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ASUS Also Launches ExpertBook B9450 Laptop for Business Professionals

ASUS today announced the launch of the ExpertBook B9450 laptop, the latest ASUS ExpertBook for business professionals that provides unmatched performance, durability and design within an incredibly thin and light form factor weighing in at just 2.2 lb with a 0.59 inch thin profile. The new ExpertBook-series laptops maintain a professional and reliable personality while incorporating innovation and flexibility in order to meet the requirements of modern businesses.

Designed for business professionals on-the-go, the ExpertBook B9450 delivers top-tier performance thanks to up to an 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, dual-storage design with two ultrafast 1 TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs, and up to 16 GB of RAM and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) connectivity. Expect uninterrupted performance on the B9450 with long-lasting battery life delivering up to an impressive 24 hours of use on a single charge, with extra comfort features like the ErgoLift hinge, built-in voice assistant support, and a Harman Kardon-optimized audio system.

ASUS Announces Chromebook Flip C436, Powered by Intel "Project Athena"

ASUS today announced the launch of the ASUS Chromebook Flip C436, the latest in the ASUS Chromebook Flip family that pairs premium features with uncompromising performance. The ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 introduces an eye-catching and elegant convertible form factor, featuring a frameless NanoEdge touch display that's designed to maximize screen size in the smallest form factor possible. The C436 is housed in a durable yet lightweight magnesium alloy chassis, which measures only 13-inches diagonally at a weight of approx. 2.58 lbs - perfect for on-the-go productivity.

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 is verified by Intel's Project Athena innovation program and co-engineered for mobile performance. It brings unparalleled power in a convertible and ultra-portable form factor by integrating 10th Gen Intel Core processors with up to 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD, and cutting-edge Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) connectivity.

Samsung Announces Galaxy Chromebook Convertible: A "Project Athena" Chromebook

Samsung today announced the Galaxy Chromebook, a premium Google ChromeOS 2-in-1 device that converts between a conventional notebook and a tablet with a stylus. This is the first time Samsung is bringing its Android-focused Galaxy brand over to its Chromebook family. The $999 price-tag may look like a tall ask for a Chromebook, until you look at some of its specs. The star attraction is the 13.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen with 4K UHD resolution. Samsung developed the Galaxy Chromebook in close coordination with Intel as part of its ambitious "Project Athena" initiative of developing next-generation portable computing devices that defy conventions on performance and battery-life.

Under the hood is an Intel Core i5-10210U "Comet Lake" processor with 8 GB of LPDDR3-2133 memory, a 256 GB NVMe SSD, UFS + microSDXC card slot, and 802.11ax + Bluetooth connectivity (at this price we'd have expected at least 4G cellular modem). It dumps type-A USB ports and instead features a couple of type-C ports, one of which doubles up as a power input. The 4K UHD display is pulled by integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics. A 47.9 Wh battery powers the thing, with Samsung claiming 8h 20m of run-time. Measuring 30 cm x 20.32 cm x 0.99 cm (closed), the Galaxy Chromebook weighs 1.03 kg. The included S-Pen stylus slots into the body. The Galaxy Chromebook is available in two color options, red and gray, both priced at $999.
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

MSI's Rose Pink Prestige 14 Laptop Packs Some Serious Horsepower

MSI got bored of old dark/gray/white laptop designs and decided to spice things up a bit. Say goodbye to the old boring laptops and enter the MSI Prestige 14 Limited Edition Rose Pink laptop. Designed as a premium-looking machine, it has decent specifications to back up the good looks. Equipped with a 14-inch IPS display comes in two variants, a 1080p version, and 4K edition, and it has 100% coverage of the AdobeRGB spectrum. With such specifications, we know that it is targeting the professional content creators.

Under the hood, there is Intel's 10th generation Core i7-10710U "Comet Lake" processor paired with 16 GB of LPDDR3 2133 MHz RAM running in single-channel mode. For graphics, NVIDIA's GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU is on board with 4 GB of GDDR6 memory. Storage is limited to 512 gigabytes of PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD space, as there is no room for expansion. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 6 powered by Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 wireless adapter. When it comes to the IO, the Prestige 14 laptop is rocking two USB 2.0 adapter along with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one 3.5 mm headphone jack, and one Micro-SD card reader. There is also a 3-cell 50 Whr battery powering the system. Price-wise, this laptop is retailing for around $1399 on stores like Amazon and Newegg.

ASUS Debuts Latest VivoBook and ZenBook Series Lineup at CES 2020

Today, at CES 2020, ASUS debuted its latest VivoBook and ZenBook laptop refreshes. The first in the lineup is the VivoBook S series, which is consisting out of VivoBook S333, S433 and S533 models. At the heart of these new laptops is the latest 10th generation of processors from Intel that is giving the ultra-portable notebooks power to perform everyday tasks with ease. In some configurations like S433 and S533, there is a choice of Core i7 and Core i5 Comet Lake CPUs, while the S333 model is rocking Ice Lake at its core. For Comet Lake configurations, there is a choice of Intel Core i7-10510U or Core i5-10210U processor, while Ice Lake powered models have a choice between Intel Core i7-1065G7 or Core i5-1035G1 processors. As far as graphics power goes, users can choose to use Intel iGPU, or add NVIDIA MX series GPU for an additional price increase.

Intel Launches SSD 665p "Neptune Harbor Refresh" Line of M.2 NVMe SSDs

Intel late Monday released its SSD 665p "Neptune Harbor Refresh" line of client-segment M.2 NVMe SSDs. The series was announced in September at the company's Storage Day event in South Korea. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drives feature PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface. They combine a Silicon Motion SMI2263 series controller with Intel's new 96-layer 3D QLC NAND flash memory. The previous-generation SSD 660p series use 64-layer chips. The SMI2263 controller is cushioned by an LPDDR3 DRAM cache.

Intel is debuting the SSD 665p series with just two models, 1 TB and 2 TB, skipping sub-terabyte capacities such as 500 GB. The 2 TB variant offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 2000 MB/s reads and up to 2000 MB/s writes; and random access speeds of up to 250,000 IOPS on both reads and writes. The 1 TB variant offers up to 2000 MB/s sequential reads, up to 1925 MB/s sequential writes, up to 160,000 IOPS random reads, and up to 200,000 IOPS random writes. The company didn't reveal endurance ratings for the drives. The 1 TB variant is priced at USD $125, while the 2 TB variant hasn't yet been priced. Both drives are backed by 5-year warranties.

Razer Launches New Blade Stealth with 13.3-inch Display and Gunmetal Color

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced its upgraded 13.3-inch version of the award-winning 12.5-inch Razer Blade Stealth. The new Razer Blade Stealth is one of the most portable laptops for professionals in the world, measuring 0.52 inches thin, weighing 2.93 pounds and with up to nine hours of battery life.

Razer's latest chassis is CNC-milled out of aircraft grade aluminum, and it is now available in a black or gunmetal gray finish. The gunmetal gray variant features a tone-on-tone Razer logo and white backlit keyboard, offering a sleek, solid and professional design. Gunmetal gray will be available in the United States and Canada.

Plextor Details Release Availability of their M8Se NVMe TLC SSDs

At CES 2017, Plextor announced their next SSD product line. Dubbed the M8Se, these will be restricted to NVMe SSDs with 15nm 3-bit-per-cell TLC of Toshiba manufacture, ranging from 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1TB capacities leveraged by Marvell's Eldora controller.

The new mid-range NVMe SSD uses a new heatsink design (slight cost-reduction when compared with the one the M8Pe carries), that Plextor says will improve cooling by up to 20% - convenient, since throttling does happen with NVMe based SSDs - and particularly with Marvell's Eldora controller - as it did with Plextor's M8Pe line of SSDs. The card also features blue accent lighting. Plextor will also sell a heatsink-less M8PeGN model in the M.2 form factor.

Samsung Intros 2 TB Variants of 850 Pro and 850 EVO SSDs

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a market leader in advanced memory technology and an innovator in consumer electronics, today introduced the 2-terabyte (TB) 850 PRO and 850 EVO solid state drives (SSDs). Samsung's 3D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) based retail SSD lineup now features 20 different products with a wide range of capacity options from 120 gigabyte (GB) to 2TB. Available in 50 countries, the launch of the 2TB drives addresses the ever-increasing consumer demand for high-performance and high-capacity memory solutions.

"Samsung experienced a surge in demand for 500 gigabyte (GB) and higher capacity SSDs with the introduction of our V-NAND SSDs. The release of the 2TB SSD is a strong driver into the era of multi-terabyte SSD solutions," said Un-Soo Kim, Senior Vice President of Branded Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. "We will continue to expand our ultra-high performance and large density SSD product portfolio and provide a new computing experience to users around the globe."

HP Introduces the Spectre x360 Convertible PC

HP today announced the HP Spectre x360, a 13.3 inch convertible PC that delivers an ultra-thin design, the quality customers expect, and performance to get things done.

"Customers are looking for beautiful devices that deliver quality, versatility and portability," said Mike Nash, vice president, portfolio strategy and customer experience, Personal Systems, HP. "The HP Spectre x360 is transformational as it has the productivity of a high end notebook, tablet mode for on the go, tent mode for play and stand mode for watching entertainment in a stunning ultra-thin device."

Samsung Electronics Mass Producing High-Density ePoP Memory

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, announced today that it is now mass producing the industry's first ePoP (embedded package on package) memory - a single memory package consisting of 3GB LPDDR3 DRAM, 32GB eMMC (embedded multi-media card) and a controller. For use in high-end smartphones, the extremely thin ePoP combines all essential memory components into a single package that can be stacked directly on top of the mobile processor, without taking any additional space - a distinct improvement over existing two-package eMCP memory solutions.

"By offering our new high-density ePoP memory for flagship smartphones, Samsung expects to provide its customers with significant design benefits, while enabling faster and longer operation of multi-tasking features," Jeeho Baek, Senior Vice President of Memory Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "We plan to expand our line-up of ePoP memory with packages involving enhancements in performance and density over the next few years, to further add to the growth of premium mobile market."

Apple's Next 12-inch MacBook Air to Feature USB 3.1 and Core M

Apple's next entry to its pathbreaking ultra-portable notebook, the MacBook Air, will be a new 12-inch screen size version. As with every new MacBook Air release for the past two years, there's talk of a screen resolution jump to "Retina" standards. Apple is preparing other cutting-edge hardware updates.

To begin with, Apple will tap Intel's latest Core M "Broadwell-U" chip, an SoC that combines a dual-core "Broadwell" CPU with graphics, a dual-channel DDR3L IMC, and system agent onto a single chip, with an overall TDP of 15W. Apple is working on a new fanless cooling system for this chip. The other big feature-set upgrade is the USB 3.1 port, which Intel plans to launch with the system agent for its next processor platform. USB 3.1 doubles bandwidth to 10 Gbps, and steps up power-delivery, letting you charge your portable devices faster.

LiteOn Intros ZETA Series Consumer SSDs

An OEM for notable SSD brands such as Plextor, LiteOn kicked off its own consumer SSD line, with ZETA. Built in the 7 mm thick, 2.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, these drives come in three capacities, 128 GB (LCH-128V2S), 256 GB (LCH-256V2S), and 512 GB (LCH-512V2S), featuring LPDDR3 controller cache of 128 MB, 256 MB, and 512 MB, respectively. The drive is based on Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller, with 16 nm MLC NAND flash, made by SK Hynix.

All three capacities offer sequential read speeds of up to 520 MB/s, differing with sequential write speeds. The 128 GB variant offers up to 150 MB/s writes, the 256 GB variant offers up to 260 MB/s, and the 512 GB variant up to 430 MB/s. Their 4K random-access read speeds are up to 67,500 IOPS, up to 82,500 IOPS, and up to 83,500 IOPS, respectively; and random-access write speeds are up to 37,500 IOPS, up to 72,500 IOPS, and up to 80,000 IOPS, respectively. Most common client SSD features, such as TRIM, NCQ, and 256-bit AES native encryption, are part of the package. LiteOn didn't announce pricing information for markets outside the Greater China region, where the drives will make their debut.

Samsung Now Mass Producing Industry's First 20-Nanometer 6Gb LPDDR3 Mobile DRAM

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, announced today that it has begun mass producing its six gigabit (Gb) low-power double data rate 3 (LPDDR3) mobile DRAM, based on advanced 20 nanometer (nm) process technology. The highly-efficient new mobile memory chip will enable longer battery run-time and faster application loading on large screen mobile devices with higher resolution.

"Our new 20nm 6Gb LPDDR3 DRAM provides the most advanced mobile memory solution for the rapidly expanding high-performance mobile DRAM market," said Jeeho Baek, vice president, memory marketing, Samsung Electronics. "We are working closely with our global customers to offer next-generation mobile memory solutions that can be applied to a more extensive range of markets ranging from the premium to standard segments."

Samsung's new 6Gb LPDDR3 has a per-pin data transfer rate of up to 2,133 megabits per second (Mbps). A 3GB (gigabyte) LPDDR3 package, which consists of four 6Gb LPDDR3 chips, can be easily created for use in a wide range of mobile devices. Also, the package greatly strengthens our product portfolio for premium mobile applications.

How Intel Plans to Transition Between DDR3 and DDR4 for the Mainstream

The transition between DDR2 and DDR3 system memory types was slower than the one between DDR and DDR2. DDR3 made its mainstream debut with Intel's X38 and P35 Express platforms, at a time when the memory controller was still within the domain of a motherboard chipset, at least in Intel's case. The P35 supported both DDR2 and DDR3 memory types, and motherboard manufacturers made high-end products based on each of the two memory types, with some even supporting both.

Higher module prices posed a real, and higher latencies, posed a less real set of drawbacks to the initial adoption of DDR3. Those, coupled with the limited system bus bandwidth, to take advantage of DDR3. DDR3 only really took off with Nehalem, Intel's first processor with an integrated memory controller (IMC). An IMC, again in Intel's case, meant that the CPU came with memory I/O pins, and could only support one memory type - DDR3. Since then, DDR3 proliferated to the mainstream. Will the story repeat itself during the transition between DDR3 and the new DDR4 memory introduced alongside Intel's Core i7 "Haswell-E" HEDT platform? Not exactly.

First Intel Core M "Broadwell" Benchmarks Surface

Here are some of the first benchmarks of Intel's ambitious Core M processor, a performance-segment dual-core processor with a thermal envelope of just 4.5W, making it ideal for tablets, ultra-portables, and mainstream desktops. At IDF 2014, Intel showed off a 12.5-inch tablet running a Core M 5Y70 chip. An MCM of the CPU and PCH dies, the CPU die features two "Broadwell" 64-bit x86 cores, a large new graphics processor with 24 execution units and 192 stream engines, 4 MB of shared L3 cache, a dual-channel LPDDR3 memory controller, and a PCI-Express 3.0 root complex. The PCH die wires out the platform's various connectivity options.

The 12.5-inch Core M tablet was put through three tests, Cinebench R11.5, SunSpider 1.0.2, and 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited. With the multi-threaded CPU-intensive Cinebench R11.5, the Core M scores a respectable 17 FPS in the GL bench, with 2.48 pts CPU. That's about 60 percent the performance of a Core i7-870. Significantly higher than anything Atom, Pentium, or AMD E-Series. With SunSpider, the Core M put out a score of 142.8, under Internet Explorer 12 running under Windows 8.1. With 3DMark IceStorm Unlimited, the Core M sprung up a surprise - 50,985 points. That over double that of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, and faster than the IGPs AMD E-Series APUs ship with. Color us interested.

OCZ Vector 180 SSD PCB Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of OCZ Vector 180, the company's upcoming high-end consumer SSD in the 2.5-inch form-factor, with SATA 6 Gb/s interface. This drive is so durable and resistant to bad power, that OCZ is classifying it as both consumer-enthusiast and entry-enterprise (fit for servers). The drive features OCZ-Indilinx Barefoot 3 M00 series processor, with what appears to be LPDDR3 cache, and a power-outage mitigating logic. When it senses a power-outage or unstable power, the drive finishes all outstanding read/write operations under power from of a capacitor bank, and "parks" itself, to prevent data loss. It features Toshiba MLC NAND flash built on the 19 nm silicon fabrication process. The drive comes in capacities of up to 960 GB, and offers sequential transfer rates of up to 550 MB/s, and 4K random access throughput of up to 100,000 IOPS.

Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB Now on Pre-order

Earlier available only through the OEM channel, Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1 TB, the highest capacity mSATA SSD, is beginning to show up in retail channels, stateside. B&H Photo Video has the drive listed on pre-order for US $615. The drive is sought after in the production industry, particularly by users of digital video cameras that feature mSATA SSD slots, as it allows you to film lossless high-resolution video longer. It's also a potential favorite among Ultrabook users. The 840 EVO mSATA features Samsung's MEX controller, which embeds a triple-core ARM processor; and TLC NAND flash memory. It offers impressive sequential speeds of up to 540 MB/s reads, and up to 520 MB/s writes. The controller uses no over-provisioning, and relies on a 1 GB LPDDR3 DRAM as scratchpad. The other sizes the 840 EVO mSATA is available in, include 120 GB, 250 GB, and 500 GB.

SK Hynix Develops Industry-Leading 6 Gb LPDDR3 Memory

SK Hynix Inc. announced that it has developed 6 Gb (Gigabit) LPDDR3 (Low Power DDR3) using its 20 nm class process technology. This product is a high-performance mobile memory solution that features low power consumption and high-density, which is ideal for next generation premium mobile devices.

Four 6 Gb LPDDR3 products can be stacked up and realize a high density of maximum 3 GB (Gigabytes, 24 Gb) solution in a single package. In consequence, this package reduces the operating power as well as the standby current by 30% and the height of the package becomes thin compared to the Company's 4 Gb-based one. In addition, it works at ultra low-voltage of 1.2V thus it satisfies low power consumption which mobile applications demand.

SK Hynix Develops the World's First High Density 8 Gb LPDDR3

SK Hynix Inc. announced that it has developed the world's first 8 Gb(Gigabit) LPDDR3 (Low Power DDR3) using its advanced 20nm class process technology. This product is a top-performance mobile memory solution which features high density, ultrahigh speed and low power consumption.

The new products can be stacked up and realize a high density of maximum 4 GB(Gigabytes, 32 Gb) solution in a single package. In addition, the height of this package becomes dramatically thinner than the existing 4 Gb-based one. In terms of its high density and competitive package height, it is suitable for the newest trend of the mobile applications.

Samsung Now Producing 4 Gb LPDDR3 Mobile DRAM, Using 20nm-class Process Technology

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced the industry's first production of ultra-high-speed four gigabit (Gb) low power double data rate 3 (LPDDR3) mobile DRAM, which is being produced at a 20 nanometer (nm) class* process node. The new 4Gb LPDDR3 mobile DRAM enables performance levels comparable to the standard DRAM utilized in personal computers, making it an attractive solution for demanding multimedia-intensive features on next-generation mobile devices such as high-performance smartphones and tablets.

"By providing the most efficient next-generation mobile memory with a very large data capacity, we are now enabling OEMs to introduce even more innovative designs in the marketplace," said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Samsung Electronics. "Our 20nm-class four gigabit mobile DRAM provides another example of our ability to deliver well-differentiated, high-performance, high-density memory to customers in a timely manner."

Rambus Introduces R+ LPDDR3 Memory Architecture Solution

Rambus Inc., the innovative technology solutions company that brings invention to market, today announced its first LPDDR3 offering targeted at the mobile industry. In the Rambus R+ solution set, the R+ LPDDR3 memory architecture is fully compatible with industry standards while providing improved power and performance. This allows customers to differentiate their products in a cost-effective manner with improved time-to-market. Further helping improve design and development cycles, the R+ LPDDR3 is also available with Rambus' collaborative design and integration services.

The R+ LPDDR3 architecture includes both a controller and a DRAM interface and can reduce active memory system power by up to 25% and supports data rates of up to 3200 megabits per second (Mbps), which is double the performance of existing LPDDR3 technologies. These improvements to power efficiency and performance enable longer battery life and enhanced mobile device functionality for streaming HD video, gaming and data-intensive apps.

Leaked Slides Reveal Details on Intel Atom 'Bay Trail-T' Platform

As confirmed by some freshly-leaked slides, 2014 will see Intel bring some new guns to the fight with ARM, including Bay Trail-T, the successor of Clover Trail and the first Atom platform to take advantage of the 22 nm manufacturing process.

The star of Bay Trail-T is the Valleyview SoC which will feature four (out-of-order) Silvermont cores clocked at up to 2.1 GHz (delivering up to 60% higher performance than the Clover Trail chip), a two-channel LPDDR3 memory controller, an upgraded video decoder, support for resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 pixels, and a new GPU boasting DirectX 11 capabilities and offering up to a 3x performance boost over Clover Trail.

Devices based on Bay Trail-T are expected to have a standby battery life of 20 days and would last for 11 hours of continuous video playback, before needing to be charged.

Samsung Announces Production of Industry's First 30 nm-class 2GB LPDDR3 Mobile Memory

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a global leader in advanced semiconductor technology solutions, has begun mass producing the industry's first two gigabyte (GB), low power double-data-rate 3 (LPDDR3) memory, using 30 nanometer (nm) class* technology, for next-generation mobile devices.

Samsung started mass production of the industry's most advanced mobile DRAM (dynamic random access memory) chip, only 10 months after it began producing the industry's first 30nm-class based 2GB LPDDR2 memory in October, 2011. The new LPDDR3, which marks the first time a 2GB LPDDR3 density is available in one space-saving package, utilizes four LPDDR3 chips stacked together. LPDDR3 is needed for fast processors, high resolution displays and 3D graphics in tablets and smartphones.

SK Hynix Introduces DDR3L-Reduced Standby for Mobile Solutions

SK Hynix announced that it has introduced DDR3L-RS (Reduced Standby) DRAM for mobile solutions using its 20nm class technology. This product significantly reduces the standby power consumption.

By using cutting-edge 20nm class technology and efficiently managing standby current, this DDR3L-RS product reduces 70% of standby power compared to existing DDR3L DRAM while it maintains DDR3L performance. DDR3L DRAM which has recently gone mainstream works at 1.35V, while DDR3 DRAM does at 1.5V.
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