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SK hynix to Acquire Intel NAND Flash Memory Business for $9 Billion

SK hynix and Intel today announced that they have signed an agreement on Oct. 20, KST, under which SK hynix would acquire Intel's NAND memory and storage business for US $9 billion. The transaction includes the NAND SSD business, the NAND component and wafer business, and the Dalian NAND memory manufacturing facility in China. Intel will retain its distinct Intel Optane business.

SK hynix and Intel will endeavor to obtain required governmental approvals expected in late 2021. Following receipt of these approvals, SK hynix will acquire from Intel the NAND SSD business (including NAND SSD-associated IP and employees), as well as the Dalian facility, with the first payment of US $7 billion. SK hynix will acquire from Intel the remaining assets, including IP related to the manufacture and design of NAND flash wafers, R&D employees, and the Dalian fab workforce, upon a final closing, expected to occur in March 2025 with the remaining payment of US $2 billion. Per the agreement, Intel will continue to manufacture NAND wafers at the Dalian Memory Manufacturing Facility and retain all IP related to the manufacture and design of NAND flash wafers until the final closing.

Intel Enters Strategic Collaboration with Lightbits Labs

Intel Corp. and Lightbits Labs today announced an agreement to propel development of disaggregated storage solutions to solve the challenges of today's data center operators who are craving improved total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) due to stranded disk capacity and performance. This strategic partnership includes technical co-engineering, go-to-market collaboration and an Intel Capital investment in Lightbits Labs. Lightbits' LightOS product delivers high-performance shared storage across servers while providing high availability and read-and-write management designed to maximize the value of flash-based storage. LightOS, while being fully optimized for Intel hardware, provides customers with vastly improved storage efficiency and reduces underutilization while maintaining compatibility with existing infrastructure without compromising performance and simplicity.

Lightbits Labs will enhance its composable disaggregated software-defined storage solution, LightOS, for Intel technologies, creating an optimized software and hardware solution. The system will utilize Intel Optane persistent memory and Intel 3D NAND SSDs based on Intel QLC Technology, Intel Xeon Scalable processors with unique built-in artificial intelligence (AI) acceleration capabilities and Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters with Application Device Queues (ADQ) technology. Intel's leadership FPGAs for next-generation performance, flexibility and programmability will complement the solution.

Western Digital Expands WD Purple Line of Surveillance Storage Solutions

Enabling customers to design and build solutions for a variety of smart video workloads, Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced its expanded family of WD Purple storage solutions, including the industry's highest capacity 18 TB surveillance HDD for DVRs, NVRs and analytics appliances, and the 1 TB WD Purple SC QD101 microSD card for AI-enabled cameras. Setting the bar for smart video applications, all WD Purple drives are optimized to help reduce frame loss and pixelation, improve overall video playback and enhance streaming for 24x7 workloads - from ingest to backup and long-term storage - as the industry broadens the use of deep learning and analytics.

From commercial buildings to municipalities, businesses are accelerating adoption of AI and deep learning to enable automation and better efficiencies that ultimately help create a safer and better experience for employees, customers and communities. Deep learning algorithms, hungry for data generated by IoT and edge ecosystems, demand higher resolution for better accuracy, increasing the need for storage capacity in cameras and NVRs. In its recent report, Video Surveillance & Analytics Intelligence Service, July 2020, Omdia states that shipments of cameras enabled with deep learning algorithms will continue growing at a five-year (2019-2024) CAGR of 67 percent, and NVRs enabled with deep-learning analytics will grow at 37 percent. Meanwhile, video analytics appliances shipments are expected to grow at 43 percent. In addition, a 2020 Western Digital-commissioned survey of North American security system integration companies found that 76 percent of them see video analytics and AI as playing an ever-increasing role in their deployments.

COVID-19 Drives Rise in Global Fab Equipment Spending, SEMI Reports

Soaring pandemic-inspired demand for chips that power everything from communications and IT infrastructures to personal computing, gaming and healthcare electronics will drive an 8% increase in global fab equipment spending in 2020 and a 13% increase in 2021, SEMI announced today in its World Fab Forecast report. Rising demand for semiconductors for datacenter infrastructures and server storage along with the buildup of safety stock as U.S.-China trade tensions intensify are also contributing to this year's growth.

The bullish trend for overall fab equipment investments comes as the semiconductor industry recovers from a 9% decline in fab spending in 2019 and navigates a roller-coaster 2020 with actual and projected spending drops in the first and third quarters mixed with second- and fourth-quarter increases. See figure below:

NAND Flash Revenue Rises 6.5% QoQ in 2Q20 Due to Pandemic-Induced Demand Growth for Cloud Services, Says TrendForce

The NAND Flash industry benefitted from strong demand for PCs and servers in 2Q20 as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a demand surge for cloud services and technologies that are related to working from home, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. This, in turn, kept demand high for SSDs. However, the smartphone and consumer electronics markets had not recovered from the impact of the pandemic. The demand for these products therefore declined compared to the previous quarter. In 2Q20, total NAND Flash bit shipment and ASP both experienced a minor increase of about 3% QoQ, while NAND Flash revenue reached US$14.5 billion, a 6.5% increase QoQ.

Apacer Launches NAS SSDs with Durability and High Performance

In response to the long-distance business opportunities in the era of 5G IoT, and the trend towards storage of massive amounts of data, Apacer, a leading industrial storage and memory brand, has launched SSDs tailored specifically for network attached storage (NAS) applications. Apacer has been deeply involved in the field of industrial memory for more than 20 years, focusing on the development of non-volatile flash memory and SSD applications, and providing highly customized industrial-grade storage and memory solutions.

Considering NAS users' stringent data storage and security requirements, Apacer's NAS SSDs combine high durability, high efficiency, high reliability, and silent operation. They make it easy to quickly upgrade from traditional hard drives or ordinary SSDs, and create security and reliability for home office or small-and-medium-business (SMB) NAS applications.

Team Group Launches T-FORCE Vulcan G SSD

TEAMGROUP today announced the T-FORCE VULCAN G Gaming Solid State Drive. With SATA interface and 3D NAND flash memory, the read and write speeds can reach up to 550 MB/s and 500 MB/s, which offers 4 times faster read/write speed than traditional hard drives. It also supports SLC caching and Windows TRIM optimization commands, making it the best choice for upgrading your gaming PC!

The T-FORCE VULCAN G Gaming Solid State Drive has a minimalist design. The T-FORCE logo is printed with a unique diamond cut pattern for a sophisticated and sleek look. It is also available in capacities of 512 GB and 1 TB, and uses SATA interface and 3D NAND flash memory chip, making it 4 times faster than traditional hard drives in read and write speeds. With up to 550 MB/s and 500 MB/s, gamers will experience a significant performance jump.

HP Announces S750 2.5-inch SATA SSD

HP today announced the S750 line of client-segment SSDs in the 2.5-inch form-factor that take advantage of the SATA 6 Gbps interface. Available in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, the drives combine an SMI-sourced controller with 96-layer 3D NAND flash memory. All three variants are rated to offer sequential transfer speeds of up to 560 MB/s reads, with up to 520 MB/s writes. The 256 GB variant offers random access performance of up to 55,000/79,000 IOPS (reads/writes); the 512 GB variant up to 90,000/89,000 IOPS, and the 1 TB variant up to 74,000/80,000 IOPS. Endurance of the three variants are rated at 160 TBW, 320 TBW, and 650 TBW, respectively. The company didn't reveal pricing as it vastly varies between regions.

TEAMGROUP Announces T-FORCE CARDEA Ceramic C440 M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD

T-FORCE, the gaming brand of TEAMGROUP, today announces the new CARDEA Ceramic C440 Solid State Drive with latest and ultra-fast M.2 PCIe Gen4x4 interface. It is the first of its kind in the industry to be made with ceramic composite cooling materials, and obtained Taiwan Utility Model Patent (No. M595313). The snow-white ceramic has a unique texture, and the special aerospace ceramic can achieve excellent heat dissipation effect. Not only bringing a new color into the gaming world, it also unleashes an ultimate performance with read/write speed of 5,000/4,400 MB/s.

With NVMe 1.3 specification, T-FORCE CARDEA Ceramic C440 Solid State Drive creates a higher standard for M.2 solid state drive by using the latest, ultra-fast M.2 PCIe Gen4 x4 interface to achieve a sequential read/write speed of 5,000/4,400 MB/s. The use of aerospace ceramic composite cooling materials not only provides excellent heat dissipation, but also reduces heat by 18% when the case is equipped with a fan. At the same time, it is also lightweight and thin, anti-electromagnetic interference, high temperature resistant, extreme temperature shock resistant. Besides, it is made with environmentally friendly materials, which is RoHS compliant. The combination of CARDEA Ceramic C440's snow-white heat spreader and the golden T-FORCE displays a trendy style. It will be even more eye-catching if it is matched with a white motherboard and case. The thickness is only about 1 mm which perfectly showcase the aesthetics of thinness of T-FORCE CARDEA Ceramic.

Intel Announces "Cooper Lake" 4P-8P Xeons, New Optane Memory, PCIe 4.0 SSDs, and FPGAs for AI

Intel today introduced its 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and additions to its hardware and software AI portfolio, enabling customers to accelerate the development and use of AI and analytics workloads running in data center, network and intelligent-edge environments. As the industry's first mainstream server processor with built-in bfloat16 support, Intel's new 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable processors makes artificial intelligence (AI) inference and training more widely deployable on general-purpose CPUs for applications that include image classification, recommendation engines, speech recognition and language modeling.

"The ability to rapidly deploy AI and data analytics is essential for today's businesses. We remain committed to enhancing built-in AI acceleration and software optimizations within the processor that powers the world's data center and edge solutions, as well as delivering an unmatched silicon foundation to unleash insight from data," said Lisa Spelman, Intel corporate vice president and general manager, Xeon and Memory Group.

Semiconductor Fabs to Log Record Spending of Nearly $68 Billion in 2021, SEMI Reports

2021 is poised to mark a banner year for global fab equipment spending with 24 percent growth to a record US$67.7 billion, 10 percent higher than the previously forecast US$65.7 billion, and all product segments promising solid growth rates, according to the second-quarter 2020 update of the SEMI World Fab Forecast report. Memory fabs will lead worldwide semiconductor segments with US$30 billion in equipment spending, while leading-edge logic and foundry is expected to rank second with US$29 billion in investments.

The 3D NAND memory subsegment will help power the spending spree with a 30 percent jump in investments this year before tacking on 17 percent growth in 2021. DRAM fab investments will surge 50 percent next year after declining 11 percent in 2020, and fab spending on logic and foundry, mainly leading edge, will trace a similar but more muted trajectory, rising 16 percent 2021 after an 11 percent drop this year.

Lexar Announces New Professional NM700 M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe SSD

Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, today announced the new Lexar Professional NM700 M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe SSD to its family line of SSD products. As the need for faster performance and uninterrupted application experiences increases, Lexar has developed a solution to keep videographers, photographers, and designers in the driver's seat with speeds of up 3500 MB/s read, and 2000 MB/s write. The NM700 is supported by PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe and built with 3D NAND flash for higher capacity and more efficiency without unnecessary slowdowns.

"The Lexar Professional NM700 allows our high-intensive users to experience improved performance with speeds that will keep them in front of any task. This new SSD solidifies our commitment to improving our SSD portfolio and meets the demands of our customers' needs," said Joel Boquiren, Director of Global Marketing.
Lexar NM700

ADATA Launches Swordfish and Falcon NVMe SSDs for Creators

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories, today announces the launch of two new PCIe Gen 3 x4 M.2 2280 solid state drives (SSD), the ADATA FALCON and SWORDFISH. Both SSDs were designed with creators in mind and are built with 3D NAND Flash memory and support the PCIe Gen 3 x4 interface for excellent performance and reliability.

The ADATA FALCON SSD is made to help creators up their creative power. Using the PCIe Gen 3 x4 interface and equipped with 3D NAND Flash memory, the FALCON delivers read/write speed of up to 3100/1500 MB per second for uninterrupted productivity and creativity. With 3D NAND Flash, the FALCON features higher efficiency and increased reliability compared to 2D NAND SSDs. It comes in diverse capacities, ranging from 256 GB to 2 TB and features data protection and correction technologies to expand the lifespan of SSD. What's more, the FALCON sports intelligent SLC caching, host memory buffer, and random read/write of 180/180K IOPS to give creators seamless performance for creating. The FALCON also comes with a stylish aluminium alloy heatsink for heat dissipation.

Micron Delivers Client NVMe Performance and Value SSDs With Industry-Leading Capacity Sizes and QLC NAND

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced new client solid-state drives (SSDs) that bring NVMe performance to client computing applications, freeing laptops, workstations and other portables from legacy architectures that can rob devices of battery power, performance and productivity. The Micron 2300 SSD combines the power and density needed to drive compute-heavy applications in a compact form factor with the reduced power consumption modern mobile users demand. For the first time, Micron brings together NVMe performance and low-cost quad-level-cell (QLC) NAND in the Micron 2210 QLC SSD. It combines fast NVMe throughput and Micron's leadership in QLC technology to offer flash capabilities at hard disk drive-like price points while reducing power consumption by 15 times when compared to hard drives.
Micron 2300 NVMe SSD

ADATA Announces the Falcon M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3 SSDs

ADATA today announced the Falcon line of SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor, with NVMe 1.3 protocol support, leveraging PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface. The drives are characterized by an aluminium heatspreader on top of the NAND flash chips and controller, which isn't just an adhesive metal peal, but a 1 mm-thick metal plate. The Falcon comes in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB; and uses 3D NAND flash memory (likely QLC).

The ADATA Falcon offers sequential speeds of up to 3,100 MB/s reads, with up to 1,500 MB/s writes; and up to 180,000 IOPS 4K random access. The 2 TB variant offers 1,200 TBW endurance, the 1 TB variant offers 600 TBW, the 512 GB variant 300 TBW, and the 256 GB variant 150 TBW. ADATA is backing the drives with a 5-year warranty. The company didn't reveal pricing.
ADATA Falcon

Intel Ready with 144-layer 3D NAND On its Own, Talks 4-layer 3DXP, "Alder Stream" and "Keystone Harbor"

Intel's memory and storage products division now has a completely independent NAND flash technology development team post its split with Micron Technology, with which it was part of the IMFlash Technologies joint-venture. Intel is close to gaining a technological lead over Micron with a new 144-layer 3D NAND flash chip which will ship roughly around the time Micron begins pushing out its 128-layer 3D NAND chips. SK Hynix will begin shipping its 128-layer 3D NAND flash chips later this year. KIOXIA will put out 112-layer chips before the turn of the year. YMTC is developing its portfolio at a breakneck pace.

The 144-layer 3D NAND flash chip by Intel can handle up to four bits per cell (QLC), and can be configured to function as TLC or SLC, at lower densities. Intel will launch its first SSD based on this 144-layer QLC NAND flash chip, codenamed "Keystone Harbor," later this year. Development is underway at Intel for PLC (5 bits per cell) technology, which should drive up densities by 25 percent. Intel is also close to launching its second generation 3D X-point memory technology.

ADATA Launches Ultimate SU720 SSD With Up To 1 TB Capacity

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today announces the launch of the ADATA Ultimate SU720 SATA 6 Gb/s solid state drive (SSD). An ideal offering for those looking to make the switch to SSDs, the SU720 offers great performance and reliability at an amazing value. Equipped with 3D NAND memory and intelligent SLC caching, the SU720 reaches read/write speeds of up to 520/450 MB per second.

SK hynix to Commence Mass-Production of 128-layer NAND Flash in Q2

SK hynix, in its Q1-2020 financial results commentary, confirmed that the company will commence mass-production of its next-generation 128-layer 3D NAND flash memory within Q2-2020 (before July). This would mark the company's transition from 96-layer 3D NAND flash, which formed the bulk of the company's NAND flash output through 2019. SK hynix is developing 128-layer 3D NAND flash chips in both TLC and QLC offerings. The company also mentioned that in Q2, it could diversify its portfolio of PCIe (NVMe) SSDs covering more markets and form-factors.

Crucial Unveils the P5 High-Performance M.2 NVMe SSDs

Crucial is expanding its P-series M.2 NVMe SSD lineup with the introduction of the P5. Available in capacities of 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB, and built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drives are still based on PCI-Express gen 3.0 x4 host interface with NVMe 1.3. The P5 implements a DRAM-cache cushioned controller, and 3D TLC NAND flash memory.

Performance on offer includes sequential read speeds of up to 3,400 MB/s, and sequential write speeds of up to 3,000 MB/s (up to 1,400 MB/s writes for the 250 GB model), while Crucial rates endurance (TBW) at 150 TBW for the 250 GB model, 300 TBW for the 500 GB model, 600 TBW for 1 TB, and 1.2 PBW for the 2 TB model. The performance numbers are a class above the P2 or P1 mid-range drives. The drives are backed by 5-year warranties. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Crucial P5 Crucial P5 Crucial P5 Crucial P5
Many Thanks to TheLostSwede for the tip.

Samsung Developing 160-layer 3D NAND Flash Memory

Samsung Electronics is reportedly developing its 7th generation V-NAND memory with ultra-high 3D stacking technology. The first model will feature at least 160 layers, subsequent models will feature more. In early signs of the company not wanting to yield the technological initiative to China's YMTC, the first 160-layer V-NAND by Samsung is slated to come out roughly around the time YMTC's 128-layer 3D NAND flash hits mass production, towards the end of 2020.

At the heart of the ultra-high 3D stack is Samsung's proprietary Double Stack technology. The double-stack technology creates electron holes at two separate times for current to go through circuits. The current-generation single-stack chips creates these holes once throughout the stack per cycle. The 160-layer NAND flash is expected to herald a 67% increase in densities per package over the 96-layer chips in the market. Densities could also be increased by other means such as switching to newer semiconductor fabrication nodes, and PLC (5 bits per cell), which is currently being developed by KIOXIA.

Silicon Power Releases Its Thinnest Portable SSD Yet: The PC60

Portable SSDs should be just that: portable. If you're looking for a reliable way to offload lots of footage from your DSLR or drone and more while on-the-go to keep it in safe hands, look no further than our new PC60. It strikes the right balance between size, performance, and design.

At just 80 mm square, the PC60 is one of our most portable-friendly portable SSDs yet. It fits snugly in the palm of a hand and comfortably slides into a pocket, unnoticed, thanks to its slim 11 mm profile. It's also surprisingly lightweight. The shock-resistant structure, which can withstand minor drops and bumps, and the convenient keyhole design, which allows it to easily attach to keychains or bags, both complement its intent to be an on-the-go back-up storage solution.

YMTC Launches 128-layer 3D NAND Flash Memory Chip

Mainland Chinese semiconductor firm Yangtze Memory Technologies Co (YMTC) formally launched a product that could serve as a technological milestone for the company, a 128-layer 3D QLC NAND flash memory chip. Carrying the product naming series "X2-6070," the chip implements YMTC's XTracking 2.0 memory stacking architecture. This is a particularly big development for the company considering the chip's immediate predecessor is a 64-layer chip based on XTracking 1.0, which entered mass-production as recently as in September 2019, a time when most foreign firms such as Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron, had moved on to 96-layer mass-production, having announced their 128-layer designs around June 2019. YMTC hence appears to have pole-vaulted 96-layer.

"With the launch of Xtacking 2.0, YMTC is now capable of building a new business ecosystem where our partners can play to their strengths and we can achieve mutually beneficial results," said Grace Gong SVP of sales and marketing at YMTC. "This product will first be applied to consumer-grade solid-state drives and will eventually be extended into enterprise-class servers and data centers in order to meet the diverse data storage needs of the 5G and AI era," Gong added. YMTC, part of the state-owned conglomerate Tsinghua Unigroup, is one of the dozens of beneficiaries of the Chinese government's initiative of localizing cutting-edge electronics technology, and reducing reliance on foreign hardware.

KINGMAX Announces PX4480 M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD Series

KINGMAX Semiconductor Inc., a global leading provider of memory products, is proud to announce today the launch of its M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0x4 (Gen 4 x4) SSD PX3480 solid-state drive. As SSD plays a leading role in the current era, an ultra-slim, ultra-fast M.2 specification SSD has attracted customers' attention. KINGMAX's latest Gen 4 x4 SSD PX4480 is suitable for the AMD Ryzen 3000 series processor with X570 chipset. The new SSD not only offers wide-ranging capacity choices of up to 500 GB /1 TB / 2 TB but also has read speeds up to 5000 MB/s, surpassing other SSD products available on the market. It is recommended to the video editors, graphic designers, gaming enthusiasts and anyone who are trying to process data or media contents faster.

The M.2 2280 SSD is ultra-slim. Moreover, the M.2 interface has become a must-have for new motherboards or laptops that offers users an even faster SSD experience. KINGMAX's latest M.2 PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD PX4480 adopts a PCIe Gen 4.0 high-speed interface and meets NVMe 1.3 specifications. It can deliver stunning read/write speeds. It features incredibly high R/W speeds of up to 5,000 MB/s (read) and 4,400 MB/s (write), 8 to 9 times faster than the transmission connector of the SATA III interface, and has an increase of 50% in data R/W speeds compared with the PCIe 3.0 series SSD. Users can fully experience the higher speeds of PCIe SSDs when turning on devices, loading games, and transferring or saving data.
Kingmax PX4480 SSD

Greenliant Ships Industrial Temperature 2TB NVMe and SATA M.2 ArmourDrive SSDs

Greenliant has started volume production of its industrial temperature (-40°C to +85°C) 2 Terabyte NVMe and SATA M.2 ArmourDrive solid state drive (SSD) modules. Built in the 2280 form factor, and offered with hardware encryption and on-board DRAM, these high-performance SSDs save space, improve security and increase capacity for a wide variety of applications, including video conferencing, in-flight entertainment and data logging.

"Customers rely on our wide and deep selection of quality solid state storage products, and Greenliant is pleased to be one of the first companies to offer I-temp 2 Terabyte M.2 SSDs for industrial applications that require higher capacities," said Arthur Kroyan, vice president of business development and marketing, Greenliant. "With on-board DRAM and advanced security features, these products deliver consistent sustained performance and strong user data protection, which can be important advantages for certain embedded systems."

Micron Samples the Industry's First uMCP Product With LPDDR5 to Increase Performance and Battery Life in 5G Smartphones

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced it began sampling the industry's first universal flash storage (UFS) multichip package (uMCP) with low-power DDR5 (LPDDR5) DRAM. The uMCP provides high-density and low-power storage designed to fit on slim and compact midrange smartphone designs.

Micron's new uMCP5 packaging builds on the company's innovation and leadership in multichip form factors. Micron uMCPs combine low-power DRAM with NAND and an onboard controller, using 40% less space compared to a two-chip solution. This optimized configuration saves power, reduces memory footprint and enables smaller and more agile smartphone designs.
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