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Winbond Introduces new Sequential Read Function in High-Speed QspiNAND Flash

Winbond Electronics Corporation, a leading global supplier of semiconductor memory solutions, today extended its record of leading the industry's innovation in specialty Flash memory with the introduction of a more flexible, high-speed read capability in its latest QspiNAND Flash products. Automotive and IoT device manufacturers are increasingly adopting high-performance Single-Level Cell (SLC) NAND Flash as a low-cost alternative at densities of 512 Mbits and higher to the NOR Flash traditionally used for code storage. Previous Winbond innovations in high-performance NAND Flash include the Quad SPI-NAND interface, which shares the same 6-pin signals and QSPI command set as Quad SPI-NOR, and the Continuous Read function, which achieves up to a 52 MB/s continuous data transfer rate at a 104 MHz clock frequency.

Sabrent Launches World's First 8 Terabyte M.2 NVMe SSD

Sabrent, a company focused on making storage devices and PC accessories, today announced the release of the world's first 8 terabyte NVMe SSD delivered in the M.2 form factor. The new SSD dubbed Rocket Q 8 TB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD is a real treat for all SSD enthusiasts. Besides its staggering capacity, it has plenty of features as well. Built on top of 3D QLC NAND Flash memory chips, the Rocket Q SSD is supposed to deliver very high speeds on PCIe 3.0 x4 bus. With up to 3.4 GB/sec reads, and up to 3 GB/sec writes, the SSD is pushing the limits of the PCIe 3.0 x4 bus that it is designed to work for.

Rocking a Phison's E12S controller, it is supposed to maintain high speeds even on random 4K reads and writes. The company didn't reveal too many details about the performance, however, we can wait for some reviews. The SSD is PCIe 3.1 Compliant, NVMe 1.3 Compliant, and supports SMART and TRIM commands. With a purchase of this SSD, you get a free copy of Sabrent Acronis True Image for Sabrent Software for easy cloning. Pricing and availability are unknown.
Sabrent Rocket Q 8 TB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD Sabrent Rocket Q 8 TB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD

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.

YMTC to Supply NAND Flash Chips to Lexar

Mainland Chinese semiconductor firm Yangtze Memory Technologies Co (YMTC), has reportedly struck a NAND flash memory chip supply deal with popular solid-state storage products brand Lexar, which specializes in SSDs, memory cards, and USB flash drives; and more importantly, enjoys a prominent market presence in the West. Micron Technology had, in 2017, sold the Lexar brand to Longsys, a Chinese electronics conglomerate. YMTC's first products sold to Lexar will be a 512 Gbit 128-layer 3D QLC NAND flash memory chip for Lexar's nCard line of microSDXC cards, which ships in 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB densities, offering transfer speeds of up to 90 MB/s reads, with up to 70 MB/s writes.

Samsung Begins Mass-production of 512GB eUFS 3.1 Storage for Flagship Smartphones

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 512-gigabyte (GB) eUFS (embedded Universal Flash Storage) 3.1 for use in flagship smartphones. Delivering three times the write speed of the previous 512 GB eUFS 3.0 mobile memory, Samsung's new eUFS 3.1 breaks the 1 GB/s performance threshold in smartphone storage.

"With our introduction of the fastest mobile storage, smartphone users will no longer have to worry about the bottleneck they face with conventional storage cards," said Cheol Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "The new eUFS 3.1 reflects our continuing commitment to supporting the rapidly increasing demands from global smartphone makers this year."
Samsung eUFS 3.1 512GB

Everspin Technologies and GLOBALFOUNDRIES Extend MRAM Joint Development Agreement to 12nm

Everspin Technologies, Inc., the world's leading developer and manufacturer of Magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM), today announced an amendment of its Spin-transfer Torque (STT-MRAM) joint development agreement (JDA) with GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF ), the world's leading specialty foundry. Everspin and GF have been partners on 40 nm, 28 nm, and 22 nm STT-MRAM development and manufacturing processes and have now updated their agreement to set the terms for a future project on an advanced 12 nm FinFET MRAM solution. Everspin is in production of discrete STT-MRAM solutions on 40 and 28 nm, including its award winning 1 Gb DDR4 device. GF recently announced it has achieved initial production of embedded MRAM (eMRAM) on its 22FDX platform.

KIOXIA America Debuts UFS Ver. 3.1 Embedded Flash Memory Devices

Further cementing its position as a leading provider of storage for next-gen mobile devices, KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.), the U.S.-based subsidiary of KIOXIA Corporation, today announced that it has started sampling Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Ver. 3.1 embedded flash memory devices. Well suited for mobile applications requiring high-performance with low power consumption, the new lineup utilizes KIOXIA's cutting-edge BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory and is supported in four capacities: 128 gigabytes (GB), 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 terabyte (TB).

The new devices integrate BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory and a controller in a JEDEC-standard 11.5 x 13 mm package. The controller performs error correction, wear leveling, logical-to-physical address translation, and bad-block management for simplified system development. "KIOXIA was the first company to introduce UFS in 2013[4] and the first to offer UFS Ver. 3.0 last year and we continue to be at the forefront of UFS memory with this Ver. 3.1 announcement today," noted Scott Beekman, director of managed flash memory products for KIOXIA America, Inc. "Our newest offerings enable next-gen mobile devices to take full advantage of the connectivity benefits of 5G, leading to faster downloads and reduced lag time - and an improved user experience."

Samsung Launches 3rd-Generation "Flashbolt" HBM2E Memory

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced the market launch of 'Flashbolt', its third-generation High Bandwidth Memory 2E (HBM2E). The new 16-gigabyte (GB) HBM2E is uniquely suited to maximize high performance computing (HPC) systems and help system manufacturers to advance their supercomputers, AI-driven data analytics and state-of-the-art graphics systems in a timely manner.

"With the introduction of the highest performing DRAM available today, we are taking a critical step to enhance our role as the leading innovator in the fast-growing premium memory market," said Cheol Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "Samsung will continue to deliver on its commitment to bring truly differentiated solutions as we reinforce our edge in the global memory marketplace."

JEDEC Publishes Update to Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Standard

JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, the global leader in the development of standards for the microelectronics industry, today announced the publication of Universal Flash Storage (UFS) version 3.1, JESD220E. In addition, an optional new companion standard, JESD220-3: UFS Host Performance Booster (HPB) Extension, has also been published. Developed for mobile applications and computing systems requiring high performance with low power consumption, UFS 3.1 introduces new features intended to help maximize device performance while minimizing power usage. Both JESD220E and JESD220-3 are available for download from the JEDEC website.

Kioxia, Formerly Toshiba Memory, Makes its CES Debut

One of the big hardware industry changes of 2019 was the formal spin-off of Toshiba Memory as an entirely independent firm called Kioxia. This is big, because Toshiba is regarded as the inventor of NAND flash as we know it; and a pioneering firm with DRAM, NAND flash, and other forms of solid-state storage. Toshiba retains the hard disk business. Having formally begun operations only in Q4-2019, much of Kioxia's upcoming products are in development, but we still caught some of their latest SSDs that implement PCIe gen 4.0 and NVMe 1.4 protocol, besides some former-Toshiba products under new Kioxia branding. Kioxia is planning to make a big splash in the near future as its pioneering Twin BiCS Flash tech hits the market, besides scoring design wins with the automotive and data-center industries.

The CD6 and CM6 SSDs are star-attractions. The CD6 is designed for data-centers, and comes in capacities ranging all the way from 800 GB to 15 TB, with 1 to 3 DWPD endurance. It uses the next-generation U.3 (SFF-TA-1001) connector with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 physical-layer and NVMe 1.4 protocol. Among its security features are SIE, FIPS140-2, and SED Opal/Ruby. The drive is built in the 15 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor. The CM6 is its cousin, targeted at enterprise environments with higher mission-criticality. With capacities ranging from 800 GB to a staggering 30 TB, the drive offers sequential transfer-rates of up to 6,400 MB/s by leveraging PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and NVMe 1.4. Much like the CD6, the CM6 uses the new U.3 connector, and is built in the 15 mm form-factor. Endurance and security feature-set are identical to the CD6. We also spotted the 2+ year old rebranded XD5-series and PM5-series in fresh Kioxia colors. Lastly, there are the XG6 and XG6-P SSDs from 2019 transitioned to the Kioxia brand.

Kioxia Develops New 3D Semicircular Flash Memory Cell Structure "Twin BiCS FLASH"

Kioxia Corporation today announced the development of the world's first three-dimensional (3D) semicircular split-gate flash memory cell structure "Twin BiCS FLASH" using specially designed semicircular Floating Gate (FG) cells. Twin BiCS FLASH achieves superior program slope and a larger program/erase window at a much smaller cell size compared to conventional circular Charge Trap (CT) cells. These attributes make this new cell design a promising candidate to surpass four bits per cell (QLC) for significantly higher memory density and fewer stacking layers. This technology was announced at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) held in San Francisco, CA on December 11th.

3D flash memory technology has achieved high bit density with low cost per bit by increasing the number of cell stacked layers as well as by implementing multilayer stack deposition and high aspect ratio etching. In recent years, as the number of cell layers exceeds 100, managing the trade-offs among etch profile control, size uniformity and productivity is becoming increasingly challenging. To overcome this problem, Kioxia developed a new semicircular cell design by splitting the gate electrode in the conventional circular cell to reduce cell size compared to the conventional circular cell, enabling higher-density memory at a lower number of cell layers.

Kingston Technology Ships 13.3 Million SSDs in 1H 2019

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announced it shipped over 13.3 million SSDs in the first half of 2019, according to data compiled by market research firm TrendFocus. The astounding amount places Kingston as the third-largest supplier of SSDs in the world behind semiconductor manufacturers Samsung and Western Digital, showing its strength and position in the market place as the world's leading third-party SSD maker. Kingston's total accounted for a whopping 11.3 percent of the total number of SSDs shipped globally during the first half of the year among all manufacturers.

"TrendFocus' research shows continued growth in total SSD shipments for all categories this year," said Don Jeanette, Vice President, TrendFocus. "Our research finds that client SSDs make up the majority portion of units shipped while NVMe PCIe also saw gains due to demand in hyperscale environments. The storyline for the first half of 2019 is NAND shipments are increasing and pricing has bottomed out, thus driving SSD demand."

Western Digital Announces Sale of IntelliFlash Business and Intention to Exit Storage Systems

Western Digital Corp. today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its IntelliFlash business to DDN, a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and multi-cloud data management. In addition, Western Digital and DDN have agreed to expand their existing partnership through a multi-year strategic sourcing agreement, under which DDN will increase its purchase of Western Digital's HDD and SSD storage devices.

This announcement is part of Western Digital's strategic intention to exit Storage Systems, which consists of the IntelliFlash and ActiveScale businesses. The company is exploring strategic options for ActiveScale. These actions will allow Western Digital to optimize its Data Center Systems portfolio around its core Storage Platforms business, which includes the OpenFlex platform and fabric-attached storage technologies.

"As we look to the future, scaling and accelerating growth opportunities for IntelliFlash and ActiveScale will require additional management focus and investment to ensure long-term success," said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer. "By refocusing our Data Center Systems resources on our Storage Platforms business, we are confident that the Western Digital portfolio will be better positioned to capture significant opportunities ahead and drive long-term value creation."

Toshiba Talks About 5-Bit-per-Cell (PLC) Flash Memory

Toshiba at the Flash Memory Summit announced they've managed to develop a 5-Bit-per-Cell memory solution Based on its BiCS 4 flash memory technologies, the feat was achieved using a modified module of Quad-Level Cell (QLC) memory. This shows the technology is not only feasible, but has room for improvement, since an adapted QLC technology will always be inferior to a natively-developed, Penta-Level Cell (PLC) solution.

To achieve this ability to store one extra bit of information per cell (compared to QLC), a new level of voltage refinement is required: the cell has to be able to change its state according to one of 32 voltage states, which, in turn, have to be read out correctly by the flash memory controller. This reduces the cell's performance and endurance (as does any increase in the number of bits per cell), and will require a number of solutions to mitigate and compensate for this reduced performance. However, density has become an increasing concern from manufacturers, hence the continued development of deeper, more variable voltage states that allow for even more information to be stored in the same silicon area. Higher density means cheaper solutions, but density increased in such a way has known trade-offs that have been much talked about ever since the transition from Single-Level Cell (SLC) up to the (nowadays ubiquitous) QLC.

Western Digital Launches Two New Families of UltraStar NVMe SSDs

Western Digital today announced two new 96-layer 3D flash NVMe SSD families, the Ultrastar DC SN640 and Ultrastar DC SN340. Both are purpose-built for either mixed-use-case workloads or very read-intensive applications, respectively. The new Ultrastar drives help meet the evolving, and increasingly specific workload demands placed on data centers today, while building a strong, flexible foundation for the zettabyte-scale era of the future. Leveraging Western Digital's in-house SSD controller designs, firmware development and vertical integration, these new solutions underscore the company's strengths in developing innovations that allow customers' data to thrive, from edge to core to cloud.

NVMe is having a great impact on enterprises and what they can do with data, particularly for real-time analytics, M2M and IoT, and emerging technologies like composable infrastructure. Data center customers understand the nature of their data streams and application workloads and are realizing that today's general-purpose architectures are inefficient and can carry resource and cost overhead.

Marvell Announces 88SS1320-series PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD Controllers

Marvell today released the industry's lowest power PCIe Gen4 NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) controller portfolio. Marvell's newest SSD controllers are designed to meet the need for lower power and higher performance in next-generation data centers and edge devices as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G gain momentum. This breakthrough technology delivers unparalleled performance in an ultra-compact footprint, leveraging the company's complex system-on-chip (SoC) design expertise and groundbreaking storage IP to help data center, notebook, tablet, gaming and edge computing platform architects advance their solutions for the highly distributed data era.

"Marvell's latest family of storage controllers has been architected to optimally address edge computing and data center pain points of power-performance and capacity-performance," said Nigel Alvares, vice president of marketing for the Flash Business Unit at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. "With today's launch, we're once again demonstrating Marvell's leadership in storage, delivering the industry's first 4-Channel PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD controllers with the industry's lowest power consumption that will help revolutionize SSD solutions for the data economy."

SK Hynix Starts Mass-Producing World's First 128-Layer 4D NAND

SK Hynix Inc. announced today that it has developed and starts mass-producing the world's first 128-Layer 1 Tb (Terabit) TLC (Triple-Level Cell) 4D NAND Flash, only eight months after the Company announced the 96-Layer 4D NAND Flash last year.

The 128-Layer 1 Tb NAND chip offers the industry's highest vertical stacking with more than 360 billion NAND cells, each of which stores 3 bits, per one chip. To achieve this, SK Hynix applied innovative technologies, such as "ultra-homogeneous vertical etching technology," "high-reliability multi-layer thin-film cell formation technology," and ultra-fast low-power circuit design, to its own 4D NAND technology.

SK Hynix Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

SK hynix Inc. today announced financial results for its second quarter 2019 ended on June 30, 2019. The consolidated second quarter revenue was 6.45 trillion won while the operating profit amounted to 638 billion won and the net income 537 billion won. Operating margin for the quarter was 10% and net margin was 8%.

As demand recovery did not meet expectations and price declines were steeper than expected, the revenue and the operating profit in the second quarter fell by 5% and 53%, respectively, quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). DRAM bit shipments increased by 13% QoQ as the Company actively responded to the mobile and PC DRAM markets, where demand growth was relatively high. However, DRAM prices remained weak and the average selling price dropped by 24%. For NAND Flash, the bit shipments increased by 40% QoQ because of demand recovery due to price declines, while the average selling price decreased by 25%.

SK Hynix Starts Mass-Producing World's First 128-Layer 4D NAND, Working on 176-Layer NAND

SK hynix Inc. announced today that it has developed and started mass-producing the world's first 128-Layer 1 Tb (Terabit) TLC (Triple-Level Cell) 4D NAND Flash, only eight months after the Company announced the 96-Layer 4D NAND Flash last year.

The 128-Layer 1 Tb NAND chip offers the industry's highest vertical stacking with more than 360 billion NAND cells, each of which stores 3 bits, per one chip. To achieve this, SK hynix applied innovative technologies, such as "ultra-homogeneous vertical etching technology," "high-reliability multi-layer thin-film cell formation technology," and ultra-fast low-power circuit design, to its own 4D NAND technology.

The new product provides the industry's highest density of 1 Tb for TLC NAND Flash. A number of companies including SK hynix have developed 1 Tb QLC (Quad-Level Cell) NAND products, but SK hynix is the first to commercialize the 1 Tb TLC NAND Flash. TLC accounts for more than 85% of the NAND Flash market with excellent performance and reliability.

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.

Intel Receiving $1.3B From Micron for IM Flash Stake

The Intel-Micron divorce in the wake of the former's exit from the joint Im Flash venture has taken some strange turns. However, it seems that Micron is looking to take the entire business out of Intel's hands and keep the manufacturing capacity that was jointly developed and invested in all for themselves, offering Intel anywhere from $1.3B to $1.5B for their stake on the venture - including associated debt of the IMF venture to Intel, which amounts to a cool $1B of that amount. This means that Intel's stake in the venture is being valued at $300 to $500 million.

The only remaining factory that is being operated by both parties is located in Lehi, Utah, and exclusively fabricates 3D XPoint memory, which has only been turned to a consumer and professional product by Intel. The acquisition from Micron means they'll have to fulfill Intel's 3D XPoint orders until 2020, and that they'll be investing on the factory's capacity to produce 2nd generation 3D XPoint for their own product portfolio, as well as post-3D XPoint technologies.

SK Hynix Begins Sampling 96-layer 4D QLC NAND Flash Memory

SK Hynix Inc., announced today that it has delivered samples of new 1Tb (Terabit) QLC (Quadruple Level Cell) product to major SSD (Solid State Drive) Controller companies. The Company applied its own QLC technology to its world's first 96-Layer "CTF (Charge Trap Flash) based 4D (Four-Dimensional) NAND Flash (or 4D NAND)." SK Hynix intends to expand its NAND portfolio to 96-layer-based 1Tb QLC products in time for the QLC market opening and strengthen its responsiveness to the next-generation high-density memory market.

QLC stores four bits of data in one NAND cell, allowing higher density compared to TLC (Triple Level Cell) that stores three bits per cell. Using QLC, it is possible to develop high-density products with cost competitiveness. SK Hynix is able to secure the industry's top-level cost competitiveness through this product, which has reduced the area to less than 90% of the existing 3D-based QLC products.

Intel Packs 3D X-Point and QLC NAND Flash Into a Single SSD: Optane H10

Intel today revealed details about Intel Optane memory H10 with solid-state storage - an innovative device that combines the superior responsiveness of Intel Optane technology with the storage capacity of Intel Quad Level Cell (QLC) 3D NAND technology in a single space-saver M.2 form factor. "Intel Optane memory H10 with solid-state storage features the unique combination of Intel Optane technology and Intel QLC 3D NAND - exemplifying our disruptive approach to memory and storage that unleashes the full power of Intel-connected platforms in a way no else can provide," said Rob Crooke, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group.

Combining Intel Optane technology with Intel QLC 3D NAND technology on a single M.2 module enables Intel Optane memory expansion into thin and light notebooks and certain space-constrained desktop form factors - such as all-in-one PCs and mini PCs. The new product also offers a higher level of performance not met by traditional Triple Level Cell (TLC) 3D NAND SSDs today and eliminates the need for a secondary storage device.

Team Group Releases Three New Flash Products

Targeting to expand the capacity of our consumers' storage devices, Team Group today releases three new FLASH products. They are the MP34 M.2 solid state drive with PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 high speed interface and the latest NVMe 1.3 protocol, the ELITE A1 high-speed memory card which is specially made for ANDROID devices and 4K video recording, the C188 high-speed flash drive with elegant design and up to 130 MB/s of read/write speed. These products allow consumers to upgrade their PC or mobile devices at ease.

Today, Team Group releases the M.2 solid state drive MP34 that uses PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 high-speed interface and the latest NVMe 1.3 protocol. Connecting to the built-in controller of the chipset and processor through PCI-e bus provides transfer signal without any lag. The transfer performance is remarkable. The transfer speed of MP34 is up to 3000 MB/s, which is 5 times* higher than the SATA III interface. It supports S.M.A.R.T and has built-in smart algorithm, Wear-Leveling technology and Error Correction Code. In addition to bring the SSD to its maximum performance and prolong the service life, it also supports both Intel and AMD platforms. Whether it is installed on a desktop or a laptop, it will offer consumer the finest and smoothest gaming experience.

Kingston Digital Introduces New High Endurance microSD Cards

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today introduced its new High Endurance microSD card. The card is especially designed for write-intensive application use such as home security and surveillance cameras, dash cams and body cams.

As write-intensive applications critically depend on a high level of reliability and performance, Kingston's High Endurance microSD card provides durability, high-storage capacity and prolonged endurance to meet the unique recording demands of security cameras and dash cams. The High Endurance microSD card stores up to 20,000 hours of seamless video recording in full 1080p HD to capture a reliable record of what happens whether at home or on the road.
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