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ADATA XPG SX7100 Price-performance Sweetspot SSD Detailed

ADATA exhibited two new M.2 NVMe SSD with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, the XPG SX7100 and the SX8200. The SX7100 is positioned a notch above PCIe 3.0 x2 drives, such as the SX6000 series, and could be priced close to those drives. This drive succeeds the XPG SX7000 from last year. It combines 2nd generation (10 nm-class) 3D TLC NAND flash memory with Realtek RTS5760 controller, which supports NVMe 1.3 and HMB.

The drive comes in a variety of capacities ranging from 120 GB all the way up to 1920 GB, with 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB along the way. It offers sequential transfer rates of up to 2100 MB/s reads, with up to 1500 MB/s writes; both of which are a significant step up from the 1800/850 MB/s reads/writes of the SX7000. ADATA didn't reveal when it plans to launch SX7100, but that when it does, it will strike a price-performance sweet-spot that could drive buyers away from both PCIe x2 and pricey PCIe x4 options.

Silicon Power Intros AIC3C0P Industrial NVMe SSD

Silicon Power introduced the AIC3C0P, an industrial-grade PCI-Express NVMe SSD in the half-height add-in card form-factor, with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface. Available in capacities of 800 GB, 1.6 TB, and 3.2 TB, the drive features MLC NAND flash. It offers sequential transfer rates of up to 3200 MB/s reads, with up to 1850 MB/s writes, and 4K random access speeds of up to 750,000 IOPS reads, and up to 380,000 IOPS writes. Also on offer is power-loss protection, and native 256-bit AES data encryption. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ADATA Announces New Industrial-Grade, 3D TLC NAND SSDs

ADATA today launched the industrial-grade ADATA IM2P33F8 PCIe Gen3 x4 and IM2S3168 SATA 6 Gbps M.2 2280 solid state drives. Both drives employ durable and long-lasting 3D NAND flash, making them ideal upgrade options for a wide range of systems and installations.

The Adata IM2 series have 3D TLC NAND flash memory, end-to-end data protection, and variable capacities. The IM2P33F8 features a PCIe 3.0 controller with support for NVMe 1.3 and has three capacities (128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB), rated for up to 2,050 MB/s and 1,600 MB/s for sequential read and write speeds, respectively. The IM2S3168 SSD, on the other hand, has a SATA 6 GB/s controller which offers up to 540 MB/s and 510 MB/s in sequential read and write performance, respectively. The capacities of the SATA-based SSD are also more varied, offering 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB drives.

TDK Announces SNS1B M.2 and Embedded SSDs

TDK Corporation announces the sequential launch of the embedded SD ESRD4 series, the embedded SSD ESS1B series and the M.2 SSD Type 2280-D5-B-M SNS1B series. With the progress of IoT, the demand for micro storage for edge data is rapidly expanding. In particular, eMMC, which can be mounted on a surface, was expected to be potent, but the trend is shifting from eMMC to UFS, which is associated with the larger capacity of smartphones.

On the other hand, a reliable and appropriate storage capacity is required for I-IoT that usually uses a small capacity. TDK's embedded SD ESRD4 series is a SD card, equipped with a highly durable SLC/pSLC NAND flash that can be implemented on boards. It covers a wide range of capacities from 1GB to 32GB, suitable for storing a lightweight system such as Linux and RTOS.

Mushkin Announces New "Source" SSD Product Line

Mushkin Enhanced MFG, an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance computer products, is announcing the Mushkin Source Series, a new line of solid state drives (SSDs) for the retail, e-tail, system integrator, and channel markets. The Source Series features a powerful, yet cost-effective design suitable for a wide-range of applications.

"The market has never been more ready for SSDs," says Brian Flood, Director of Product Development for Mushkin Enhanced MFG. "With the ultimate balance of value, capacity, and performance, the Source Series leverages all of the great benefits expected from an SSD without breaking the bank."

Power Outage at Samsung NAND Flash Plant Cuts March Global Output by 3.5%

A power-outage on 9th March, at one of Samsung's NAND flash manufacturing plants located in Pyeongtaek, Korea, will have a notable impact on global NAND flash production. It reduced the global NAND flash output for the month of March 2018 by 3.5 percent, a number that isn't insignificant, and translates into non-volatile memory for millions of devices. It also trims Samsung's output by 11 percent for the month. SIlicon fabrication is a highly sensitive process, and the power-outage is said to have damaged up to 60,000 wafers of NAND flash chips.

The impact of this event on global prices of NAND flash memory, and devices based on it, remains to be seen. Any inflation could be nipped in the bud by Samsung and other NAND flash makers significantly increasing production through this quarter. Samsung will begin expansion of its NAND flash plant in Xi'an, China, which currently outputs 120,000 wafers per month, and is expected to put out 320,000 wafers a month after the expansion.

Micron To Release QLC NAND-Based Drives in 2018 to the Server Environment

Micron has announced that they will be introducing QLC (Quad Level Cell) NAND-based, own brand drives for the server environment this year. The new QLC drives are expected to boost maximum storage density (and price per GB) closer to that of mechanical HDDs, which is why Micron is positioning drives based on this memory technology as data center-class SSDs for the nearline storage market. The company is positioning these drives as replacement options for 7,200 RPM HDDs for workloads that require heavy reads of stored information - thus offsetting QLC NAND's lower endurance when it comes to available maximum writes on the drives' cells.

It's a known trade-off when it comes to the NAND world: higher amounts of bits per cell to represent information means that there must be much increased accuracy when it comes to reading a given cell's voltage state. While SLC NAND only tracks two voltage states, MLC (2-bits per cell) tracks four voltage states, TLC doubles that to eight voltage states, and QLC doubles the ante again for a maximum 16 voltage states, where each voltage state represents data on the cell. Of course, with repeat writes and voltage changes, accuracy and capacity for the cell to maintain its given voltage tend to drop, which leads to incorrect information and thus corrupted data or those cells to be rendered inoperative. This is one of the reasons for manufacturers to include overprovisioning in their NAND-based solutions.

Silicon Power Announces Its First PCIe Solid State Drives

Silicon Power (SP), a leader in performance memory solutions, today released the P32A80 and P32A85 PCIe Solid State Drives, a pair of leading high-performance and long-lasting devices in an already robust pool of SSDs.

For the New Creators Starting Out
The highly functional P32A80 and P32A85 are the ideal SSD solutions for high-end systems that are ready for a new level of performance and responsiveness. SP launches its first ever PCIe SSD, with designers in mind looking for large image rendering and intensive graphic editing capabilities, enterprises demanding high speed file transfer, fast boot-ups, and launches, and also musicians needing high volume recording and music library loading performance.

Lesson from the Crypto/DRAM Plagues: Build Future-Proof

As someone who does not mine crypto-currency, loves fast computers, and gaming on them, I find the current crypto-currency mining craze using graphics cards nothing short of a plague. It's like war broke out, and your government took away all the things you love from the market. All difficult times teach valuable lessons, and in this case, it is "Save up and build future-proof."

When NVIDIA launched its "Pascal" GPU architecture way back in Summer 2016, and AMD followed up, as a user of 2x GeForce GTX 970 SLI, I did not feel the need to upgrade anything, and planned to skip the Pascal/Polaris/Vega generation, and only upgrade when "Volta" or "Navi" offered something interesting. My pair of GTX 970 cards are backed by a Core i7-4770K processor, and 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3-1866 memory, both of which were considered high-end when I bought them, around 2014-15.

Throughout 2016, my GTX 970 pair ate AAA titles for breakfast. With NVIDIA investing on advancing SLI with the new SLI-HB, and DirectX 12 promising a mixed multi-GPU utopia, I had calculated a rather rosy future for my cards (at least to the point where NVIDIA would keep adding SLI profiles for newer games for my cards to chew through). What I didn't see coming was the inflection point between the decline of multi-GPU and crypto-plague eating away availability of high-end graphics cards at sane prices. That is where we are today.

Samsung 860 EVO SSD Makes an Appearance

Hot on the heels of Samsung updating its website with its next performance-segment SSD 860 Pro series, with its range-topping 4 TB variant, a similar pre-launch website update revealed the company's next mainstream SATA SSD, the 860 EVO. The drive will be available in three form-factors, 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch, M.2-2280, and mSATA; all with SATA 6 Gbps interface. The 2.5-inch version comes in 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB variants; while the M.2-2280 version comes in just 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB variants; and the mSATA version in 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB variants. The drives combine Samsung's latest generation 3D VNAND flash memory built in the 10 nm-class sliicon fabrication process, with an updated controller and refined firmware.

The 860 EVO offers sequential transfer rates of up to 550 MB/s, with up to 520 MB/s sequential writes, up to 97,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 88,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The new-generation flash is rated for "8 times higher" endurance than the 850 EVO series; with up to 2,400 TBW. Samsung is reinforcing its faith in the drive by backing it with 5-year warranties. The company is introducing the new TurboWrite feature, which is a user-configurable SLC cache. You can set anywhere between 12 GB to 72 GB of the NAND flash to function as SLC, so the controller can juggle hot data in and out of it, for improved performance, using the Samsung Magician software.

Mushkin Triactor 3DX and 3DL SATA SSDs Detailed

Mushkin updated its Triactor line of mainstream SATA SSDs with the new Triactor 3DX and 3DL. The "3D" symbolizes 3D NAND flash, in this case, 3D TLC NAND flash, mated to a Silicon Motion SM2258 controller. The drive comes in sizes of 120 GB, 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB. It offers sequential transfer rates of up to 565 MB/s reads, with up to 530 MB/s writes, and 4K random access performance of up to 100,000/91,000 IOPS (read/write). The Triactor 3DX is built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, while the Triactor 3DL is built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, with SATA 6 Gbps interface.

ADATA Shows Off XPG SX8200 and IM2P33F8 M.2 NVMe 1.3 SSDs

ADATA showed off its latest M.2 NVMe SSDs that support the latest NVMe 1.3 specification, and are based on some of the newer generation controllers, beginning with the XPG SX8200. This drive combines Silicon Motion SM2262 controller with 3D TLC NAND flash memory, and comes in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB. The drive offers sequential transfer rates of up to 3200 MB/s reads, with up to 1700 MB/s writes; and features SLC caching, an LPDC ECC engine, and an internal RAID engine.

The ADATA XPG SX8200 is designed to succeed the XPG SX8000, which is second-fiddle to the company's fastest XPG SX9000-series, and competes with the likes of Samsung 960 EVO series. The ADATA IM2P33F8 implements Silicon Motion SM2263XT controller, which is DRAM-less and has just four flash channels. The drive offers sequential speeds of up to 2400 MB/s reads, with up to 1700 MB/s writes; and comes in capacities of 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB.

HyperX Savage EXO External SSD Pictured

Kingston showed off its HyperX Savage EXO external SSD, targeted at notebook gamers, and game console users, so you could easily swap out game install folders of multiple games on the fly. Built in a compact, yet rugged polycarbonate chassis, the drive comes in capacities of 480 GB and 960 GB, implementing 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The drive takes advantage of USB 3.1 gen 2 (10 Gbps) interface, offering sequential transfer rates of up to 490 MB/s reads, and up to 480 MB/s writes (something not possible with USB 3.1 gen 1, due to interface overhead). Both type-A and type-C cables come included with the drive, a single cable handles both power and host-connectivity.

Toshiba Unveils RC100 Series M.2 NVMe SSDs

Toshiba Memory America, Inc. (TMA), the U.S.-based subsidiary of Toshiba Memory Corporation, will be highlighting the use of its industry-leading BiCS FLASH 3D memory in several applications - including its new lineup of NVMe SSDs, the RC100 Series.

At CES, TMA is collaborating with its customers and technology partners to take on the future - together. Toshiba was the first company in the world[1] to announce 3D flash memory technology, which effectively addresses the processing, storage and management of the growing volume of data generated worldwide. Recent announcements see the company continuing to lead the industry forward, including the introduction of a 96-layer 512Gb die; the debut of the industry's first[2] flash memory device with quadruple-level cell (QLC) technology; and the addition of Through Silicon Via (TSV) technology. Already enabling the enterprise, data center, PC and mobile applications of today, TMA's BiCS FLASH has paved the way for the applications of tomorrow. In everything from artificial intelligence and virtual reality to a growing number of automotive applications (such as infotainment), high performance computing and the ever-expanding "internet of things," storage density needs will climb higher and higher - and BiCS FLASH was designed with this in mind.

SilverStone Intros TP02-M2 Heatsink for M.2 SSDs

SilverStone rolled out the TP02-M2, a heatsink for 80 mm-long M.2 SSDs (M.2-2280). This chunky aluminium heatsink is 1 cm tall, and weighs a little over 16 g. In addition to a 3 g-ish adhesive thermal pad, it would have added close to 20 g of weight onto the various soldered components of your drive; but SilverStone is clever enough to include two silicone bands that strap the heatsink onto the drive, offloading some of that weight. The heatsink was tested by its designers to significantly lower temperatures of NAND flash chips and controllers, which pose performance penalties on faster NVMe SSDs. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Toshiba Unveils Embedded NAND Flash Memory Products for Automotive Applications

Toshiba Memory Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today announced that it has begun shipping samples of embedded NAND flash memory products for automotive applications that are compliant with JEDEC UFS version 2.1. The new products meet AEC-Q100 Grade2 requirements and support a wide temperature range of -40°C to +105°C, offering the enhanced reliability capabilities that are required by increasingly complex automotive applications. The line-up meets a broad range of applications requirements with five different capacities: 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB.

The new products are embedded NAND flash memory products that integrate NAND chips fabricated with 15 nm process technology and a controller in a single package. Storage requirements for automotive applications continue to increase as systems including automotive information & entertainment systems and ADAS become more sophisticated, and UFS supports their high performance and density needs. The addition of automotive UFS expands Toshiba Memory Corporation's line-up of embedded NAND flash memory products for automotive applications, which currently includes automotive e-MMC products. Utilizing the UFS interface allows the new products to achieve sequential read of 850 MB/s and random read of 50,000 IOPS, which are approximately 2.7 times and 7.1 times faster than their current e-MMC counterparts, respectively.

NAND Flash Supply to Improve in 1Q18

DigiTimes, quoting industry sources, reports that NAND flash supply should see improvements from its 4Q17 state in 2018. This likely doesn't come as much of a surprise - 2017 has been a sort of "squeeze" year for NAND and DDR memory manufacturing, with companies increasing production without committing to fully satisfy demand, which in turn translates to longer term higher pricing of memory. Still, those tentative increases to production capabilities should begin to release the memory pricing squeeze during 1Q18, with ASP (average selling price) coming down.

The increase in production and supply doesn't come solely from factory floor expansions, however; there's also been reports of increased yields of 3D NAND fabrication technologies, which should also increase availability in the best way possible for manufacturers.

LiteOn Intros MUX Series M.2 NVMe SSDs with Toshiba BiCS3 Flash

LiteOn today introduced the MUX line of "entry-level" M.2 PCI-Express SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor. Available in 128 GB and 256 GB capacities, the drives feature PCI-Express 3.0 x2 host interface, and take advantage of the NVMe protocol. They combine Phison PS5008-E8 controllers with Toshiba BiCS3 3D-TLC NAND flash memory.

The 128 GB variant offers sequential transfer rates of up to 1500 MB/s reads, with up to 450 MB/s writes; up to 91,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 110,000 IOPS 4K random writes; while the 256 GB variant is slightly faster, offering up to 1600 MB/s sequential reads, up to 850 MB/s sequential writes, up to 145,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 140,000 IOPS 4K random writes. Both variants are backed by 3-year warranties.

Samsung 860 Evo SSD Spotted In SATA-IO Listing

The Samsung 850 EVO SSD has been in the market for almost three years now. In what seems to be an eternity in tech years the 850 EVO SSD, sporting the 3D NAND flash memory, has held its own in the consumer space. Back when it was released, the 850 EVO SSD heralded a new generation of price and performance combination that established it in the high end enthusiast market. With sequential read speeds of up to 550 MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 520 MB/s, 4 KB Random Read of up to 100,000 IOPS and 4KB Random Write of up to 90,000 IOPS, the 850 EVO solidified and marked a new era of SSD computing.

But now it looks like the 860 EVO will take over where the 850 EVO left off. The 860 EVO SSD has been spotted in the database of the Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO) in the integrators listing as having passed interoperability. The 860 comes in variants of 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB and 4 TB SATA III in a 2.5-inch 7 mm form factor with support for Native Command Queuing (NCQ), ASR, SSP, IPMh, 3 Gb/s and 6 Gb/s transfer speeds. The 250GB drive is labeled under MZ7LH250**** with the following, 500****, 1T0****, 2T0**** marked respectively. No announcement has been made by Samsung.

Intel Product Launch Schedule till Mid-2018 Leaked

Intel is on the verge of launching its 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processor family with six SKUs, and its top-tier Z370 Express chipset, early next month. Those looking for cheaper motherboards and don't intend on overclocking their processor, will have to wait until the first quarter of 2018, with the company confirming Q1-2018 as the launch window of three of its client-desktop chipsets for 8th generation Core processors, in a leaked Desktop outlook slide, scored by GamersNexus.

Among the new desktop chipsets launched will be the H370 Express, B360 Express, and the H310 Express. The H370 Express offers essentially the same platform connectivity as the Z370 Express, minus CPU overclocking and NVIDIA SLI certification. The B360 Express has a slimmer connectivity loadout, and lacks SLI support, but its predecessors have been generally preferred by gamers wanting to build single-GPU rigs with CPUs running at stock speeds, which is why major motherboard brands have built gamer-centric motherboards on B-series chipsets. The H310 chipset has the lightest connectivity, and is designed to power entry-level motherboards.

Intel's First 10 nm Chips to the Market are 64-layer 3D NAND

Non-volatile memory often has the first pick of a new silicon fabrication process, as it is a low-risk development. A NAND flash chip is essentially a sea of transistors, with a fraction of R&D cost of something as specialized as a CPU die. It should come as no surprise, then, that the first chips to be built on Intel's swanky new 10 nanometer fabs will be a 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory, the first of its kind for data center applications.

With its 10 nm process, Intel is introducing FinFET Hyper Scaling, Intel will increase transistor densities by 2.7 times over the kind of densities one would traditionally expect from 10 nm. This lets the company scale up NAND flash storage densities by just that much more. The first 10 nm 64-layer 3D NAND flash chips will have high data densities, while at the same time, Intel will be able to push low volumes, characteristic of a new process. This explains why the first SSDs built with these chips are targeted at data-centers, so fairly expensive, high-capacity SSDs can be pushed to customers that can afford them.

Colorful Announces the iGame CN600 and CP600 SSDs

Colorful Technology Company Limited, a leading manufacturer of PC hardware, has announced the introduction of three new PCIE SSD models and are the world's first to feature the latest SiliconMotion controller 2262/2263/2263XTL: announcing the COLORFUL CN600 DRAM-less Series, CN600 DRAM series and CP600 iGame Series. All of the new SSDs will be available in volumes of 240GB up to 2TB.

"Although COLORFUL's SSD product lines were just released 3 years ago, thanks to the partnership between SiliconMotion and NAND flash vendors, COLORFUL's SSD products now hold the distinction of being in the top 3 in terms of market share in China. COLORFUL is going to build a storage brand in the future and this new PCIe Series SSD launching today will be the start." - Mr. Jerry Tsao, DGM of COLORFUL Storage talking about the release of the new storage products in a conference.

SanDisk Initiates New Arbitration Proceedings Against Toshiba In the ICC

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that several of its SanDisk subsidiaries have filed an additional Request for Arbitration with the ICC International Court of Arbitration related to three NAND flash-memory joint ventures ("JVs") operated with Toshiba Corporation ("Toshiba").

On Aug. 3, 2017, Toshiba announced that it would unilaterally invest in manufacturing equipment for the Fab 6 clean room at the JV operations in Yokkaichi, Japan. The arbitration demand seeks, among other things, a permanent injunction preventing Toshiba from making unilateral investments in manufacturing equipment for Fab 6 without first giving SanDisk the opportunity to make a comparable investment in expansions and conversions of JV capacity for BiCS 3D NAND flash memory.

Western Digital commented: It is unfortunate that SanDisk is forced to initiate binding arbitration to remedy Toshiba's retaliatory breach of the JV agreement entered into by both SanDisk and Toshiba.

WD Comments on Toshiba's Statement Regarding NAND Flash-Memory JV

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today commented on Toshiba Corporation's ("Toshiba") statement regarding the transfer of its interests in its NAND flash-memory joint ventures operated with Western Digital's SanDisk subsidiaries ("JVs"):

"We are disappointed that Toshiba would take this action despite Western Digital's tireless efforts to reach a resolution that is in the best interests of all stakeholders. Throughout our ongoing dialogue with Toshiba, we have been flexible, constructive and have submitted numerous proposals to specifically address Toshiba's stated concerns. Our goal has been - and remains - to reach a mutually beneficial outcome that satisfies the needs of Toshiba and its stakeholders, and most importantly, ensures the longevity and continued success of the JVs.

Furthermore, it is surprising that Toshiba would continue to pursue a transaction with a consortium led by Korea-based SK Hynix Inc. and Bain Capital Japan without SanDisk's consent, as the language in the relevant JV agreements is unambiguous, and multiple courts have ruled in favor of protecting SanDisk's contractual rights. We remain confident in our ability to protect our JV interests and consent rights."

Team Group Launches L5 LITE-3D Series SSD

Targeting consumer's growing demand for computer storage capacity and higher performance, the world's leading memory brand, Team Group today announces the launch of the L5 LITE-3D SSD with all new 3D NAND technology. The latest generation of 3D NAND flash memory has overcome the technical barrier of 2D NAND. Featuring great durability and low energy consumption, it has become the mainstream memory of choice for the latest generation, enhancing overall capacity of solid state drives along with performance and reliability. It not only provides better performance and endurance, but also breaks through the technical and capacity limitations of planar chips.

The L5 LITE-3D solid state drive is 4 times faster than traditional hard drives. Its excellent performance and read/write speed not only allow fast boot/shutdown time, but also speeds up the response time of all application, so consumers can enjoy the high speed performance immediately after the upgrade. It is lightweight and has an industry-standard 2.5-inch form factor and is only 7 mm in thickness, making it best suited for Ultrabooks on the market. Whether it is for a laptop or desktop, the upgrade can be done quickly. It uses a SATA III 6Gbps interface and capacities are available in 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, etc. The read speed performance is above 470 MB/s which offers the best performance-to-price ratio in the market right now.
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