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ADATA XPG Unveils SPECTRIX D41 TUF Gaming Edition DDR4 RGB Memory

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today announces the launch of the XPG SPECTRIX D41 TUF Gaming Edition DDR4 RGB memory module. The special edition memory module is TUF Gaming Alliance-certified, which means it has passed rigorous testing to meet the stringent standards of the alliance. While this memory module offers the same great performance and dazzling programmable RGB lighting as the original model, it sports a more combative look via its black heat spreaders with yellow trimming.

Intel "Cascade Lake" Xeon Scalable Chips to Support 3.84 TB of RAM per Socket

Intel is giving finishing touches to a new wave of Xeon Scalable processors based on its new "Cascade Lake" silicon. One of its first parts is a 28-core chip with a 6-channel DDR4 memory interface, support for 3 DIMMs per channel, resulting in 18 DIMM slots per socket. Its integrated memory controllers support a theoretical maximum of 3.84 TB of memory. The best part? The memory needn't be DRAM-based.

With its next-generation of enterprise processors, Intel is introducing support for Optane Persistent Memory. This 3D X-point based memory module has a performance footprint between NAND flash SSDs and volatile DRAM; while being close enough to the latter to work as primary memory. Its USP is persistence - the ability to not lose data after power loss or reboot; allowing large data centers to quickly power down/up nodes in response to load, without wasting several dozen minutes in repopulating DRAM with data from a hibernation image. Optane Persistent DIMMs come in capacities of up to 512 GB. This is simply 512 GB of 3D X-point memory wired to a special on-DIMM controller that interfaces with standardized DDR4 interface.

Micron Ready With 96-Layer Flash & 1Y nm DRAM in 2H 2018

In their recent earnings call, Micron commented that they have 96-layer 3D NAND technology on track for volume shipments in the second half of 2018. Most of today's SSDs typically use 32-layer technology, with 64-layer flash chips used in some recent releases like the Crucial MX500. 96-layer is the third generation of 3D NAND and increases storage capacity per chip even further which allows smaller and more energy efficient mobile devices to be built. Of course it will be cheaper too, compared to current-generation 64 layer NAND, which should bring SSD pricing down even more, and of course generally help pricing of consumer products which use flash memory.

The second important note from the presentation is that Micron expects 1X nm (18 nm) DRAM production to exceed that of previous generations before the end of this year. Their next-generation 1Y nm (15/16 nm) DRAM is on track to begin production shipments in the second half of 2018, too. As they noted in a previous event, their product and process roadmap for DRAM 1z looks solid and 1-alpha development programs already under way.

Samsung & SK Hynix 18 Nanometer DRAM Yields Plagued By Technical Problems

Digitimes reports that Korean memory manufacturers Hynix and Samsung have both been hit by unstable yield rates for their 18 nm server DRAM production.

While the yields are claimed to be sufficient for notebook and desktop PC production, they are not good enough for server memory, which has higher quality requirements. Due to the shortage, Chinese enterprises like Alibaba, Huawei, Lenovo and Tencent are now switching to use 20 nanometer DRAM for their servers, which is in better supply. Other vendors have even requested that no more 18 nm chips are shipped by these Korean suppliers, in a bid to improve quality, which might take several months, but shouldn't have a significant impact on overall DRAM prices.

Apacer's PANTHER RAGE DDR4 RGB Will Glow Away the Competition

For enthusiastic gamers and modders, powerful gear is a must. And after winning over the professional gaming crowd, Apacer is bringing some colorful bling to DRAM. Since its last incarnation, PANTHER RAGE DDR4 has evolved from single-light LED to splashy RGB, with its bold new color in Gold. Apacer is going to show that the new gear is definitely worth the wait.

By implementing the newly developed hardware architecture to enhance the RGB controller, PANTHER RAGE DDR4 RGB has improved the performance by 200%. It also seamlessly integrates with the latest ASUS Aura Sync software which is popular among gamers, and allows users to select various patterns based on their preference. On top of that, it is compatible with the latest platform by Intel and AMD.

ADATA XPG SPECTRIX D80 RGB Memory Module with Liquid Nitrogen Cooling Hits 5531 MHz Mark

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, announces that it has overclocked its XPG SPECTRIX D80 RGB DDR4 memory module to 5531 MHz in a liquid-nitrogen-cooled configuration. The milestone was achieved through the joint effort of ADATA's XPG team and MSI's OC team. The result was confirmed by HWBot, and reaffirms ADATA's strong R&D capabilities and the outstanding performance offered by the XPG SPECTRIX D80 RGB memory module.

XPG SPECTRIX D80 DDR4 RGB is the world's first RGB DDR4 memory with a hybrid liquid-air cooling system. Utilizing the combination of a liquid heatsink, an aluminum heatsink, and thermally conductive materials on the PCB, the SPECTRIX D80 offers comprehensive thermal cooling capabilities and delivers outstanding performance.

QNAP Introduces New TVS-882BR-RDX NAS Models

QNAP Systems, Inc. today unveiled new TVS-882BR RDX models (including the TVS-882BR-RDX and TVS-882BRT3-RDX) that integrates the Tandberg RDX QuikStor internal SATA 5.25-inch docking station (8813-RDX) for installing removable and portable RDX hard disk cartridges. Compared to standard external hard drives, the Tandberg RDX cartridge features a rugged dust-proof design that protects data for a longer period of time and allows users to easily transfer data with the cartridges.

"QNAP constantly integrates partner backup solutions to our existing NAS solutions. By supporting RDX hard disk backup, the new TVS-882BR RDX models allows users to enjoy longer data protection and the portable cartridges can easily be shared for data exchanging. Coupled with Media Asset Management (MAM) software and a wide range of backup solutions, the TVS-882BR helps improve work efficiency while also providing highly-scalable storage space and powerful hardware that meets the requirements from modern businesses and organizations" said Dan Lin, Product Manager of QNAP.

SK Hynix Announces Availability of 16 Gb DDR4 Chips, up to 256 GB DIMMs

Sk Hynix has added to its product catalog single-die 16 Gb DDR4 memory chips, which should enable a two-fold increase in maximum memory capacity per single DIMM. This allows SK Hynix to sell same-capacity chips with fewer memory semiconductor dies, due to the increase in storage density, and to increase maximum memory capacity at the same memory die populations as before. The benefits are lower power consumption (due to the reduced number of memory dies to power), and the possibility of putting together either dual-ranked 64 GB modules, quad-ranked 128 GB LRDIMMs and octal-ranked 256 GB LRDIMMs. That last part is the most important: theoretically, the maximum amount of memory on top Intel or AMD server platforms could double, which could enable up to 4 TB RAM in EPYC systems, for example. And as memory-hungry as big data applications have become, there's ever need for higher memory capacity.

SK Hynix's 16 Gb DDR4 chips are organized as 1Gx16 and 2Gx8 and supplied in FBGA96 and FBGA78 packages, respectively. Current 16 Gb density speeds stand at DDR4-2133 CL15 or DDR4-2400 CL17 modes at 1.2 V. SK Hynix plans increase the available frequencies in the third quarter of this year, adding DDR4-2666 CL19 to the lineup.

The Balloon Falls: Memory Chip Price Decrease in Q4 2017 Prompts Investor Fear

Reuters reports that a sudden (if ridiculous) 5% drop in memory chip prices in Q4 2017 has brought revenue expectations and investors' profit measurements to a teetering halt. 5% may not look like much - it certainly isn't much when we look at the historic price increases that almost doubled the cost of DDR4 memory kits, as you can see in the PC Part Picker chart below. This memory module price chart doesn't include the 5% drop yet, probably because it takes time for memory chip pricing to materialize in end-user module pricing. But for investors, it's like a spark in a paper archive - it could signal an impending price decrease that would push all profit estimates out the window.

This 5% drop in pricing has prompted industry analysts to review their profit estimates for 2018, and expect that the memory industry's growth rate will fall by more than half this year to 30 percent. You read that right - investors are scared because growth rates will be 30 percent instead of 60 percent. Oh the joys of inflated pricing, and slower-than-usual ramp-up to keep demand higher than supply. The joys of economic capitalism, where prices for consumers go up, and an industries' value skyrockets by more than 70$ in a single year (2017).

Micron Analyses 2017, Looks at the Future of Memory Business

It was a banner year for graphics, both in terms of market strength and technology advancements. Gaming, virtual reality, crypto mining, and artificial intelligence fueled demand for GPUs in 2017. The market responded with a wide array of products: high-performance discrete PC graphics cards that let gamers run multiple 4K displays; game consoles and VR headsets; and workstation-class GPUs that can build the stunning effects we have all come to expect. And since these products are full of our GDDR5 or G5X memory, it was an exciting year for Micron's graphics team too. We had a record-breaking year in GDDR5 shipments and further solidified Micron's industry leadership in graphics memory with the launch of our 12 Gb/s G5X, the highest-performance mass production GDDR memory.

Ultrafast Magnetic Reversal Leads the Way for Speedy, Energy-Efficient Memory

Researchers at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside have developed a new, ultrafast method for electrically controlling magnetism in certain metals, a breakthrough that could lead to greatly increased performance and more energy-efficient computer memory and processing technologies. The findings of the group, led by Berkeley electrical engineering and computer sciences (EECS) professor Jeffrey Bokor, are published in a pair of articles in the journals Science Advances (Vol. 3, No. 49, Nov. 3, 2017) and Applied Physics Letters (Vol. III, No. 4, July 24, 2017).

Computers use different kinds of memory technologies to store data. Long-term memory, typically a hard disk or flash drive, needs to be dense in order to store as much data as possible. But the central processing unit (CPU) - the hardware that enables computers to compute - requires its own memory for short-term storage of information while operations are executed. Random Access Memory (RAM) is one example of such short-term memory.

TrendForce Reports 4.6% Sequential Monthly Gain for ACP of PC DRAM Modules

DRAM prices began to rise in the second half of 2016 and have maintained a strong upward momentum through the first half of 2017, according to data from DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce. The average contract price of PC DRAM modules rose by nearly 40% sequentially in the first quarter to US$24 and then by more than 10% sequentially in the second quarter to US$27. Furthermore, the average contract price of PC DRAM modules increased by about 4.6% between this June and July. DRAMeXchange's price forecast for this year's second half indicates and steady and incremental gains as the general trend in the DRAM market.

AMD RX Vega 56 Benchmarks Leaked - An (Unverified) GTX 1070 Killer

TweakTown has put forth an article wherein they claim to have received info from industry insiders regarding the upcoming Vega 56's performance. Remember that Vega 56 is the slightly cut-down version of the flagship Vega 64, counting with 56 next-generation compute units (NGCUs) instead of Vega 64's, well, 64. This means that while the Vega 64 has the full complement of 4,096 Stream processors, 256 TMUs, 64 ROPs, and a 2048-bit wide 8 GB HBM2 memory pool offering 484 GB/s of bandwidth, Vega 56 makes do with 3,548 Stream processors,192 TMUs, 64 ROPs, the same 8 GB of HBM2 memory and a slightly lower memory bandwidth at 410 GB/s.

The Vega 56 has been announced to retail for about $399, or $499 with one of AMD's new (famous or infamous, depends on your mileage) Radeon Packs. The RX Vega 56 card was running on a system configured with an Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.2GHz, 16 GB of DDR4-3000 MHz RAM, and Windows 10 at 2560 x 1440 resolution.

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

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

MIT, Stanford Partner Towards Making CPU-Memory BUSes Obsolete

Graphene has been hailed for some time now as the next natural successor to silicon, today's most used medium for semiconductor technology. However, even before such more exotic solutions to current semiconductor technology are employed (and we are still way off that future, at least when it comes to mass production), engineers and researchers seem to be increasing their focus in one specific part of computing: internal communication between components.

Typically, communication between a computer's Central Processing Unit (CPU) and a system's memory (usually DRAM) have occurred through a bus, which is essentially a communication highway between data stored in the DRAM, and the data that the CPU needs to process/has just finished processing. The fastest CPU and RAM is still only as fast as the bus, and recent workloads have been increasing the amount of data to be processed (and thus transferred) by orders of magnitude. As such, engineers have been trying to figure out ways of increasing communication speed between the CPU and the memory subsystem, as it is looking increasingly likely that the next bottlenecks in HPC will come not through lack of CPU speed or memory throughput, but from a bottleneck in communication between those two.

No Relief for DRAM and NAND Shortages in Sight; Considerable Supply Only in 2018

DRAM prices have been high for quite some time now, due to a general increased demand over a slowly improving supply capability from manufacturers. Pricing of DRAM has been increasing (to the tune that if I wanted to double my memory capacity, I would have to pay double of what I paid a mere 11 months ago.) NAND pricing has been affected as well, with newer technologies such as 3D NAND not having a relevant impact on end user pricing as was expected, since tight supply and growing demand means process-level savings are dwarfed by the increasing prices on the balance of supply and demand.

Most of our woes can be traced back to high-end smartphones, which make use of up to 6 GB of RAM and have copious amounts of NAND memory. Now, reports are coming in that due to the iPhone 8's impending launch, supply is even tighter, with several firms being either unable to secure the amount of Ram they are looking for, or having to order in significant advance (futures speculation anyone?) Reuters is reporting that some clients have moved to 6-month supply agreements for their DRAM and NAND purchases, accepting higher prices than the customary quarterly or monthly deals, to make sure they get enough memory chips for their products.

Firefox 54 Released: Multi-process, Optimized Memory Footprint

The Mozilla Foundation has recently launched the latest version of their Firefox web browser. The foxiest web browser around, which lets you access all of those amazing websites (like TPU) now features increased support for multitasking through its multi-process technology. A result of the Electrolysis effort from Mozilla's part, which has spawned more than eight years of work, Firefox 54 applies the Goldilocks principle to browser design, straddling an approach between increased performance and acceptable memory usage.

As such, Firefox won't be like Chrome, where each process is responsible for a single tab and its content handling (and can therefore increase memory usage immensely, which has justified Chrome's fame as a memory hog), but will instead opt for a more streamlined approach. Open 10 different tabs with 10 sites in Chrome, and you'll have 10 different processes. Each of those processes has its own memory - with their own instance of the browser's engine. Au contraire, Firefox now creates up to 4 separate processes for web page content. This means that the first 4 tabs each use those 4 processes, and additional tabs run using threads within those processes, optimizing, as per Firefox, memory usage and performance.

Microsoft to Introduce Windows 10 Pro for Workstation PCs

Microsoft is seemingly going to introduce another version of their Windows 10 operating system. After introducing Windows 10 S earlier in the year, followed by the "Chinafinitive" Windows 10 China Government Edition, the company is seemingly responding to specific market demands of professionals and enterprises. The new Windows 10 Pro for Workstation PCs (which was first leaked by Microsoft itself through an erroneous upload to the Insider Program) will apparently come in two variants, a standard variant, and the N variant, which is built to comply with EU regulations.

The new Windows 10 Pro for Workstation PCs will introduce ReFS, the successor to the tried and true NTFS file system. The new ReFS is designed for fault-tolerance and is optimized for handling large data volume, including auto-correcting capabilities and backwards-compatibility with NTFS. Additionally, Microsoft is baking in SMB Direct protocol file sharing in Windows 10 Pro for Workstation which allows for high throughput, low latency and low CPU utilization when accessing network shares. It will also introduce support for systems with up to four CPUs (up from Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro dual CPU limit) and 6 TB of RAM.

Patriot Teases Upcoming Viper LED-Enabled DRAM Modules

Patriot took the opportunity to tease an upcoming line of LED-lighted DRAM modules. Details on these were extremely scarce (actually, nonexistent), which could mean that Patriot is either playing its cards extremely close to its chest, or that specifications haven't been finalized as of yet. However, it seems the final design for the modules is, and that's what Patriot was proud enough to show. However, I think it's a given that these are DDR4 modules.

I have to say I really like the design on these heat-spreaders; they're both understated and bold, which isn't that much of a frequent combination. Expect more details on these memory sticks to come in the coming months.

AMD Announces AGESA Update 1.0.0.6 - Supports up to 4000 MHz Memory Clocks

You've probably heard of AMD's AGESA updates by now - the firmware updates that are ironing out the remaining kinks in AMD's Ryzen platform, which really could have used a little more time in the oven before release. However, kinks have been disappearing, the platform has been maturing and evolving, and AMD has been working hard in improving the experience for consumers and enthusiasts alike. As a brief primer, AGESA is responsible for initializing AMD x86-64 processors during boot time, acting as something of a "nucleus" for the BIOS of your motherboard. Motherboard vendors take the core capabilities of AGESA updates and build on them with their own "secret sauce" to create the BIOS that ultimately populate your motherboard of choice. The process of cooking up BIOS updates built on the new AGESA will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but AMD's Robert Hallock says you should be seeing BIOSes based on this version halfway through the month of June - if your vendor isn't already providing a Beta version of some kind.

This new AGESA update code, version 1.0.0.6, should be just up the alley of enthusiasts, however, in that it adds a grand total of 26 new parameters for memory configuration, improving the compatibility and reliability of DRAM, especially for memory that does not follow the industry-standard JEDEC specifications (e.g. faster than 2667, manual overclocking, or XMP2 profiles). Below you'll find the 26 parameters that were introduced.

PC DRAM Pricing Increased 20% Sep-Oct 2016; Will Continue Rising in 2017 - TrendForce

DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, today reported that the average contract price of 4GB PC DRAM modules increased over 20% between September and October of 2016 (jumping from US$14.5 to US$17.5) as DRAM suppliers completed their fourth-quarter contract negotiations with first-tier PC-OEMs.

These increases come as the result of production capacity gradually shifting from PC-centric DRAM towards mobile and server DRAM, which have seen tremendous growths in demand. In fact, PC DRAM memory accounts for less than 20% of overall DRAM production. The already low inventories of branded device makers go hand in hand with higher-than-expected demand for DRAM-carrying products. And this higher demand comes after the PC DRAM market being severely undersupplied in the second half of 2016. The result: an across-the-board price upturn for all types of DRAM.

AMD's Radeon Memory Business at a Standstill

AMD's Radeon branded memory business appears to be at a standstill, with no new product launches since 2015, and Radeon memory products out of stock (or nearly out of stock) at key retailers across North America.

When AMD was asked if it was planning to exit the memory business altogether, a company spokesperson replied that the memory is still being sold but is "mostly distributed in Eastern Europe, only small quantities are diverted to North America."

G.SKILL Announces Revolutionary RGB Lighting DDR4 with Trident Z RGB Series

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is thrilled to announce the Trident Z RGB Series - the world's most revolutionary RGB lighting DDR4 memory kit. Requiring no additional power connections, this incredible feat of engineering bares pure RGB lighting across an uncovered full-length light bar on the award-winning Trident Z series heatspreader design.

By default, the Trident Z RGB will display a rainbow of colors in a wave-style lighting effect, illuminating any system with a myriad of hues. Further lighting effects and color customizations can be controlled and chosen through software, scheduled for a February 2017 release.

ZADAK511 Unveils Shield RGB Series - Cableless RGB DDR4 Modules and SSD

Remember Geil's EVO X? If you wanted some lighting phenomena going on inside your case with those DDR4 RAM modules, you'd also have to make do with unsightly cables, adding to the clutter of your chosen component holder. ZADAK511 has done away with those additional power cables, and now allows you to "pimp" your rig without them.

These two products were designed by the ZADAK Lab team, and ZADAK has developed a piece of software they named "ZArsenal" which allows the user to regulate the colors and lighting effects of both the memory modules and SSD, with a claimed nil performance impact on either. Details on the SSD refer only to its dual interfaces (SATAIII and USB 3.1, TYPE-C Gen2, updated from their Shield [sans RGB] series), while the memory kit's details are a little more scarce - we expect them to be on par with the companies' previously announced Shield line (sans RGB), which would mean at least DDR4-3000 speeds at timings of 16-18-18-38 (with 4 GB density modules) or the companies' top-of-the-line DDR4-4266 kit. No details on pricing for either of the products were given.

Resident Evil 7 for PC will support HDR and 4K, No Cross Saves for Steam

Japanese developer and publisher Capcom has publicized that the PC version of their anticipated Resident Evil 7 game will support up to 4K resolutions and HDR. Naturally HDR will remain dependent on being connected to a compatible TV or panel, whereas high resolution support could provide additional levels of image quality through the use of super sampling on screens that do not support such resolutions natively. It is said that HDR will complement the immersive experience, better enabling the game to deliver overwhelming fear and ultimate horror.

As previously revealed by Capcom, Resident Evil 7 will also support cross saves between the PC and Xbox One versions of the game, however this will only be possible if you purchase it for PC on the Windows Store. Resident Evil 7 is also available on Steam and this version will not support cross saving. Resident Evil 7 will be available for PC on the 25 January, 2017.
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