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Western Digital Unveils Entry-level WD Green SN350 M.2 NVMe SSDs

Western Digital announced the new WD Green SN350 series of entry-level M.2 NVMe SSDs. These drives are positioned a notch below the WD Blue SN550 (mid-range), while the WD Black SN850 remains the company's current flagship client SSD product. The WD Green SN350 comes in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB. The company didn't detail the underlying architecture, but the drive features PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and likely features a 4-channel controller architecture. It also appears to feature DRAM cache.

All three capacity variants of the WD Green SN350 offer sequential read speeds of up to 2,400 MB/s. The 240 GB variant offers sequential writes of up to 900 MB/s, the 480 GB variant up to 1,650 MB/s, and the 960 GB variant up to 1,900 MB/s. The company didn't detail the NAND flash type, or endurance numbers. It's backing these drives with 3-year warranties. The 240 GB variant is priced at USD $43.99, the 480 GB variant $54.99, and the 960 GB variant $99.99.

Samsung Develops Industry's First High Bandwidth Memory with AI Processing Power

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has developed the industry's first High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) processing power—the HBM-PIM. The new processing-in-memory (PIM) architecture brings powerful AI computing capabilities inside high-performance memory, to accelerate large-scale processing in data centers, high performance computing (HPC) systems and AI-enabled mobile applications.

Kwangil Park, senior vice president of Memory Product Planning at Samsung Electronics stated, "Our groundbreaking HBM-PIM is the industry's first programmable PIM solution tailored for diverse AI-driven workloads such as HPC, training and inference. We plan to build upon this breakthrough by further collaborating with AI solution providers for even more advanced PIM-powered applications."

Apple Patents Multi-Level Hybrid Memory Subsystem

Apple has today patented a new approach to how it uses memory in the System-on-Chip (SoC) subsystem. With the announcement of the M1 processor, Apple has switched away from the traditional Intel-supplied chips and transitioned into a fully custom SoC design called Apple Silicon. The new designs have to integrate every component like the Arm CPU and a custom GPU. Both of these processors need good memory access, and Apple has figured out a solution to the problem of having both the CPU and the GPU accessing the same pool of memory. The so-called UMA (unified memory access) represents a bottleneck because both processors share the bandwidth and the total memory capacity, which would leave one processor starving in some scenarios.

Apple has patented a design that aims to solve this problem by combining high-bandwidth cache DRAM as well as high-capacity main DRAM. "With two types of DRAM forming the memory system, one of which may be optimized for bandwidth and the other of which may be optimized for capacity, the goals of bandwidth increase and capacity increase may both be realized, in some embodiments," says the patent, " to implement energy efficiency improvements, which may provide a highly energy-efficient memory solution that is also high performance and high bandwidth." The patent got filed way back in 2016 and it means that we could start seeing this technology in the future Apple Silicon designs, following the M1 chip.

Update 21:14 UTC: We have been reached out by Mr. Kerry Creeron, an attorney with the firm of Banner & Witcoff, who provided us with additional insights about the patent. Mr. Creeron has provided us with his personal commentary about it, and you can find Mr. Creeron's quote below.

ZenTimings is a Nifty Little Memory Info Tool for AMD Ryzen

ZenTimings by Ivan Rusanov is a tiny (< 500 KB download) app that lets you monitor your machine's memory timings in a really neat user-interface. The app works with all generations of AMD Ryzen processors, as well as Athlon processors based on the "Zen" microarchitectures. Besides timings, you also get basic info about the main clock domains that affect memory, such as memory clock (DDR), MCLK, UCLK, FCLK; relevant voltage readouts. This simple app is completely free, and open-source, if you'd like to inspect the code. The latest version v1.2.2 adds PHYWRD, PHYWRL, PHYRDL and PowerDown reading, DRAM and VTT readings, and the latest AMD "Dali" APUs. If you like the app, consider contributing to Rusanov on his website, in the source link below.

DOWNLOAD: ZenTimings by Ivan Rusanov v1.2.2
The change-log follows.

Micron Technology Reports Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal 2021

Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) today announced results for its first quarter of fiscal 2021, which ended Dec. 3, 2020. "Micron delivered outstanding fiscal first quarter results, driven by focused execution and strong end-market demand," said Micron Technology President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. "We are excited about the strengthening DRAM industry fundamentals. For the first time in our history, Micron is simultaneously leading on DRAM and NAND technologies, and we are in an excellent position to benefit from accelerating digital transformation of the global economy fueled by AI, 5G, cloud, and the intelligent edge."

ADATA Gearing up to Launch Next-Gen DDR5 Memory Modules

ADATA Technology, a manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, mobile accessories, gaming products, electric power trains, and industrial solutions, is gearing up to bring next-generation DDR5 memory modules to market to offers users a significant upgrade in speed, capacity, as well as increased bandwidth per CPU cores. ADATA has been working closely with two leading motherboard makers, MSI and Gigabyte, to ensure an optimized experience through ensuring synergies between ADATA's DDR5 modules and their latest Intel platforms.

In parallel to developing the new memory modules, ADATA has also been working closely with two leading motherboard makers MSI and Gigabyte, its long-term strategic partners, to ensure their new platforms can take full advantage of DDR5. Among other initiatives, ADATA, MSI, and Gigabyte have been conducting joint testing and research to guarantee optimum DDR5 overclocking on the latest Intel platforms to meet gamers' discerning standards. ADATA and the motherboard above makers will be launching DDR5 modules and DDR5-compliant motherboards simultaneously to offer high performance to a wide range of users, including enterprises, gamers, and creators, to name a few.

Linus Torvalds Calls Out Intel for ECC Memory Market Stagnation

Linus Torvalds, the inventor of the Linux kernel and version-control system called git, has posted another one of his famous rants, addressing his views about the lack of ECC memory in consumer devices. Mr. Torvalds has posted his views on the Linux kernel mailing list, where he usually comments about the development of the kernel. The ECC or Error Correcting Code memory is a special kind of DRAM that fixes the problems that occur inside the memory itself, where a bit can get corrupted and change the data stored, thus offering false results. ECC aims to fix those mistakes by implementing a system that fixes these small errors and avoids bigger problems. According to Mr. Torvalds, it is a technology that we need to be implemented everywhere, not just server space like Intel imagines.
Linus Torvalds
Intel has been instrumental in killing the whole ECC industry with it's horribly bad market segmentation... Intel has been detrimental to the whole industry and to users because of their bad and misguided policies wrt ECC. Seriously...The arguments against ECC were always complete and utter garbage... Now even the memory manufacturers are starting do do ECC internally because they finally owned up to the fact that they absolutely have to. And the memory manufacturers claim it's because of economics and lower power. And they are lying bastards - let me once again point to row-hammer about how those problems have existed for several generations already, but these f***** happily sold broken hardware to consumers and claimed it was an "attack", when it always was "we're cutting corners".

Oversupply to Continue Affecting NAND Flash Prices, with 10-15% QoQ Decline Expected in 1Q21, Says TrendForce

The percentage distribution of 2021 NAND Flash bit demand by application currently shows that client SSD accounts for 31%, enterprise SSD 20%, eMMC/UFS 41%, and NAND wafer 8%, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. TrendForce expects NAND Flash ASP to undergo QoQ declines throughout 2021, since the number of NAND suppliers far exceeds DRAM suppliers, and the bit supply remains high. As Samsung, YMTC, SK Hynix, and Intel actively expand their NAND Flash bit output in 1Q21, the oversupply situation in the industry will become more severe, with a forecasted 6% QoQ increase in NAND Flash bit output and a 10-15% QoQ decline in NAND Flash ASP in 1Q21.

Intel Announces Its Next Generation Memory and Storage Products

Today, at Intel's Memory and Storage 2020 event, the company highlighted six new memory and storage products to help customers meet the challenges of digital transformation. Key to advancing innovation across memory and storage, Intel announced two new additions to its Intel Optane Solid State Drive (SSD) Series: the Intel Optane SSD P5800X, the world's fastest data center SSD, and the Intel Optane Memory H20 for client, which features performance and mainstream productivity for gaming and content creation. Optane helps meet the needs of modern computing by bringing the memory closer to the CPU. The company also revealed its intent to deliver its 3rd generation of Intel Optane persistent memory (code-named "Crow Pass") for cloud and enterprise customers.

"Today is a key moment for our memory and storage journey. With the release of these new Optane products, we continue our innovation, strengthen our memory and storage portfolio, and enable our customers to better navigate the complexity of digital transformation. Optane products and technologies are becoming a mainstream element of business compute. And as a part of Intel, these leadership products are advancing our long-term growth priorities, including AI, 5G networking and the intelligent, autonomous edge." -Alper Ilkbahar, Intel vice president in the Data Platforms Group and general manager of the Intel Optane Group.

DRAM ASP to Recover from Decline in 1Q21, with Potential for Slight Growth, Says TrendForce

The DRAM market exhibits a healthier and more balanced supply/demand relationship compared with the NAND Flash market because of its oligopolistic structure, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. The percentage distribution of DRAM supply bits by application currently shows that PC DRAM accounts for 13%, server DRAM 34%, mobile DRAM 40%, graphics DRAM 5%, and consumer DRAM (or specialty DRAM) 8%. Looking ahead to 1Q21, the DRAM market by then will have gone through an inventory adjustment period of slightly more than two quarters. Memory buyers will also be more willing to stock up because they want to reduce the risk of future price hikes. Therefore, DRAM prices on the whole will be constrained from falling further. The overall ASP of DRAM products is now forecasted to stay generally flat or slightly up for 1Q21.

1 Hour Power Outage at Micron Manufacturing Plant Could Mean Increased DRAM Prices Throughout 2021

Semiconductor manufacturing is a risky business. Not only is it heavily capital-intensive, which means that even some state-backed would-be players can fail in pooling together the required resources for an industry break-in; but the entire nature of the manufacturing process is a delicate balance of materials, nearly-endless fabrication, cleanup, and QA testing. Wafer manufacturing can take months between the initial fabrication stages through to the final packaging process; and this means that power outages or material contamination can jeopardize an outrageous number of in-fabrication semiconductors.

Recent news as covered by DigiTimes place one of Micron's fabrication plants in Taiwan as being hit with a 1-hour long power outage, which can potentially affect 10% of the entire predictable DRAM supply for the coming months (a power outage affects every step of the manufacturing process). Considering the increased demand for DRAM components due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated demand for DRAM-inside products such as PCs, DIY DRAM, laptops, and tablets, industry players are now expecting a price hike for DRAM throughout 2021 until this sudden supply constraint is dealt with. As we know, DRAM manufacturers and resellers are a fickle bunch when it comes to increasing prices in even the slightest, dream-like hint of reduced supply. It remains to be seen how much of this 10% DRAM supply is actually salvageable, but projecting from past experience, a price hike seems to be all but guaranteed.

GeIL Announces Availability of ORION Series DDR4 Memory for Ryzen 5000 Series

GeIL, Golden Emperor International Ltd. - one of the world's leading PC components and manufacturers today announced a new member of their award-winning ORION product line, the ORION RGB Gaming Memory. The new ORION RGB Gaming Memory delivers an advanced RGB LED array built on the understated aluminium heat spreader design for an enchanting RGB illumination. It is available in frequencies ranging from 2666 MHz to the high-performance 4400 MHz with larger capacities up to 128 GB (4x 32 GB) as well as racing red and titanium gray spreaders with dual-channel and quad-channel. The new modules are optimized for the latest AMD and Intel platforms offering unparalleled performance to pro-gamers, enthusiastic builders, and video creators.

"Many of our customers have encouraged us to extend an RGB version for the ORION Memory. I'm pleased to announce the availability of the ORION RGB Gaming Memory, and it is designed for the gamers and enthusiast PC users who are looking for new ways to customize the interior of their gaming desktops." said Jennifer Huang, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at GeIL.

Silicon Motion Announces SM8266 16-channel PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD Controller

Silicon Motion Technology Corporation, a global leader in designing and marketing NAND flash controllers for solid-state storage devices, today announced the SM8266, a complete enterprise-grade 16-channel PCIe 4.0 NVMe hardware plus firmware turnkey SSD controller solution. Customers can rapidly develop and bring to market enterprise SSDs for data centers by using our complete development platform that includes a turnkey NVMe firmware stack and hardware reference design kit.

"Our solution is the only complete PCIe Gen4 turnkey solution available today from an established merchant controller supplier," said Nelson Duann, Silicon Motion's Senior Vice President of Marketing and R&D. "Since the introduction of our PCIe Gen3 turnkey solution, we have established a longer track record of supplying turnkey solutions in terms of customer adoption and sale volume than any other company. Our Shannon Systems team is already custom designing enterprise-grade NVMe, Open-Channel and Key-Value SSDs using SM8266 for hyperscale customers' data centers with production expected in 2021."

HyperX Announces FURY DDR4 RGB Memory SKU Additions

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology, Inc., today announced new single rank 16Gbit1 based HyperX FURY DDR4 RGB memory SKU additions. FURY DDR4 RGB memory delivers a boost of performance and style with sleek heat spreaders and dynamic, synchronized RGB lighting effects using patented HyperX Infrared Sync Technology.

HyperX FURY DDR4 RGB memory offers a Plug N Play feature for automatic overclocking to the highest published frequency within the system speed allowance, eliminating the need for manual tuning. Offering seamless compatibility, FURY DDR4 RGB is certified Ready for AMD Ryzen and Intel XMP-ready. Users can also customize RGB lighting effects using HyperX NGENUITY software.

ADATA XPG SPECTRIX D50 Xtreme Clocked to 5400MHz on Gigabyte Motherboard

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories, today announces that the XPG Overclocking Lab (XOCL) has clocked the SPECTRIX D50 Xtreme RGB DDR4 memory module to a frequency of 5400 MT/s. The result was achieved on a GIGABYTE B550 VISION D motherboard featuring an AMD Ryzen 7 4700G processor.

Manufactured with only the highest quality chips and PCBs, the SPECTRIX D50 Xtreme offers excellent stability, reliability, and performance and supports the latest Intel and AMD platforms. The SPECTRIX D50 Xtreme sports an elegant and solidly constructed metal heatsink adorned with bold geometric lines and a triangular RGB light bar that perfectly fits the module's overall design.What's more, in line with its limited-edition status, the SPECTRIX D50 Xtreme comes in a special edition packaging that features a glossy exterior and premium box.

IP Theft: UMC Pleads Guilty to US Court Charges of Trade Secret Theft, Faces $60 Million Fine

Taiwanese corporation United Micro Electronics (UMC) has pled guilty on charges of trade theft. The charges, originally pressed in November 2018 by US authorities, placed UMC and China's Fujian Jinhua in hot waters under suspicion of stealing trade secrets from US-based Micron technologies, one of the world's foremost players in memory semiconductor technologies. UMC's guilty plea serves as a way for the company to avoid heavier penalties, and includes a provision for the company's assistance in investigating Fujian Jinhua's actions in regards to this IP theft.

The whole story revolves around UMC's hiring of three Micron employees from Micron's subsidiary in Taiwan, Micron Memory Taiwan (MMT), back around September 2015. At least two of these employees migrated Micron trade secrets to UMC, which then inked a deal with china's Fujian Jinhua for the development of 32nm DRAM and "32Snm" DRAM technologies that Fujian Jinhua could then deploy for the manufacture of memory products - a deal which had Fujian Jinhua paying $300 million for equipment purchase plus $400 million for technology development to UMC. This all fell in line with the Chinese government's Made in China 2025 plan, which aims to bring the country to semiconductor independence from the western world. UMC says that the company itself didn't partake in the underhanded IP delivery to Fujian Jinhua, claiming instead that rogue employees did so of their own volition. The company further states that it only pleads guilty because according to the US Trade Secrets Act, the company still bears legal responsibilities for employee acts, whether or not top management is involved.

Micron Readies World's First Multichip Package With LPDDR5 DRAM for Mass Production

Micron Technology, Inc., today announced the launch of uMCP5, the industry's first universal flash storage (UFS) multichip package with low-power DDR5 (LPDDR5) DRAM. Now ready for mass production, Micron's uMCP5 combines high-performance, high-density and low-power memory and storage in one compact package, equipping smartphones to handle data-intensive 5G workloads with dramatically increased speed and power efficiency. The multichip package uses Micron's LPDDR5 memory, high-reliability NAND and leading-edge UFS 3.1 controller to power advanced mobile features previously only seen in costly flagship devices using discrete products, such as stand-alone memory and storage. Now available on other high-end phones, these emerging technologies—such as image recognition, advanced artificial intelligence (AI), multicamera support, augmented reality (AR) and high-resolution displays—are becoming accessible to more consumers.

"Moving 5G's potential from hype to reality will require smartphones that can support the immense volumes of data flowing through the network and next-gen applications," said Raj Talluri, senior vice president and general manager of Micron's Mobile Business Unit. "Our uMCP5 combines the fastest memory and storage in a single package, unleashing new possibilities for 5G's disruptive, data-rich technologies right at consumers' fingertips."

SSD Prices Expected To Fall 10-15% in Q4 2020

The memory market is expected to remain in a state of oversupply during Q4 2020 for both DRAM and NAND flash according to a new report from TrendForce. This oversupply will mean ~10% lower prices for memory in Q4 2020 with further price drops in 2021, this will result in falling SSD prices of 10-15%. These price drops in the consumer market will likely result in the lowest SSD pricing seen to date. These reductions were mainly driven by Huawei losing access to foreign DRAM and NAND memory which wasn't fully taken up by other smartphone manufacturers leading to an access of supply. These lower SSD prices will help accelerate the decline of HDDs in consumer devices as price parity gets closer.

Marvell Launches Industry's First Native NVMe RAID Accelerator

Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) today introduced the industry's first native NVMe RAID 1 accelerator, a state-of-the-art technology for virtualized, multi-tenant cloud and enterprise data center environments which demand optimized reliability, efficiency, and performance. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is the first of Marvell's partners to support the new accelerator in the HPE NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device offered on select HPE ProLiant servers and HPE Apollo systems.

As the industry transitions from legacy SAS and SATA to NVMe SSDs, Marvell's offering helps data centers fast-track the move to higher performance flash storage. The innovative accelerator lowers data center total cost of ownership (TCO) by offloading RAID 1 processing from costly and precious server CPU resources, maximizing application processing performance. IT organizations can now deploy a "plug-and-play," NVMe-based OS boot solution, like the HPE NS204i-p NVMe OS Boot Device, that protects the integrity of flash data storage while delivering an optimized, application-level user experience.

SK hynix Launches World's First DDR5 DRAM

SK hynix Inc. announced to launch world's first DDR5 DRAM. It is a high-speed and high-density product optimized for Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) as a next generation standard of DRAM. Since SK hynix announced the development of World's First 16 Gigabit (Gb) DDR5 DRAM on November 2018, the Company has provided its major partners including Intel with sample products, and has completed various tests and verification of its functions and compatibility. This will allow SK hynix to provide its customers with the products once the DDR5 market becomes active.

In the meantime, SK hynix has conducted joint-operation of on-site lab, system-level test, and simulation with System-on-Chip) (SoC) manufacturers to verify the functions of DDR5. Also, the Company validated compatibility of its DDR5 and the major components on DRAM module including register clock driver) (RCD), which affect DRAM performance, and power management integrated circuit) (PMIC). Through these verifications, SK hynix has been collaborating closely with its global partners.

Arm Spins-out Cerfe Labs to Advance Development of CeRAM Memory Technology

Today Arm announced the spin-out of Cerfe Labs to develop and license new types of non-volatile memories based on correlated electron materials (CeRAM) and ferroelectric transistors (FeFETs). Arm CeRAM researchers will join Cerfe Labs and assume ownership of the Arm joint development project with Symetrix Corporation.

As part of the spin-out, Arm will transfer its full CeRAM IP portfolio of more than 150 patent families to Cerfe Labs that will be the foundation for a roadmap of related CeRAM technologies. Cerfe Labs initial focus will be on producing meaningful prototypes which will be licensed to partners with a goal of accelerating timing of enabling these novel non-volatile materials for systems.

HyperX Increases DRAM Density With New Impact SODIMM DDR4 Lineup

HyperX has launched their Impact lineup of DDR4 DRAM, which boasts of high memory densities per stick for space-constrained setups such as laptops or SFF PCs. The new Impact SODIMMs are available in capacities up to 32 GB per stick, which should make possible for users to install up to 64 GB of DDR4 RAM in their system. All Impact SODIMM operate at 1.2 V, thus enabling relatively low power consumption.

Available operating frequencies stand at 2400 MHz (15-15-15); 2666 MHz (16-18-18); 2933 MHz (17-19-19); and 3200 MHz (20-22-22) - timings are slightly loose, but that's to be expected at these densities and, most importantly in space and/or cooling-constrained environments, voltage. HyperX Impact SODIMMs are available in single modules, dual channel kits, and quad channel kits. MSRP starts at $77 for a 16 GB module running at 2400 MHz, and apparently tops out at $358.99 for 2x 32 GB modules at 3200 MHz.

Kingston Technology Top DRAM Module Supplier in 2019

Kingston Technology Europe Co LLP, an affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced it has been ranked the top third-party DRAM module supplier in the world, according to the latest rankings by revenue from analyst firm TrendForce (formerly DRAMeXchange). Kingston retains its number 1 position with an estimated 80.33% market share on $12.9B (USD) revenue, according to TrendForce. The rankings for 2019 mark the 17th consecutive year that TrendForce has placed Kingston in the top spot.

TrendForce states DRAM prices were lower in 2019 due to an ample supply combined with weaker demand from both the server and client sides, thus resulting in less revenue for many module makers. Kingston was one of the few manufacturers to go against this trend and see market share grow, according to the analysts. Kingston has maintained its competitive advantage by working closely with its partners and customers to remain flexible while adapting to their ever-changing needs as well as market conditions. The following chart with results provided by TrendForce shows the top 10 DRAM module suppliers:

Rambus Advances HBM2E Performance to 4.0 Gbps for AI/ML Training Applications

Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ: RMBS), a premier silicon IP and chip provider making data faster and safer, today announced it has achieved a record 4 Gbps performance with the Rambus HBM2E memory interface solution consisting of a fully-integrated PHY and controller. Paired with the industry's fastest HBM2E DRAM from SK hynix operating at 3.6 Gbps, the solution can deliver 460 GB/s of bandwidth from a single HBM2E device. This performance meets the terabyte-scale bandwidth needs of accelerators targeting the most demanding AI/ML training and high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

"With this achievement by Rambus, designers of AI and HPC systems can now implement systems using the world's fastest HBM2E DRAM running at 3.6 Gbps from SK hynix," said Uksong Kang, vice president of product planning at SK hynix. "In July, we announced full-scale mass-production of HBM2E for state-of-the-art computing applications demanding the highest bandwidth available."

Samsung and SK Hynix to Impose Sanctions Against Huawei

Ever since the Trump administration imposed sanctions against Huawei to stop it from purchasing parts from third-party vendors to bypass the ban announced back in May, some vendors continued to supply the company. So it seems like some Korean manufacturers will be joining the doings of the US government, and apply restrictions to Huawei. According to the reports of South Korean media outlets, Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix will be joining the efforts of the US government and the Trump administration to impose sanctions against Chinese technology giant - Huawei.

It is reported that on September 15th, both Samsung and SK Hynix will stop any shipments to Huawei, where Samsung already stopped efforts for creating any new shipments. SK Hynix is said to continue shipping DRAM and NAND Flash products until September 14th, a day before the new sanctions are applied. Until the 14th, Huawei will receive some additional chips from SK Hynix. And it is exactly SK Hynix who is said to be a big loser here. It is estimated that 41.2% of SK Hynix's H1 2020 revenue came from China, most of which was memory purchased for Huawei phones and tablets. If the company loses Huawei as a customer, it would mean that the revenue numbers will be notably lower.
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