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AMD RX Vega 56 to Vega 64 BIOS Flash - No Unlocked Shaders, Improved Performance

A ChipHell forum user has done what probably others have already done in relative obscurity: trying (and succeeding) to flash a Vega 64 BIOS onto a Vega 56 graphics card. The result? Well, apparently the shaders won't unlock (at least not according to our very own GPU-Z), but interestingly, performance improves all the same. The lesser amount of shaders on the Vega 56 silicon (3585 Shaders / 224 TMUs / 64 ROPs compared to Vega 64's 4096 / 256 / 64 apparently doesn't hinder performance that much. It appears that the improved clockspeeds of Vega 56 after the BIOS flash do more than enough to offset performance loss from the lesser amount of compute resources available, bumping RX Vega's clock speeds of 1471 MHz core boost clock and 800 MHz HBM2 memory up to Vega 64's 1545 MHz core boost clock and 945 MHz HBM2 clock.

This means that Vega 56 can effectively become a Vega 64 in performance (at least where 3D Mark Fire Strike is concerned), which isn't unheard of in the relationship between AMD's top tier and second-best graphics cards. Now naturally, some Vega 56 samples may even be further overclocked than Vega 64's stock clocks, which means that there is the potential for Vega 56 to have even better performance than Vega 64. The BIOS swap should allow Vega 56 to access higher power states than its stock BIOS allows, which is one of the reasons it can unlock higher core and memory clocks than an overclocked, original BIOS Vega 56 would. However, the fact that a Vega 56 at Vega 64 clocks and a Vega 64 deliver around the same score in benchmarks definitely does raise questions on how well the extra computing resources of Vega 64 are being put to use.

Sources: ChipHell, via Videocardz

ADATA Launches the ICFS314 Industrial-Grade CFast 2.0 Card

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched the industrial-grade ICFS314 CFast storage card. Designed for demanding applications and harsh or high traffic environments, the ICFS314 uses 3D MLC NAND to increase durability and longevity. As a CFast 2.0 product, it delivers data in the SATA III (6Gbps) protocol, capable of 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write (more than twice CFast 1.0 speeds). The ICFS314 consumes just over 2W, making it exceedingly power efficient, and is available in a wide range of capacities from 32GB to 512GB.

The shift to more efficient, higher density, and longer lasting 3D NAND is well under way in SSDs. Enterprise and industrial users now also have the option of benefitting from 3D NAND advantages on CompactFlash/CFast products, such as the ICFS314. Stacked or layered NAND improves on its planar predecessor in every way, from speed to lifespan. The ICFS314 arrives in up to 512GB of meticulously-sorted 3D MLC NAND.

GIGABYTE Releases First Wave Of Products Based On Skylake Purley Architecture

GIGABYTE today announced its latest generation of servers based on Intel's Skylake Purley architecture. This new generation brings a wealth of new options in scalability - across compute, network and storage - to deliver solutions for any application, from the enterprise to the data center to HPC. (Jump ahead to system introductions).

This server series adopts Intel's new product family - officially named the 'Intel Xeon Scalable family' and utilizes its ability to meet the increasingly diverse requirements of the industry, from entry-level HPC to large scale clusters.. The major development in this platform is around the improved features and functionality at both the host and fabric levels. These enable performance improvements - both natively on chip and for future extensibility through compute, network and storage peripherals. In practical terms, these new CPUs will offer up to 28 cores, and 48 PCIe lanes per socket.

ADATA Confirms XPG SPECTRIX D40 RGB DDR4 With ASUS AURA Sync Support

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today announced that its upcoming XPG SPECTRIX D40 RGB DDR4 has been certified compatible with ASUS AURA Sync software. This allows users of ASUS motherboards to personalize the RGB lighting elements built into D40 modules with choice of color range, lighting sequence, and more. SPECTRIX D40 modules have been optimized for the Intel X299 platform with a starting speed of 2666MHz. They are also compatible with AMD AM4 motherboards. Designed for gamers, overclockers, and case modders, SPECTRIX D40 DDR4 modules provide more options and customization features and support the trend towards builds that incorporate sophisticated RGB and LED.

Toshiba Develops World's First 3D Flash Memory with TSV Technology

Toshiba Memory Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today announced development of the world's first BiCS FLASH three-dimensional (3D) flash memory utilizing Through Silicon Via (TSV) technology with 3-bit-per-cell (triple-level cell, TLC) technology. Shipments of prototypes for development purposes started in June, and product samples are scheduled for release in the second half of 2017. The prototype of this groundbreaking device will be showcased at the 2017 Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California, United States, from August 7-10.

Devices fabricated with TSV technology have vertical electrodes and vias that pass through silicon dies to provide connections, an architecture that realizes high speed data input and output while reducing power consumption. Real-world performance has been proven previously, with the introduction of Toshiba's 2D NAND Flash memory.

Sk Hynix Begins Mass Production of 72-Layer 3D NAND

After announcing their intention to begin mass production of their latest 72-Layer 3D NAND Flash back in April, SK Hynix has now confirmed that it has entered mass production of the high density NAND modules. Apparently, SK Hynix has already achieved the much sought-after "golden yield" ratios, where the semiconductor yield is now at such a level that it is advantageous to finally enter mass production. Apparently, SK Hynix's leadership was fearful of not being able to achieve the golden yield in a timely manner after their announcement of the technology only three months ago; however, after its "management team and engineers repeatedly spent nights doing research, yield went up vertically and has become comparable to Samsung Electronics'" own yield - and as you know, Samsung is kind of the golden standard when it comes to NAND technology.

According to industry sources, SK Hynix is already mass-producing SSDs (Solid State Drives) with the company's own controllers and firmware which leverage this new 72-layer 256Gb NAND flash memory. This is a welcome change for the company which should allow it to increase revenue, since this is the first time controllers are developed in-house. The company is also said to be already producing eMMC (embedded Multimedia Card) for mobile devices based on this technology, with supply already arriving to its customers.

Source: English ET News

Samsung Ramps up 64-Layer 3D V-NAND Memory Production

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun volume production of 64-layer, 256Gb V-NAND flash memory for use with an expanding line-up of storage solutions for server, PC and mobile applications. Since Samsung began producing the industry's first SSD based on 64-layer 256Gb V-NAND chips in January for key IT customers, it has been working on a wide range of new V-NAND-based mobile and consumer storage solutions. These include embedded UFS memory, branded SSDs and external memory cards, which the company plans to introduce later this year.

To solidify its competitive edge in the memory market, Samsung intends for its volume production of the 64-layer V-NAND chip, which is widely referred to as 4th generation V-NAND, to cover more than 50 percent of its monthly NAND flash production by year end. "Following a long commitment to innovative technology, we will continuously push the limits of generations of industry-first V-NAND production, in moving the industry closer to the advent of the terabit V-NAND era," said Kye Hyun Kyung, Executive Vice President of the Flash Product and Technology team, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. "We will keep developing next-generation V-NAND products in sync with the global IT industry so that we can contribute to the timeliest launches of new systems and services, in bringing a higher level of satisfaction to consumers."

Radeon RX 480 Cards Can Successfully be Flashed to RX 580

User TonybonJoby in our own forums has successfully flashed his XFX RX 480 graphics card with the BIOS from a Sapphire RX 580 Limited Edition (the one that runs at 1411 MHz Boost clocks, yes.) Having obtained the Sapphire's BIOS right here on TPU, he then flashed it onto his graphics card (which possesses a dual-BIOS setup; this is an important point which you should consider, as it gives you an extra safety net should anything go wrong) through ATIFlash. The newly-christened RX 580 thus smiles for the screenshot, with a stock clock of 1411 MHz, higher than most overclocks possible with the RX 480 cards, probably due to increased voltages on the BIOS level. The user then tested the card on The Witcher 3 and Furmark, with no problems having been reported. Just remember to back-up your BIOS with GPU-Z and make sure to peruse our forums for some details on this flashing process before you get the proverbial grease on your elbows.

Essentially, this may allow you to bypass some artificial overclocking limitation with your graphics card, probably by increased voltages on different power states of the card. You should do this at your own risk, and remember, the only guaranteed way of getting an RX 580 is... you guessed it, buying an RX 580. However, this might also give you an extra performance boost, and free performance is always good, right?

Source: TechPowerUp ForumsThanks for sharing @TonybonJoby!

ADATA Releases the SD600 External 3D NAND SSD

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the SD600 external SSD, which uses high quality 3D TLC NAND to offer 256GB and 512GB variants. The drive reaches speeds of 440MB/s read and 430MB/s write, easily outpacing external HDDs. It weighs a mere 90g for convenient portability, and works driver-free with Windows PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Android. The SD600 is available in all-black and red-black color schemes, and employs impact-resistant materials in its sporty design to support active lifestyles.

ADATA Releases the XPG SX950 SSD and EX500 Enclosure

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the XPG SX950 SSD and its accompanying gaming-styled EX500 drive enclosure. Loaded with up to 960GB of 3D MLC NAND and driven by a SMI controller, the SX950 utilizes a custom ADATA PCB and is backed by an extra-strict chip sorting process to ensure an SSD that can handle prolonged high demand. Performance reaches 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write. Bearing the signature XPG look, the EX500 is aimed at gamers and case modders, boasting a textured enclosure and a vibrant yet aggressive feel. It arrives with a spacer and bracket for easy install on desktops and notebooks. For users that would like to use the SX950 as external storage, the EX500 offers a stylish, durable, and easy-install enclosure that pairs instantly with desktops, notebooks, and game consoles via high speed USB 3.1.

ADATA is completing its transition to stacked memory, or 3D NAND. This allows for SSDs with bigger capacities without a correlating increase in prices paid by end users. The SX950 uses durable 3D MLC (multi-level cell) NAND Flash and SMI controller. Consumers can choose from 240GB, 480B, and 960GB versions of the SX950. Not only denser (higher capacity), 3D NAND is also roughly 10% faster than 2D NAND and so the SX950 outpaces its predecessor, the SX930 - reaching 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write.

TrendForce Reports Global DRAM Revenue Jumped 18.2% Sequentially in Q4 2016

Peak season demand and surging prices for DRAM products across different applications resulted in an 18.2% sequential growth in the global DRAM revenue for the final quarter of 2016, reports DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce.

Smartphone shipments peaked in the fourth quarter on account of the traditional busy season. Chinese smartphone brands continued to post strong sales while Apple benefitted from the release of iPhone 7. "Rising demand for mobile DRAM kept squeezing the industry's production capacity for PC DRAM," said Avril Wu, research director of DRAMeXchange. "Contract prices of PC DRAM modules increased by more than 30% sequentially on average in the fourth quarter due to insufficient market supply. Server DRAM lagged behind PC and mobile DRAM in terms of price hike during the same period, but it is expected to catch up in the first quarter of this year."

Intel Optane DC P4800X with 3D XPoint Offers 21x Endurance Over MLC NAND

Intel is readying a fleet of new SSDs based on its new 3D XPoint non-volatile memory, a technology that Intel hopes will replace NAND flash in the years to come. The company developed this technology in collaboration with Micron Technology, under its IMFlash Technologies banner. The first Intel SSDs with this memory will be sold under the Optane brand. There are several sub-brands targeting the various market segments (client, enterprise, data-center, etc.), and technical slides of the data-center targeted Optane DC P4800X SSD were leaked to the web.

One of the first Optane DC P4800X SSDs comes in a rather measly capacity of 375 GB. The drive is built in the half-height PCI-Express add-on card (AIC) form-factor, with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface. The drive belts out sequential transfer rates of up to 2400 MB/s reads, with up to 2000 MB/s writes, which may not sound like much given that even TLC NAND flash based PCIe 3.0 x4 drives offer higher transfer rates; until you look at three key metrics - latency, random-access performance, and endurance.

Toshiba Starts Construction of Fab 6 and Memory R&D Center at Yokkaichi, Japan

Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has started construction of a new state-of-the-art semiconductor fabrication facility, Fab 6, and a new R&D center, the Memory R&D Center, at Yokkaichi Operations in Mie prefecture, Japan, the company's main memory production base.

Fab 6 will be dedicated to production of BiCS FLASH, Toshiba's innovative 3D Flash memory. Like Fab 5, construction will take place in two phases, allowing the pace of investment to be optimized against market trends, with completion of Phase 1 scheduled for summer 2018. Toshiba will determine installed capacity and output targets and schedules by closely monitoring the market.

WD Announces Pilot Production of World's First 64-Layer 512 Gb TLC NAND

Toshiba may be in the ropes for now, but WD, one of its foremost partners (mainly due to its SanDisk acquisition) and most interested party in Toshiba's NAND spin-off efforts, has just announced that it is world first in actually producing a 64-Layer 512 Gb TLC NAND die. WD is developing and producing this 64-layer NAND at its Yokkaichi, Japan fab which it operates alongside - you guessed it - Toshiba, under their joint Flash Forward venture, though there is no indication as to when the new dies will hit full production. The addition of the latest BiCS3 iteration indicates that, despite its recent challenges and snags, Toshiba continues to execute on its semiconductor roadmap, which is certain to be a boon in keeping the value of its NAND production capabilities in the face of the confirmed spin-off and sell-off of a 20% stake on its NAND production business.

There has been some difficulty in achieving any significant ramp-up in 3D NAND production over at the WD-Toshiba venture, with WD having announced a 256 Gb version of the same BiCS 3 technology it employs on the new 512 Gb die last year, to no considerable volume of production. That's one of the reasons for the current NAND shortage and price rises, among other factors, so let's hope all goes well in this ramp up. If all goes well, 1 TB SSD's with 512 Gb TLC NAND dies for $150?

Toshiba Confirms Spin Off of Its NAND Flash Production Business

After some reports pegged this event has likely and upcoming, Toshiba has now confirmed that they will be spinning off their NAND production business, whilst simultaneously parting with a 20% minority stake on the resulting business. This would inject Toshiba's coffers with enough liquidity to keep the company afloat, whilst letting them keep a hold of their most profitable business.

While details are still scarce (namely regarding the structuring of this spin off and who will be the investor to buy the reported 20% stake that Toshiba is willing to part with (with it most likely being Western Digital, as we've mentioned in our previous piece), the company has announced that they want to complete the transaction by the end of this quarter, March 31st.

Toshiba to Spin-off NAND Production; WD to be Main Beneficiary

In an AMD-like move to generate more short-term liquidity so as to strengthen its somewhat precarious position, Toshiba may be moving towards one of the most interesting shakeups in the NAND production field: a possible spin-off of its NAND production business into a separate company.

This move to restructure comes in the wake of recent snags and strategic mistakes for the company - such as the $1.2 billion dollar accounting "misstated" earnings, which created difficulties for the company to refinance itself in the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Also not negligible was a gross miscalculation on the amount of debt of the CB&I Stone and Webster company that Toshiba acquired so as to facilitate its U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric nuclear plant subsidiary investment. This "miscalculation", where Toshiba considered the "goodwill" booking charges at $87 million, where recently restated as a roughly-defined "several billion U.S. dollars."

Western Digital Offers Third Generation WD PiDrive Solution

WDLabs, a business growth incubator and accelerator of storage solutions leader Western Digital Corporation, today announced availability of the WD PiDrive Foundation Edition products, which combine microSD card and USB drive functionality with operating system installation software to provide the Raspberry Pi community an integrated and highly affordable storage system solution for fast project creation.

"It is similar to about 30 years ago when hard disk drives went mainstream in PCs - no more swapping floppy disks in and out to load the OS, applications and data," said Dave Chew, chief engineer, WDLabs. "This third generation WD PiDrive solution uses a USB HDD or USB Flash drive to run the OS and host multiple Raspberry Pi projects instead of having to do this on a collection of microSD cards. We have combined our technologies to work as a team."

ASUS Rolls Out BIOS Updates for Next-Generation LGA1151 Processors

ASUS today announced that all 100-series motherboards will now support next-generation Intel Core processors. A quick and easy UEFI BIOS update unleashes the full potential of the next-generation high-performance CPUs for socket LGA 1151, reaffirming ASUS as the BEST leading motherboard brand - Best Selling, Easy to Use, Stable and Trusted. Owners of ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG), Pro Gaming, Signature and TUF Z170, H170, B150 and H110 motherboards are able to take advantage of the easy upgrade to the award-winning ASUS UEFI BIOS, which is available today via the relevant ASUS Support web page.

All ASUS 100-series motherboards that include the ASUS USB BIOS Flashback feature allow users to apply UEFI BIOS updates with ease. For other ASUS 100-series motherboards the necessary UEFI BIOS update takes just one click in an easy-to-use Windows-based BIOS updater application, ASUS EZ Update, which is available to download from the ASUS website.

Samsung Introduces World's First Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Memory Card

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today unveiled the industry's first removable memory cards based on the JEDEC Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 1.0 Card Extension Standard, for use in high-resolution mobile shooting devices such as DSLRs, 3D VR cameras, action cams and drones. Coming in a wide range of storage capacities including 256, 128, 64 and 32 gigabyte (GB), Samsung's UFS cards are expected to bring a significant performance boost to the external memory storage market, allowing much more satisfying multimedia experiences.

"Our new 256GB UFS card will provide an ideal user experience for digitally-minded consumers and lead the industry in establishing the most competitive memory card solution," said Jung-bae Lee, senior vice president, Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering, Samsung Electronics "By launching our new high-capacity, high-performance UFS card line-up, we are changing the growth paradigm of the memory card market to prioritize performance and user convenience above all."

JEDEC Publishes Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Removable Card Standard

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in the development of standards for the microelectronics industry, today announced the publication of JESD220-2 Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Card Extension Standard. The new removable memory card standard standardizes functionality that aligns with the popular UFS embedded device standard. JESD220-2 is available for free download from the JEDEC website.

UFS is a high performance interface designed for use in computing and mobile systems such as smart phones and tablets where power consumption needs to be minimized. Its high speed serial interface and optimized protocol enable significant improvements in throughput and mobile system performance. The new UFS card standard provides a leading-edge removable storage solution while maintaining sequential and random IOPS performance that is critical for future mobile markets. Even using a single lane the UFS 1.0 card offers 600 MB/s interface speed in both directions and a state-of-the-art queuing mechanism to further increase system throughput.

Patriot Releases New 200GB microSDXC Cards to Expand Flash Storage Category

Patriot, a leading manufacturer of consumer flash storage solutions, computer memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals and mobile accessories, today announced the release of the 200GB LX Series and 200GB Instamobile microSDXC. A natural evolution fueled by the ever growing and dynamic storage needs of today's mobile device users, these new high capacity cards offer an almost limitless storage solution for large HD movies, pictures, music, and productivity files.

Consumers will never miss a moment while on the go. These large capacity cards enable Android smart phone and tablet users to capture life's precious moments in stunning high definition while expanding the storage space of their device. Capable of recording over 18 hours of 1080p HD video and capturing up to 36,000, 3MB photos, users will never have to worry about running out of storage space on their action camera or mobile device.

OWC Announces Aura SSDs for Mid-2013 and Later MacBooks

OWC Digital, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, today announced the all-new Aura SSD for Mid 2013 and Later Mac laptops, the most anticipated SSD upgrade release in OWC's history. In an era of ever-expanding storage needs, this long-awaited upgrade allows users, for the first time ever, to expand the stock storage that came with their Mac laptops and reuse their original factory drive to transfer data and as a high-performance external storage solution.

Available in 480GB and 1TB capacities, Aura SSD upgrade kits are the first and only PCIe-based flash storage upgrades available for MacBook Pro with Retina display (Late 2013 and newer) and MacBook Air (Mid 2013 and newer) models.

SanDisk Launches New Mobile Flash Drive for USB Type-C Devices

SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash storage solutions, today introduced the SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C Flash Drive designed specifically for next-generation devices. The sleek, new drive features a versatile and powerful USB Type-C connector for quick file transfer between USB Type-C enabled mobile devices, laptops, tablets and future devices.

"We expect to see many new USB Type-C supported devices released in 2016," said Dinesh Bahal, vice president, product marketing, SanDisk. "As more consumers purchase ultra-mobile PCs, smartphones and tablets that feature this new, more advanced USB standard, it is critical to offer a complete ecosystem of compatible products. New offerings, like our SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C Flash Drive, will give consumers the capabilities they've come to expect from traditional Type A ports, but with the added benefit of better performance."

Team Group Announces MoStash iOS Flash Drive

Team Group Inc., the world's leading memory brand, today announced the launch of MoStash- The world's first flash drive for iPhone that can also transform into a mobile viewing stand. Team MoStash is using Lightning/USB 3.0 dual connector and has the world's first patented smart stand as cover structure. MoStash is able to transform into a phone stand through interlocking its smart cover. It is an external storage device for iPhone/iPad, and it can improve user's multimedia entertainment experience as well. With careful and thoughtful design, it's not only a flash drive, but also a must-have mobile accessory that helps users to enjoy multimedia entertainment.

Team MoStash is made from combination of metal and rubber material. It not only brings out the perfect visual art, but also improves its protection. The "Double Arc" design of the body and the cap is making MoStash easier for mobile storage usage and also symbolize that your wonderful memories are perfectly well stored. If you interlock the body and the cap of MoStash, it can transform into an iPhone stand, which saves you the trouble of holding the phone and allow you to fully enjoy your multimedia collection without experiencing the hand soreness even after you finish a whole movie. Instead of an unrealistic creation, the elegant design is also highly functional.
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