Items tagged with DRAM

The tendency of DRAM to become cheaper over time is generally considered a good thing—at least, in the consumer market—but evidence suggests prices may have fallen a bit too much. Current manufacturing costs using 40nm technology is about US $1.50 while the selling price for a 2Gb part is currently $1.17 - $1.31. This is less a problem for the top-tier RAM manufacturers who are using 30nm tech, but there's no way for smaller players to quickly migrate to the updated process. Selling parts below the cost of manufacture is obviously unsustainable over the long term, a fact that has left the DRAM companies contemplating production cuts. Such cuts aren't made lightly; companies have typically... Read more...
Analyst firm IHS reports that chip supplier inventories have risen for the seven consecutive month. The continued rise in inventories reflects a general belief that consumer demand for electronic products will soon increase, though economic indicators are somewhat sketchy on this point. "Increases in stockpiles during the first quarter reflect efforts by semiconductor suppliers to rebuild inventory for products that were in short supply during the capacity crunch of 2010,” said Sharon Stiefel, analyst for semiconductor intelligence at IHS. “Suppliers also are moving to strategically build for the higher demand expected later this year. In a fortuitous stroke of good timing, semiconductor... Read more...
There goes Samsung, innovating on the memory front once again. The company has just started to mass produce 30-nanometer 32GB memory modules, which are said to be aimed specifically at the cloud computing and advanced server system market. Wanhoon Hong, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Samsung Electronics, had this to say about the announcement: "With this module, Samsung has secured the highest level of product and solution competitiveness in the DRAM market for PC, server and mobile applications. We also plan to ship more energy-efficient 4Gb DDR3 DRAM based on 20nm-class process technology in the second half of this year, which will significantly expand the rapidly growing... Read more...
Today, HP announced a notable development in its efforts to design memristor technology. The company has managed to map the chemical changes and basic structures of its own prototypes. The startling implication is accurate—HP managed to build a memristor before it fully understood how its own design functioned. The memristor was theorized to exist by one Leon Chua in 1971, but remained a hypothetical fourth circuit element (capacitors, resistors, and inductors are the other three) for decades. HP Labs finally managed to build a functional memristor in 2008. Memristors are a 'Holy Grail' technology—they could change computing nearly as much as the invention of the transistor. The word... Read more...
Micron, Samsung, Hynix, Infineon, NEC, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Elpida and Nanya. Ten companies, some of which you have definitely heard of before, all of which are being hit with some very bad news this week from the European Union. The European Commission branch this week handed down their first settlement in an ongoing investigation into cartel-like activities between these parties, which purportedly helped to "fix prices" in order to keep DRAM prices artificially high. This isn't completely unusual. We have also seen big-name companies in the LCD world hit with similar fines, and the EU never takes kindly to things of this matter. Micron, it should be noted, is being spared of a fine,... Read more...
Corsair announced 16GB and 24GB Dominator DDR3 memory kits for workstation-level computers. The new DRAM kits feature a clock speed of 1600MHz. The 24GB Dominator DDR3 memory kit is designed for use with three-channel CPUs while the 16GB Dominator DDR3 memory kit is designed for use on dual channel platforms based on the P55 chip set. Corsair® Expands Dominator® Family with New Ultra-High Density 16GB and 24GB Memory Kits – Unmatched combination of speed and density ushered in with 1600MHz modules – FREMONT, California, April 6, 2010 — Corsair, a worldwide supplier of high performance computer and flash memory products, today announced new 16GB and 24GB Dominator DDR3 memory kits for... Read more...
Information on a supposed DRAM breakthrough has been running hot across the wires, but the press release from Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) that's sparked techie interest across the Internet is a tad misleading. There's nothing factually incorrect regarding the group's achievement (at least not as far as we know), but the gap between where we are today and a commercially viable FeDRAM design is much, much wider than implied. The PR states that the Semiconductor Research Corporation and Yale University have jointly developed "a new DRAM cell using ferroelectric layers that could significantly increase the technological and market competitiveness for DRAM technology." "According to early... Read more...
For many, it's not difficult to remember back when USB flash drives topped out at around 8GB and demanded a near fortune. Today, these minuscule drives are near ubiquitous, and with flash prices in free fall, a rather sizable one (capacity wise, not size wise) can be had for not too much dough.But, even big corporations like Intel and Micron know that 128GB in your pocket just isn't enough for some (or even 256GB), so we're not surprised to hear that the two have joined together in order to spearhead development in the realm and pave the way for 1TB+ flash drives. Specifically, the duo today announced the development of a new 3-bit-per-cell (3bpc) multi-level cell (MLC) NAND technology, which... Read more...
If recent technology news is any indication, Samsung has taken the concept of spending innovating one's way out of a recession and is running with the ball for all it's worth. We discussed the company's plans to move ahead with 450mm wafer production a few days ago; news today indicates the electronics manufacturer will invest $790 million into upgrading its DRAM production facilities in the second half of this year. Samsung believes the shift to a smaller process technology will improve production productivity (dies-per-wafer) by up to 60 percent, assuming equal yields. That cost savings eventually gets passed on to consumers, while the smaller process should theoretically allow for cooler,... Read more...
We can't say for certain, but it sure feels like Rambus is doing its best to redirect attention away from its recent legal tussle with NVIDIA and onto more, shall we say, positive matters. Just a day after NVIDIA made clear that Rambus had withdrawn its complaints in court, the California-based memory maker announced that it had shipped over 100 million of its XDR DRAM modules worldwide. We aren't mathematicians by trade, but 100 million sure isn't anything to scoff at. The company's obviously not satisfied with such a figure, however, as just recently we learned that it was toiling away in an attempt to move DDR3 RAM beyond the 3200Mbps threshold. While you sit back and offer a round of congratulations... Read more...
Leave it to Rambus to keep the memory industry from resting on its laurels. Currently, DDR3 has a data rate limit of 3200Mbps, but all that's gearing up to change. Announced today, Rambus has unveiled a set of innovations that can advance computing main memory beyond said limit, and needless to say, these "advancements" are available now for licensing. The collection of improvements promises to let designers achieve higher memory data rates, higher effective throughput, better power efficiency and the increased capacity necessary for future computing applications. Craig Hampel, Rambus Fellow, gloated quite heavily about the largely secretive announcement: "Product advancements in multi-core computing,... Read more...
Right around this time last month, A-DATA announced a new slab of memory in its XPG G Series. Now, the company's reverting back to its desktop tactics with a new speed in the XPG Gaming Series. Starting today, users can start hunting down the company's XPG Gaming Series DRAM module in DDR2-1066.The sticks will be offered up in Dual Channel 2GB x 2 or 1GB x 2 kits along with Single Channel kits up to 2GB. In case that's not hardcore enough, there's also the XPG Gaming Series DDR2-1066G DRAM module provide CL6-6-6-18 timing at 2.0V±0.1V. Unfortunately, A-DATA didn't bother passing along pricing details, but the full specifications list is below:Features: All memory chips are verified using... Read more...
Remember that 50 nanometer DDR3 SDRAM that Elpida developed late last year? Good news -- production is underway on it. For those of you just dying to get more memory into the netbooks, notebooks and UMPCs of today, Elpida Memory has begun mass producing what it's calling the industry's highest density 2Gb Mobile RAM using 50nm process technology.The work is being done at the company's Hiroshima fabrication plant, leveraging ArF immersion lithography and copper interconnect technology in order to add greater functionality to the module. Said device uses an an x32-bit I/O configuration based on double-data rate (DDR) that can operate at the fast speed of 400Mbps (200MHz) to transmit data at the... Read more...
What would life be like if you had access to random access memory that coupled the fast operating characteristics of DRAM with flash memory's ability to retain data while powered off? Pretty darn amazing, we imagine. Believe it or not, such a contraption is already in the works, and it has been for quite some while. Today, Toshiba is announcing a breakthrough in the development of FeRAM, or Ferroelectric Random Access Memory, which could one day make our current memory modules and even SSDs look like antiquated pieces of technology.At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference 2009 in San Francisco -- the same venue at which the PCMOS microchip was unveiled -- Toshiba is introducing a... Read more...
Samsung Develops World’s Highest Density DRAM Chip (Low-power 4Gb DDR3) SEOUL, Korea -- Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, announced today that it has made a significant advancement in the push for higher volume memory chips by developing the world’s first four gigabit (Gb) DDR3 DRAM chip, using 50 nanometer (nm) process technology. With more and more data centers seeking a reduction in the number of servers they use, the development of low-power 4Gb DDR3 has become critical in reducing data center costs, improving server time management and increasing overall efficiency. For the new generation of “green” servers, the 4Gb DDR3’s high density combined... Read more...
As with most every other sector, the DRAM market has been struggling of late. Interestingly enough, it's expected that a recent departure from the arena could actually ease some of the pain for everyone else involved. Germany's Qimonda, which has been labeled the planet's fifth-largest DRAM vendor, currently controls about 10 percent of the entire market. Or, at least it did before filing for insolvency just days ago.Now, there stands a chance that the 10 percent gap will either be covered by rivals, or -- possibly more interesting -- that the hole will simply remain unfilled. In either scenario, it's extremely unlikely that the remaining vendors will be forced to lower prices even further in... Read more...
Intel has been tinkering around with DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) cells, reducing their size and getting rid of the capacitors that were necessary components of their tiny integrated circuit. In doing so, they may have demonstrated a way to remove the SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)cells from the processor and replace them with the simplified DRAM, greatly improving bandwith. Intel said that it was able to fine tune its DRAM design and hit a physical clock of 2 GHz using a 65 nm manufacturing process. The resulting 2T-DRAM offers a stunning bandwidth of 128 GB/s. If Intel is successful to take the clock speed up to the level of its QX9770/9775 processors, the bandwidth would climb to... Read more...
DRAM prices have been at incredibly low levels for so long that it's hard to imagine that they'll stay this way forever.  So how long will this trend continue?  Apparently a year or more if the analysts are on target:The current DRAM downturn will likely last more than a year and possibly two, said Simon Woo, memory chip analyst at Merrill Lynch, at a conference in Taipei last week."It's longer than expected," he said, comparing it to the DRAM industry crunch of 1997-1998, which lasted nearly two years.This is excellent news for anyone building or upgrading, especially if you're planning on going with a 64-bit OS.... Read more...
Thought Microsoft actually made the following statements prior to Toshiba's official announcement, it is reasonable to assume that they knew what was coming.  It seems like they're not very concerned about the potential impact:“We do not believe the recent reports about HD DVD will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace,” Microsoft said in a statement. “As we've long stated, we believe it is games that sell consoles and Xbox 360 continues to have the largest next-gen games library with the most exclusives and best selling games in the industry.... Read more...
It looks like Manhunt 2's European ban has been successfully appealed after it was rejected by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) not once, but twice.  We're a bit put off by the fact that the BBFC gave Manhunt 2 such a hard time but didn't even bat an eye at the Gigli <shudder>.“Censors said it demonstrated "casual sadism" and an "unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying". But its makers Rockstar Games, famous for producing the acclaimed "Grand Theft Auto" series, were successful in an appeal to the Video Appeals Committee which overturned the BBFC's decision.”The official explanation for the reversal has yet to be released, but we expect a formal press release... Read more...
After Manhunt 2 was banned in the UK and the ESRB gave it an Adult Only (AO) rating, things looked bleak for the game.  The AO rating is more or less a death knell for a game that plans to release on consoles, as Sony and Nintendo both forbid AO titles to be published for their systems.We know that as of 2 weeks ago, Rockstar and Take 2 were working on an appeal to the rating, but we were unsure what the basis for their appeal would be.  It now seems clear that the appeal was for a modified game: “Publisher Take 2 Interactive and developer Rockstar Games last week announced that it had submitted a modified version of Manhunt 2 to the ESRB, who has now rated the title "M" for Mature for ages... Read more...
South Korean DRAM giant Hynix has recently crafted the world’s fastest and smallest chip for cell phones and other portable devices. The Incheon-based company said that the chip is the first 1 GB mobile DRAM, built on 66nm process technology, to be commercially available in the industry. “The finer processing geometry reduces die size and improves the speed and power efficiency of the device. The new chip consumes very low power, under worst case conditions, extending battery life in a wide range of portable electronic devices.” Mobile DRAM chips are commonly used in handheld and wireless devices, including cell phones, digital and video cameras, portable game consoles, and navigation systems.... Read more...
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