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ADATA Explains Changes with XPG SX8200 Pro SSD

ADATA has recently been in a spot of controversy when it comes to their XPG SX8200 Pro solid-state drive (SSD). The company has reportedly shipped many different configurations of the SSD with different drive controller clock speeds and different NAND flash. According to the original report, ADATA has first shipped the SX8200 Pro SSD with Silicon Motion SM2262ENG SSD controller, running at 650 MHz with IMFT 64-layer TLC NAND Flash. However, it was later reported that the SSD was updated to use the Silicon Motion SM2262G SSD controller, clocked at 575 MHz. With this report, many users have gotten concerned and started to question the company's practices. However, ADATA later ensured everyone that performance is within the specifications and there is no need to worry.

Today, we have another report about the ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro SSD. According to a Redditor, ADATA has once again updated its SSD with a different kind of NAND Flash, however, this time the report indicated that performance was impacted. Tom's Hardware has made a table of changes showing as many as five revisions of the SSD, all with different configurations of SSD controllers and NAND Flash memory. We have contacted ADATA to clarify the issues that have emerged, and this is the official response that the company gave us.

NAND Flash Wafer Prices Stabilize Due to High SSD Demand from PC OEMs, Says TrendForce

NAND Flash demand continues to rise as strong sales of notebook (laptop) computers spur PC OEMs to place additional orders for client SSDs, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Also, the supply-side inventory for NAND Flash memory has already fallen considerably due to the aggressive stock-up activities of some smartphone brands. With customers in the data center segment expected to ramp up procurement in 2Q21, NAND Flash suppliers have decided to scale back the supply of NAND Flash wafers. Compared with other product categories, wafers have a lower gross margin. As a result of these factors, the decline in contract prices of wafers has been easing over the past two months (i.e., from December of last year to January of this year).

ADATA Unveils Industrial-grade IEM5141A eMMC

ADATA Technology, a manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, mobile accessories, gaming products, electric power trains, and industrial solutions, today announces the ADATA IEM5141A embedded multi media cards. Ideally suited for industrial and IoT applications, the ADATA IEM5141A meets JEDEC eMMC 5.1 HS400 standard that delivers high read/write speeds of up to 300/170 MB/s,and low-power consumption of optimized performance.

The IEM5141A is a fully integrated device with built-in controllerand NAND Flash for higher capacities, durability, and perfectly suited for space-constrained IPCs and server boot-up applications. Furthermore, the IEM5141A offers Auto sleep on/off mode for low power consumption, Partitioning Management, and Thermal Throttling. It also features wide-temperature operability (-40°C - +85°C) and a 3,000 P/E cycle for excellent stability and reliability.

Prices of NAND Flash Controller ICs Poised to Rise by 15-20% due to Tightening Production Capacity for Foundry Services, Says TrendForce

In the upstream semiconductor industry, the major foundries such as TSMC and UMC are reporting fully loaded capacities, while in the downstream, the available production capacity for OSAT is also lacking, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Given this situation, suppliers of NAND Flash controller ICs such as Phison and Silicon Motion are now unable to meet upside demand from their clients. Not only have many controller IC suppliers temporarily stopped offering quotes for new orders, but they are also even considering raising prices soon because the negotiations between NAND Flash suppliers and module houses over 1Q21 contracts are now at the critical juncture. The potential increases in prices of controller ICs from outsourced suppliers (IC design houses) are currently estimated to be the range of 15-20%.

With regards to the demand side, demand has risen significantly for eMMC solutions with medium- and low-density specifications (i.e., 64 GB and lower), for which NAND Flash suppliers have mostly stopped updating the NAND Flash process technology, while maintaining support with the legacy 2D NAND or the 64L 3D NAND process. This is on account of strong sales for Chromebook devices and TVs. As older processes gradually account for a lowering portion of bit output proportions from NAND Flash suppliers, these companies are exhibiting a lowered willingness to directly supply such eMMC products to clients. As a result, clients now need to turn to memory module houses, which are able to source NAND Flash components and controllers, to procure eMMC products in substantial quantities.

XPG Launches SPECTRIX S20G PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 Solid State Drive

XPG, a fast-growing provider of systems, components, and peripherals for Gamers, Esports Pros, and Tech Enthusiasts, today announces the XPG SPECTRIX S20G PCIe Gen3x4 M.2 2280 solid state drive (SSD). The SPECTRIX S20G is an SSD built with form and performance in mind with its distinct x-shaped RBG lighting and excellent read/write speeds.

The XPG SPECTRIX S20G is a gaming SSD through and through and its styling reflects this. It sports a distinctive and prominent x-shaped RGB design that outshines the competition. The RGB light effects can be customized via software. What's more, a hairline-brushed finish gives the SSD a formidable yet elegant look that will intimidate and impress.

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.

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.

SK hynix Unveils the Industry's Most Multilayered 176-Layer 4D NAND Flash

SK hynix Inc. announced the completion of developing the industry's most multilayered 176-layer 512 Gigabit (Gb) Triple-Level Cell (TLC) 4D NAND flash. The Company provided the samples to controller companies last month to make a solution product.

SK hynix has been promoting 4D technology from the 96-layer NAND flash products that combine Charge Trap Flash (CTF) with high-integrated Peri. Under Cell (PUC) technology. The new 176-layer NAND flash is the third generation 4D product that secures the industry's best number of chips per wafer. This allows the bit productivity to be improved by 35% compared to the previous generation with the differentiated cost competitiveness. The read speed of cell increased by 20% over the previous generation adopting 2-division cell array selection technology. The data transfer speed also has been improved by 33% to 1.6 Gbps adopting speed-up technology without increasing the number of processes.

NAND Flash Revenue for 3Q20 up by Only 0.3% QoQ Owing to Weak Server Sales, Says TrendForce

Total NAND Flash revenue reached US$14.5 billion in 3Q20, a 0.3% increase QoQ, while total NAND Flash bit shipment rose by 9% QoQ, but the ASP fell by 9% QoQ, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. The market situation in 3Q20 can be attributed to the rising demand from the consumer electronics end as well as the recovering smartphone demand before the year-end peak sales season. Notably, in the PC market, the rise of distance education contributed to the growing number and scale of Chromebook tenders, but the increase in the demand for Chromebook devices has not led to a significant increase in NAND Flash consumption because storage capacity is rather limited for this kind of notebook computer. Moreover, clients in the server and data center segments had aggressively stocked up on components and server barebones during 2Q20 due to worries about the impact of the pandemic on the supply chain. Hence, their inventories reached a fairly high level by 3Q20. Clients are now under pressure to control and reduce their inventories during this second half of the year. With them scaling back procurement, the overall NAND Flash demand has also weakened, leading to a downward turn in the contract prices of most NAND Flash products.

KIOXIA Unleashes Next Generation PCIe 4.0 SSDs for High-end Client Applications

KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.) today unveiled the PC OEM focused KIOXIA XG7/XG7-P Series, the company's first PCIe 4.0 client solid-state drive (SSD) series for notebooks, desktops, and workstations with qualification samples currently shipping to customers. Now spanning enterprise, data center, and client segments, KIOXIA's comprehensive PCIe 4.0 SSD portfolio addresses a wide array of applications, optimizing tomorrow's data, service and content-driven world.

Built for demanding PC environments, the XG7/XG7-P Series offers 2x the sequential read speed and approximately 1.6x the sequential write speed of the PCIe Gen3 based XG6 Series1, delivering a high performance, feature-rich storage experience for content creators, gamers and professionals. With leading capacity support up to 4096 gigabytes (GBs), the XG7-P Series SSDs enable power users to take advantage of PCIe Gen4 x4 lane bandwidth and ample storage space. Furthermore, this series deploys an all-new in-house controller vertically integrated with KIOXIA's BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory, ensuring next generation feature support such as the NVMe 1.4 specification and System Management Bus (SMBus) for improved system thermal management through a sideband channel.

Intel Introduces new Security Technologies for 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable Platform, Code-named "Ice Lake"

Intel today unveiled the suite of new security features for the upcoming 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable platform, code-named "Ice Lake." Intel is doubling down on its Security First Pledge, bringing its pioneering and proven Intel Software Guard Extension (Intel SGX) to the full spectrum of Ice Lake platforms, along with new features that include Intel Total Memory Encryption (Intel TME), Intel Platform Firmware Resilience (Intel PFR) and new cryptographic accelerators to strengthen the platform and improve the overall confidentiality and integrity of data.

Data is a critical asset both in terms of the business value it may yield and the personal information that must be protected, so cybersecurity is a top concern. The security features in Ice Lake enable Intel's customers to develop solutions that help improve their security posture and reduce risks related to privacy and compliance, such as regulated data in financial services and healthcare.

Kingston Releases 128GB Capacity Addition to DataTraveler 2000 Encrypted USB

Kingston Digital Europe Co LLP, the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, today announces the availability of the 128 GB DataTraveler 2000 encrypted USB flash drive. DataTraveler 2000 features an alphanumeric keypad that allows users to lock the drive with a word or number combination for an easy-to-use PIN providing an extra layer of protection. For additional security, an auto-lock feature is activated when the drive is removed from the host device if not properly shut down before ejection.

While lower capacity drives offer their own benefits, larger capacity encrypted drives have become a necessity with the need to transfer higher amounts of sensitive data files as more people work from home," said Oscar Escayola, Flash Business Manager, Kingston EMEA. "The 128 GB DT2000 joins Kingston's full line of high-capacity encrypted drives providing security options for consumers all the way up to military-grade."

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.

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.

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.
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