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Samsung's Z- SSD Featuring Z-NAND Makes a Physical Appearance

NAND has come here to stay, and it's market penetration still has a lot of leeway. Samsung, bar none the biggest and best player in the NAND field, is in a uniquely privileged position to develop new technologies and capitalize on them. Remember that Samsung has so many distinct product lines on which to monetize its advancements that any new investment is hardly a make it or break it affair.

Z-NAND is Samsung's answer to other developing technologies such as 3D XPoint, of which Intel has just announced the first commercial product. Z-NAND looks to stand at the intersection between NAND and DRAM, and is more of an evolution of the NAND design than it is a totally new technology (thus distancing itself from the likes of 3D XPoint.)

SilverStone Releases the TP01-M2 Thermal Pads for Your M.2 SSD

That some M.2 SSDs throttle their speeds because of increased operating temperatures has already been demonstrated. Some companies, like Plextor, have even launched M.2 SSDs with specifically-developed heatsinks to reduce operating temperatures and thus reduce performance degradation. Other companies, Like MSI, have started incorporating M.2 heatsinks on their motherboard design, looking to attract more customers on the prospect of increased SSD performance - though some say the merits of MSI's approach are debatable.

Now, SilverStone has announced a more cost-effective - and compatible - way of improving thermals of your M.2 SSD of choice, by introducing its TP01-M2 thermal pads. These pads are colored blue (because blue means cool, see?), and the company claims their usage on a Samsung SM951 SSD brought about improvements of around 15ºC in the operating temperatures, down to 71ºC from the 86ºC sans thermal pads. These go for around 5€ a pack, which comes with two 20 mm (W) x 100 mm (D), one with 0.5 mm thickness, and another with improved cooling capabilities but a greater 1.5 mm thickness.

Source: Silverstonetek

Microsoft Distances Itself from Intel - Announces ARM Cloud Server Platform

Microsoft is looking to reduce costs in its Azure cloud computing platforms for tasks like search, storage, machine learning and big data. And after having developed a version of Windows for servers that use ARM processors, in a joint work with Qualcomm and Cavium, Microsoft seems to also be looking forward to leave its dependency on Intel products as nothing but a memory. Microsoft's ARM server design, dubbed Project Olympus, looks to hardware innovations so as to reduce costs, boosting competitiveness and flexibility in regards to other big players in the cloud space, like Amazon and Alphabet. That the design is open source is also a boon to other businesses and Microsoft partners.


Though the design isn't "deployed into production yet (...) that is the next logical step," said Jason Zander, vice president of Microsoft's Azure cloud division. "This is a significant commitment on behalf of Microsoft. We wouldn't even bring something (...) if we didn't think this was a committed project and something that's part of our roadmap."

Oculus Faces Potential Legal Injunction Over Zenimax VR Code Used in its Products

Earlier this month, Zenimax was awarded $500m when a jury found that VR pioneer Oculus had violated a NDA and illegally used code from the game publisher. That may just be the beginning of the legal ramifications facing Oculus however, as Zenimax has just asked the court to block Oculus from using the code involved in the court case altogether, potentially blocking the sale of a good number of games utilizing the technology of the Oculus VR headset.

Oculus is appealing the case, and calls the prior ruling "legally flawed and factually unwarranted." To their credit, the court did agree that while Oculus had violated a non-disclosure agreement, it did not find that they had committed the larger crime of stealing trade secrets.

TrendForce Reports Global DRAM Revenue Jumped 18.2% Sequentially in Q4 2016

Peak season demand and surging prices for DRAM products across different applications resulted in an 18.2% sequential growth in the global DRAM revenue for the final quarter of 2016, reports DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce.

Smartphone shipments peaked in the fourth quarter on account of the traditional busy season. Chinese smartphone brands continued to post strong sales while Apple benefitted from the release of iPhone 7. "Rising demand for mobile DRAM kept squeezing the industry's production capacity for PC DRAM," said Avril Wu, research director of DRAMeXchange. "Contract prices of PC DRAM modules increased by more than 30% sequentially on average in the fourth quarter due to insufficient market supply. Server DRAM lagged behind PC and mobile DRAM in terms of price hike during the same period, but it is expected to catch up in the first quarter of this year."

NVM Express Elects Facebook and Toshiba to Board

NVM Express, Inc., the organization that developed the NVM Express specification for accessing solid-state drives (SSDs) on a PCI Express (PCIe) bus, today announced the results of its recent board elections. Elected to Promoter positions were Facebook, Micron, Microsoft, Samsung, Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital. Facebook and Toshiba are new to the Promoter level, and the others are incumbents. The election winners join existing Promoters Cisco, Dell EMC, Intel, Microsemi, NetApp and Oracle, whose current terms expire at the end of 2017.

Representatives from the 13 Promoter companies form the NVM Express, Inc. Board of Directors, which governs the organization, including setting strategic direction. All Contributor and Promoter member companies are eligible to run for Promoter positions, where there are elections each year for roughly half the positions.

"We're very pleased to welcome Toshiba and Facebook to the NVM Express, Inc. Board, to help shape the future direction of NVM Express technology and the organization," said Amber Huffman, NVM Express President. "In 2016, we marked major milestones, such as publishing the NVM Express over Fabrics specification. We look forward to publishing revision 1.3 in the first half of this year - with much more to come later in 2017."

AMD Files Patent Infringement Complaint Against LG, Vizio, Others

On January 24, 2017, AMD filed a complaint against several prominent tech companies, requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337. The basis for the complaint: some of these companies (namely, LG, MediaTek, VIZIO, and Sigma) unlawfully import into or sell inside the U.S. products which infringe on AMD's graphics intelectual property - namely, on U.S. Patent Nos. 7,633,506 (the '506 patent), 7,796,133 (the '133 patent) and 8,760,454 (the '454 patent) (collectively, the "asserted patents".

According to the complaint, these patents generally relate to architectures for graphics processing unit (GPU) circuitry. The '506 patent relates to "a graphics processing architecture that enables a large amount of graphics data to be rendered to a frame buffer". The '133 patent relates to specialized "texture" processing circuitry that is employed by GPUs. Lastly, the '454 patent relates to a "unified shader" hardware architecture for GPUs. The complaint specifically refers to various televisions and smartphones, specifically, towards the graphics processing systems within those televisions and smartphones - as infringing products.

Samsung Announces the Gaming-grade Notebook Odyssey

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today unveiled the award-winning Samsung Notebook Odyssey, a new portable gaming PC with high-power performance and dynamic display. Available in 17.3-inch and 15.6-inch models, the Samsung Notebook Odyssey packs power in a beautiful and innovative design with premium features to offer a premium gaming experience.

"The Samsung Notebook Odyssey was designed specifically with gamers in mind and is equipped with exclusive features to offer users one of the best gaming notebook available on the market," said YoungGyoo Choi, Senior Vice President of the PC Business Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. "Today, serious and even casual gamers seek computing devices that not only pack power for intense graphics-rich games but also feature a stylish and portable design. We're excited to expand our PC portfolio with a premium gaming solution featuring refinements in design, cutting-edge technology and enhanced gaming usability."

Samsung Unveils CH711 Curved Quantum-dot Monitor

At CES 2017, Samsung Electronics plans to demonstrate how it has stepped up its game in the entertainment monitor space with the unveiling of its new CH711 Quantum Dot Curved monitor. Additionally, Samsung will also showcase its recently launched CFG70 and CF791 Quantum Dot displays at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth #15006, Central Hall.

"Today's multimedia consumers have heightened expectations; they demand an immersive experience that makes them feel like they're part of the games they play and the content they view," said Andrew Sivori, Vice President, CE-IT Product Marketing at Samsung Electronics America. "Our new Quantum Dot Curved monitors offer brilliant design, richer color, and even deeper contrast than ever before."

Western Digital Corporation Renews Patent Cross-License Agreement with Samsung

Western Digital Corporation, a world leader in storage technologies and solutions, today announced that it has signed a definitive royalty-bearing agreement with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. to renew the cross-license of the two companies' semiconductor patent portfolios. The terms of the renewed agreement are retroactive to the end date of the prior agreement, which expired on August 14, 2016. The renewed agreement will run through December 31, 2024.

The agreement includes rights to each party's patents broadly covering multi-level cell flash memory and flash storage systems. The original agreement, which dates back to 1997 and had been renewed twice before, had permitted Samsung to use patented flash memory technologies invented by SanDisk, which Western Digital acquired in May 2016.

SSD Pricing to Surge on the Back of NAND Shortages - Stock Your SSD Needs

Business. Business never changes. Whether you're for Keynes or Hayek, some truths just can't be escaped: and the one based on the market tending to equilibrium between the forces of supply and demand is oft times almost akin to a law of physics - other times, not so much. This time, it appears as if the market forces are steering NAND prices through the roof. The causes? Varied, though you probably carry one of them in your pocket most of the time. We earlier reported surging prices in the DRAM market, spurred by the Note 7 fiasco and increased production of that smartphone's competitors (and Samsung's own products) to fill the gaping hole left by its forcible market removal. But not only by DRAM are smartphones powered - they also make use of NAND flash.

Microsoft Joins the Linux Foundation

On Wednesday, during its annual Connect(); developer event, Microsoft Corp. unveiled a series of products and partnerships that strengthen the company's Azure cloud platform for building intelligent, cross-platform apps and services. Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie detailed significant steps Microsoft is taking to empower the ecosystem by giving developers greater choice in the tools they use - including joining the Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member to better collaborate with the open source community, welcoming Google to the independent .NET Foundation, and working with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to enable .NET developers to build apps for more than 50 million Samsung devices worldwide.

Guthrie also demonstrated a preview of Visual Studio for Mac, which enables developers to write cloud, mobile and macOS apps on Apple's Mac operating system using the popular development environment; a preview of the next version of the company's flagship SQL Server database with support for Linux, Linux-based Docker containers and Windows-based environments; and a preview of Azure App Service on Linux with support for containers.

ASUS Begins Selling the ROG GT51 Desktop

ASUS has now begun selling their high-end ROG GT51 desktop. The system comes equipped with a factory-overclocked Intel Core i7 -6700K (@ 4.6 GHz) processor, The system comes equipped with two ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards running in SLI mode, 64 GB of DDR4-2800 memory (4×16 GB), two Samsung SM951 512 GB M.2 SSDs operating in RAID 0 mode and with a 1 TB HDD (7200 RPM). The system is configurable, with the end user being able to opt for faster memory, up to five 3.5"/2.5" HDDs or SSDs, different M.2 drives and so on. The fully configured ROG GT51 system costs $4999 and marks ASUS' entry on the market of high-performance desktop PCs.

G.Skill Announces the Fastest Trident Z DDR4 64GB (4x16GB) Kit

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is thrilled to announce DDR4 64 GB (4x 16 GB) memory kit at extreme speed of 3600 MHz CL17-19-19-39 1.35V. Featuring high performance Samsung 8 Gb ICs, this new memory kit is the fastest DDR4 64 GB(4x 16 GB) kit and will join G.SKILL's flagship Trident Z family.

With heavy content creation workloads and the complexity of modern PC games, the need for higher capacity memory kits is growing dramatically in the enthusiast PC community. The 3600 MHz 64 GB (4x 16 GB) kit provides an ultimate combination of capacity and speed, which makes it an ideal choice for building an extreme performance PC. The following screenshot shows rigorous test of the new memory kit, validated with the Intel Core i5-6600K processor and the ASUS Z170-DELUXE motherboard.

Samsung Details New Foundry Offerings at 14nm (LPU) and 10nm (LPU)

In an announcement that's sure to stir the foundry gods, Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, announced today that it is expanding its advanced foundry process technology offerings with the fourth-generation 14-nanometer (nm) process (14LPU) and the third-generation 10nm process (10LPU). The announcement comes as Samsung increases investment so as to meet the requirements of next generation products, ranging from mobile and consumer electronics (Snapdragon 830 and Samsung's own Exynos 8895 come to mind) to data centers and automotives.

Ben Suh, Senior Vice President of foundry marketing at Samsung Electronics, issued the following statement: "After we announced the industry's first 10nm mass production in mid-October, we have now also expanded our lineup with new foundry offerings, 14LPU and 10LPU. Samsung is very confident with our technology definitions that provide design advantages on an aggressive process with manufacturability considerations. We have received tremendous positive market feedback and are looking forward to expanding our leadership in the advanced process technology space."

Samsung Bundles "Watch_Dogs 2" with Select SSDs and Curved Gaming Monitors

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced an exclusive collaboration with Ubisoft, offering a free PC download of Watch_Dogs 2 with the purchase of qualifying Samsung solid state drives (SSDs) and its newest Curved Gaming Monitors. The partnership delivers gamers an incredible package for high-level gameplay.

"Samsung is dedicated to providing best-in-class technology to gamers, so we're excited to offer Ubisoft's highly anticipated Watch_Dogs 2 as an added value with our industry-leading SSDs and monitors," said Andrew Sivori, Vice President of CE-IT Marketing at Samsung Electronics America. "Our high-performance SSDs and stunning new monitors deliver an enhanced gaming experience, providing exceptional visuals and lag-free gameplay."

FinalWire Announces AIDA64 v5.80

Today FinalWire released a new stable update to the desktop editions of its popular system information software. AIDA64 v5.80 supports the latest Windows 10 builds and the most recent hardware components, including the AMD RX 400 series and NVIDIA's GTX 1050 GPUs.

As a new feature, it now allows users to define global hotkeys with which they can enable or disable the AIDA64 hardware monitoring panels or switch between multiple hardware information pages on external displays, even when AIDA64 is running in the background. Using these customized key combinations, PC enthusiasts can also start and stop saving temperature, voltage and power measurements as well as fan RPM readouts to a CSV or HTML log file. The developers have made AIDA64 v5.80 DPI aware so that all elements of its graphical user interface scale properly when the DPI zoom is active in Windows. In practice, this means that users will see no more blurry or incorrectly sized graphics or text on high-resolution screens as AIDA64 now looks crisp even on 4K and 8K LCD and OLED displays.

DOWNLOAD: FinalWire AIDA64 v5.80 Installer | FinalWire AIDA64 v5.80 ZIP Package

Samsung Announces World's First 8GB LPDDR4 Memory Package

Samsung Electronics, announced today that it is introducing the industry's first 8-gigabyte (GB) LPDDR4 (low power, double data rate 4) mobile DRAM package, which is expected to greatly improve mobile user experiences, especially for those using Ultra HD, large-screen devices. The 8GB mobile DRAM package utilizes four of the newest 16 gigabit (Gb) LPDDR4 memory chips and advanced 10-nanometer (nm)-class process technology.

"The advent of our powerful 8GB mobile DRAM solution will enable more capable next-generation, flagship mobile devices around the world," said Joo Sun Choi, executive vice president of Memory Sales and Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "We will continue to provide advanced memory solutions offering the highest values and leading-edge benefits to meet the escalating needs of devices having dual camera, 4K UHD and VR features."

Samsung 960 EVO M.2 SSDs Up for Pre-order

Cashing in on the popularity of its "EVO" brand extension in the client SSD space, Samsung this September announced the 960 EVO family of PCI-Express SSDs in the M.2 form-factor, supporting the NVMe protocol. The drives are up for pre-order on the company's US online store. The series is topped with the 1 TB variant, priced at USD $479.99, followed by the 500 GB variant priced at $249.99, and the 250 GB variant priced at $129.99.

All three variants target a price-per-GB value around the $0.50/GB mark, however, one has to note that these are PCI-Express drives. The cheapest 250 GB variant serves up sequential transfer speeds of up to 3200 MB/s reads, with up to 1500 MB/s writes; the 500 GB variant up to 1800 MB/s writes; and the 1 TB variant up to 1900 MB/s writes. All three drives feature 3D V-NAND flash memory by Samsung, while the controller takes advantage of PCI-Express gen 3.0 x4 interface over the M.2-2280 form-factor, taking advantage of the NVMe protocol.

Samsung Electronics Launches Quantum Dot Curved Gaming Monitor

Samsung Electronics today announced the global launch of its newest industry-leading gaming monitor. The CFG70 curved monitor, designed specifically for professional gamers, includes enhanced picture quality and player-friendly features for a truly immersive gaming experience. The display was first introduced at the Gamescom 2016 and IFA 2016 conferences.

As the industry's first curved gaming monitor to feature quantum dot technology, the CFG70 monitor (24- and 27-inch models) expresses brilliant and accurate colors across a 125 percent sRGB spectrum. This added luminance produces a 3,000:1 contrast ratio and amplifies previously-hidden gaming details in both light and dark settings. The monitor also employs an environmentally-safe, cadmium-free design.

Samsung Begins Mass-production of First SoC on 10-nanometer FinFET Node

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced that it has commenced mass production of System-on-Chip (SoC) products with 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET technology for which would make it first in the industry. Following the successful mass production of the industry's first FinFET mobile application processor (AP) in January, 2015, Samsung extends its leadership in delivering leading-edge process technology to the mass market with the latest offering.

"The industry's first mass production of 10 nm FinFET technology demonstrates our leadership in advanced process technology," said Jong Shik Yoon, Executive Vice President, Head of Foundry Business at Samsung Electronics. "We will continue our efforts to innovate scaling technologies and provide differentiated total solutions to our customers."

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Promote New High-Performance Interconnect

A group of leading technology companies today announced the Gen-Z Consortium, an industry alliance working to create and commercialize a new scalable computing interconnect and protocol. This flexible, high-performance memory semantic fabric provides a peer-to-peer interconnect that easily accesses large volumes of data while lowering costs and avoiding today's bottlenecks. The alliance members include AMD, ARM, Cavium Inc., Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IBM, IDT, Lenovo, Mellanox Technologies, Micron, Microsemi, Red Hat, Samsung, Seagate, SK hynix, Western Digital Corporation, and Xilinx.

Modern computer systems have been built around the assumption that storage is slow, persistent and reliable, while data in memory is fast but volatile. As new storage class memory technologies emerge that drive the convergence of storage and memory attributes, the programmatic and architectural assumptions that have worked in the past are no longer optimal. The challenges associated with explosive data growth, real-time application demands, the emergence of low latency storage class memory, and demand for rack scale resource pools require a new approach to data access.

Samsung Intros the ArtPC Pulse Premium Desktop

Samsung drawing inspiration from Apple on product design is not new. Its latest is a cylindrical desktop PC that bears semblance to the Apple Mac Pro. To be fair to Samsung, the Mac Pro is technically a multi-GPU ready workstation powered by Intel Xeon processors. The new ArtPC Pulse Premium Desktops from Samsung, on the other hand, are just that - Windows desktops. Measuring 5.5 inch x 5.5 inch x 10.7 inch, this desktop packs in some premium PC hardware, flash memory, and an integrated 360° speaker system by Harman Kardon attached to its body.

The ArtPC Pulse comes in two main variants, the base $1,199 model featuring Core i5-6400 processor, 8 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and 256 GB NVMe SSD storage; and a higher $1,599 variant featuring a Core i7-6700 processor, 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and a 1 TB HDD in addition to the 256 GB NVMe SSD. Both variants feature AMD Radeon RX 460 graphics with 2 GB of video-memory. Other connectivity includes 802.11ac WLAN, gigabit Ethernet, SDXC card reader, five USB 3.1 ports (including a type-C port), and HDMI 2.0b display output.

Team Group Announces T-Force Premium DDR4 Memory Series

The global gaming market is booting up dramatically, which will also widely increase the demand of high performance computer peripherals. Team Group has been continuously dedicated to satisfy the needs of our consumers in every aspect, and now it will integrate its gaming memory modules into T-Force product line which is specifically designed for people who pursuit extreme high speed and excellent performance. It is also the best and only choice for professional gamers as well as overclockers.

T-FORCE series line up with XTREEM, DARK, VULCAN, and NIGHT HAWK with breathing lights (LED) as sharp as hawk eyes, and the industry's first patented gaming combo package with T-FORCE DARK PRO and DARK 2.5" SSD inside. Leading the trend of high speed gaming, T-FORCE brings you the latest and top notch high speed experience. Whether it's the memory with ultimate performance or the LED memory with a cool look, they are definitely the best choices for gamers and modders.

Global PCle SSD Market to Grow 33.24% by 2020

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global PCle SSD Market 2016-2020" report to their offering. The report forecast the global peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) SSD market to grow at a CAGR of 33.24% during the period 2016-2020. The report has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

According to the report, need for managed service data centers will be a key driver for market growth. It is advantageous for an enterprise to operate a colocation facility rather than to build a data center. Data center colocation allows enterprises to rent computing storage, servers, and network. It enables minimal utilization of power and bandwidth and enhances the security of enterprise IT equipment.
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