensive applications and enable the 4K/Ultra HD graphics and video content experiences. To move this immense amount of data quickly and seamlessly, Western Digital developed a new breed of SSDs to help remove the traditional storage bottleneck. This M.2 drive features a new NVMe architecture and controller, which optimally integrates with Western Digital 3D NAND. Western Digital's new vertically integrated SSD platform was engineered from the ground up, specifically architected to help maximize performance for NVMe SSDs, with advanced power management, durability and endurance for the growing range of applications benefiting from NVMe technology.

Nimbus Data Launches Their 100TB ExaDrive DC100 SSD

Nimbus Data, a pioneer in flash memory solutions, today announced the ExaDrive DC100, the largest capacity (100 terabytes) solid state drive (SSD) ever produced. Featuring more than 3x the capacity of the closest competitor, the ExaDrive DC100 also draws 85% less power per terabyte (TB). These innovations reduce total cost of ownership per terabyte by 42% compared to competing enterprise SSDs, helping accelerate flash memory adoption in both cloud infrastructure and edge computing.

"As flash memory prices decline, capacity, energy efficiency, and density will become the critical drivers of cost reduction and competitive advantage," stated Thomas Isakovich, CEO and founder of Nimbus Data. "The ExaDrive DC100 meets these challenges for both data center and edge applications, offering unmatched capacity in an ultra-low power design."

Western Digital Announces the PC SN720 and PC SN520 NVMe SSDs

Addressing the needs of a growing landscape of Internet of Things (IoT) and Fast Data applications at the edge, Western Digital Corporation today announced two new NVMe SSDs - Western Digital PC SN720 and Western Digital PC SN520 - powered by a new NVMe storage architecture, scalable for a range of emerging implementations, from IoT and edge computing to mobile computing systems.

The new Western Digital NVMe client architecture and product portfolio will enable manufacturers of IoT devices, computing devices such as thin and light, 2-in-1 and embedded PCs and monitoring systems to enable the capture and transformation of the massive quantities of data in real-time at the edge of smart city, smart home and personal data environments. Cisco GCI estimates that nearly 850 zettabytes (ZB) will be generated by all people, machines and things by 2021. With the advent of high-bandwidth technologies like 5G, augmented reality and facial recognition, new applications can benefit from the exceptional performance, power efficiency and capacity of NVMe and Western Digital 3D NAND to deliver an optimal user experience.

SK Hynix Ramps Up Enterprise SSDs with Its 72-Layer 512Gb 3D NAND Flash

SK Hynix Inc. today announced that the Company recently completed developing an enterprise SATA Solid State Drive (or 'eSSD'). With its 72-Layer 512Gb (Gigabits) 3D NAND Flash chips, the Company is paving the way for its full-fledged entrance to the high value-added eSSD market. SK Hynix combined the 72-Layer 512Gb 3D NAND Flash with its in-house firmware and controller to provide the maximum density of 4TB (Terabytes). SK Hynix makes the most of its 72-Layer 512Gb 3D NAND chips to double the biggest density of the SSD of the same size with 256Gb NAND chips.

A single 4TB SSD could contain 200 UHD (Ultra-HD) movies, each of which is generally as large as approximately 20GB (Gigabytes). The new eSSD supports sequential read and write speed of up to 560MB/s (Megabytes per second) and 515MB/s, respectively, and it can perform 98,000 random read IOPS (Input/Output operations per second) and 32,000 random write IOPS. SK Hynix also improved the read latency, which is of the utmost importance in eSSD performance. The Company is sampling the product to server and data center clients in the United States.

Visbit Launches First 8K 3D VR Player for the HTC Vive Focus

At HTC VIVE Spring Product Show event in Shenzhen, China, virtual reality (VR) technology company Visbit launched Visbit 8K VR Player, the industry's first foveated rendering-based 8K 360° 3D video player, on the Viveport content store of the Vive Focus, the ready-to-ship premium standalone VR headset made by Vive. With this launch, for the first time the pipeline to deliver high-end VR video experience is completed. VR users can now enjoy premium quality 8K 360° 3D VR videos without being tethered. This is an important user experience upgade for the VR industry.

Applying Visbit's View-Optimized Viewing (VVOS) technology, Visbit 8K VR Player is capable of playing up to 8K stereoscopic 360° VR videos at both stream-to-play and download-to-play modes. It also features spatial audio support and video encryption to protect IPs. Starting today, Visbit's 8K VR Player is now one of the top featured apps in Viveport store, and available for free to download for a limited period. In the coming months, Visbit 8K VR Player will also gradually support other standalone and mobile VR headsets.

Transcend Announces New Line of 3D TLC NAND SSDs for Embedded Applications

Transcend Information, Inc., a leading manufacturer of industrial-grade products, is proud to announce the release of 2.5-inch and M.2 form factor industrial solid-state drives featuring 3D TLC NAND flash memory. 3D TLC NAND flash memory has performance that can rival Planar (2D) MLC NAND flash, but at a very competitive price point. The new line of industrial SSDs also boast SLC caching, a RAID engine, low-density parity check (LDPC), and other features that make for a stable, long-lasting product ready for write-intensive industrial and embedded applications.

Built with high-quality 3D TLC NAND flash memory
This all-new series of SSDs uses high-quality 3D TLC NAND flash memory. 3D NAND flash breaks through physical limitations on Planar NAND by stacking layers of memory cells to allow for greater capacities and performance. Compared to Planar NAND, 3D NAND is faster, more reliable, and delivers greater performance. Devices manufactured with 3D NAND are price competitive, making them an excellent choice for embedded systems.

Micron Launches 5200 Series Enterprise SATA SSDs Utilizing 64-Layer 3D TLC NAND

Micron Technology, Inc. today launched the Micron 5200 series of SATA solid state drives (SSDs), maintaining industry-leading performance, consistency, capacity, reliability, and overall infrastructure value. Built on Micron's new industry-leading 64-layer 3D NAND technology, the Micron 5200 series of SSDs offers a cost-optimized SATA platform for business-critical virtualized workloads that cripple on a hard drive, such as OLTP, BI/DSS, VDI, block/object and media streaming.

Leveraging the proven architecture, performance and capacity of the well-regarded 5100 SATA SSDs, the Micron 5200 series is engineered to deliver a fast, easy and cost-effective enterprise storage solution to replace existing hard drives and legacy SSDs. Micron 5200 SSDs immediately deliver better total cost of ownership and improve data center efficiency through server and storage platform consolidation, reducing IT costs and simplifying infrastructure and maintenance. Now it is easier than ever before for enterprises to add more flash into the data center and get more out of server deployments.

Intel Now Shipping Their RealSense D400 Depth Cameras

Today, Intel began shipping two new Intel RealSense D400 Depth Cameras from the next-generation Intel RealSense D400 product family: the D415 and D435, adding 3D capabilities to any prototype development or end user-ready device or machine.

Ideal for makers and educators as well as hardware prototyping and software development, the new depth cameras come in a ready-to-use, USB-powered form factor that pair with a D400 depth module, a turnkey optical depth solution, and the new Intel RealSense vision processor D4 for processing complex depth data in real time. Supported by the Intel RealSense SDK 2.0 - available for the first time as a cross-platform, open source SDK - the cameras can also be used both indoors and outdoors and in any lighting environment.

HyperX Savage EXO External SSD Pictured

Kingston showed off its HyperX Savage EXO external SSD, targeted at notebook gamers, and game console users, so you could easily swap out game install folders of multiple games on the fly. Built in a compact, yet rugged polycarbonate chassis, the drive comes in capacities of 480 GB and 960 GB, implementing 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The drive takes advantage of USB 3.1 gen 2 (10 Gbps) interface, offering sequential transfer rates of up to 490 MB/s reads, and up to 480 MB/s writes (something not possible with USB 3.1 gen 1, due to interface overhead). Both type-A and type-C cables come included with the drive, a single cable handles both power and host-connectivity.

Plextor Debuts Their Latest M9Pe Gaming PCIe SSDs

PLEXTOR, a leading manufacturer of award-winning solid-state drives (SSDs) and other high-performance digital storage devices for consumers, today announced the launch of its newest NVMe PCIe SSD the M9Pe Series. The new M9Pe SSD Series has adopted advanced 64-layer 3D NAND and flagship controller along with exclusive PlexNitro, smart cache technology, delivering unprecedented sequential read/write up to 3,200/2,100 MB/s and random read/write up to 400,000/300,000 IOPS. The M9Pe puts improved performance and durability in its crosshairs.

Aimed at high-level PC gaming such as eSports, the M9Pe boasts of its superior components to deliver less lags and 20% faster boot up times compared to a typical SATA drive. The new M9Pe (HHHL/AIC version only) also sports a new eye-catching design with its programmable 3-mode RGB LED lights for the perfect visual appeal on any desktop gaming setup. Similar to its predecessors, the new M9Pe features a high-performing thermal heatsink (M9PeY and M9PeG only) to help regulate SSD temperatures during prolonged gaming sessions resulting to stabilized performance.

NAND Flash Supply to Improve in 1Q18

DigiTimes, quoting industry sources, reports that NAND flash supply should see improvements from its 4Q17 state in 2018. This likely doesn't come as much of a surprise - 2017 has been a sort of "squeeze" year for NAND and DDR memory manufacturing, with companies increasing production without committing to fully satisfy demand, which in turn translates to longer term higher pricing of memory. Still, those tentative increases to production capabilities should begin to release the memory pricing squeeze during 1Q18, with ASP (average selling price) coming down.

The increase in production and supply doesn't come solely from factory floor expansions, however; there's also been reports of increased yields of 3D NAND fabrication technologies, which should also increase availability in the best way possible for manufacturers.

Toshiba Announces the TR200 SATA SSDs with 64-layer 3D TLC NAND

Toshiba's first retail SSDs to use the company's 64-layer BiCS3 3D NAND technology have been announced by Toshiba. The successors to the company's Trion 100 and Trion 150 SSDs still carry some vestiges of OCZ branding in the product logo and TR (short for Trion) moniker. This is Toshiba's first generation of mainstream, mass-market-suitable 3D NAND flash.

These drives make use of a DRAM-less controller design, and will be available in capacities ranging from 240 GB up to 960 GB. Toshiba advertises 550 MB/s read and 525 MB/s write speeds. 4K Random Read IOPS stand at 87K, while 4K Random Write IOPS go up to 87K. The endurance on the models will range from 60 to 240 TB according to capacity, and these carry the same three-year warranty as previous Trion SSDs. Pricing has not yet been announced, although the TR200 series will start shipping to retailers this fall.
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