Items tagged with NAND

It's been nine months since AMD unleashed its Zen 2 processors and, more importantly as it related to this article, the X570 chipset with its PCI Express 4 connectivity, into the world. In the time since then, there hasn't been a torrent of extra-fast flash released by all that many storage vendors; even at launch, we only had Gigabyte's Aorus PCIe 4 SSD on hand to test. Considering that Gigabyte's drive could far outstrip the bandwidth available in PCI Express 3.0 x4 drives, while putting up some solid IOPs figures, it seems that those who feel a need for speed would want these drives, assuming they had a motherboard with a processor and chipset capable of pushing it to the limit. That seeming... Read more...
Pricing for DRAM and NAND flash memory products have proven to be fickle over the years, as the memory chip market is a volatile one. It sometimes seems like even changes in the wind can affect pricing. Or more recently, the Coronavirus that is wreaking havoc is also affecting the memory market. That said, Adata chairman Simon Chen is confident that both consumer demand and pricing on memory products will pick back up once the virus is contained. It's not clear to what extent the Coronavirus is impacting the memory industry specifically. In other markets, it is taking a toll. In both Shanghai and Hong Kong, Disney closed its amusement parks to help stop the virus from spreading, which some estimates... Read more...
Only somewhat recently has pricing on solid state drives (SSDs) become attractive to the point where buying a mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) only makes sense for backup duties and other secondary storage configurations (like in a NAS box or for a surveillance system). However, SSD pricing could see a steep rise this year, due to rising costs of NAND flash memory chips. The timing is unfortunate because even NVMe SSDs with faster speeds than SATA-based SSDs have dipped in price. Here are some examples... Crucial MX500 1TB NVMe SSD: $107.99, Amazon Kingston 500GB NVMe SSD: $59.99, Amazon Silicon Power 256GB NVMe SSD: $36.99, Amazon Sabrent Rocket Q 2TB NVMe SSD: $219.99, Newegg Pricing in the... Read more...
A company called Kioxia (spun out of Toshiba) has developed an interesting technology that could potentially pave a path beyond today's quad-level cell (QLC) NAND flash memory chips, into the next-generation of penta-level cell (PLC) parts. It's a breakthrough of sorts, in that it's the world's first three-dimensional semicircular split-gate flash memory cell structure. The name for this tech is Twin BiCS flash. There's a ton of technobabble in the press announcement, but the short version is, Kioxia developed a novel way of packing smaller cells to increase memory density beyond what is possible with today's QLC NAND flash memory technology. "Twin BiCS flash achieves superior program slope and... Read more...
Toshiba announced its next-generation BG4 solid state drive all the way back at CES in early January of this year. The diminutive, little Toshiba BG4 isn’t about the latest and greatest in bleeding-edge SSD storage performance or pushing the envelope in terms of throughput. However, it does still represent a significant step forward in regard to power and performance in the smallest of form factors – you’ll see exactly what we mean in a couple of the photos below. The 1TB Toshiba BG4 we will be showing you here is essentially a single-chip solution, cable of multi-gigabyte per second sequential transfers. It’s exactly the kind of device OEMs and ODMs look for when designing... Read more...
If you're a semiconductor manufacturer pumping out DRAM and NAND for today's hordes of electronic devices, you might be sitting in a corner crying right now. But for us enthusiasts that need to purchase DDR4 modules and PCIe NVMe SSDs for our gaming rigs, the closing months of 2019 might be a prime opportunity to make new purchases. The semiconductor industry is staring down the barrel of a 9.6 percent decline in revenue for 2019, taking totals for the year to $429 billion versus $475 billion during all of 2018. To put that in perspective, it was forecast that revenue for the year would only be down by 3.4 percent, but a perfect storm of variables has turned those projections upside down. As... Read more...
Back in September, we reported that Intel's CPU shortage could end up having a positive effect on the DRAM market for consumers. TrendForce said that the CPU shortage coupled with an oversupply in the DRAM market could lead to a quarter-over-quarter decrease of about 2 percent in pricing. Today, however, TrendForce division DRAMeXchange is getting a bit more aggressive in its analysis of the market, and is expecting larger declines in 2019 for both DRAM and NAND flash. In addition to the aforementioned Intel shortage, there is uncertainty in the server market, and smartphone demand has been "sluggish" due to many people sitting out the yearly upgrade cycle. DRAMeXchange... Read more...
Anyone who has been paying attention will have noticed that solid state drive prices have come down over the few months, and the year as a whole. It is now relatively affordable to buy a 512GB or even 1TB SSD, especially if you catch one on sale. Well, things may be getting even better for consumers. There is an oversupply of NAND flash memory that is expected pushes SSD prices down even further, this year and into 2019. How low are we talking about here? Jim Handy, an analyst with Objective Analysis, said he expects the market for NAND flash memory to correct itself, or even bottom out altogether, to actual cost of production of 64-layer 3D NAND flash, The Register reports. That would put the... Read more...
Your next solid state drive (SSD) upgrade might offer more storage for your dollar than any previous SSD purchase. DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce, forecasts that the average selling price of NAND flash memory chips will drop 10 percent sequentially in the third and fourth quarters of this year, despite Q3 traditionally being the peak season for consumer electronics. Growth in consumer electronic sales has been weaker than expected. Pile on top of that expanding an expanding supply of 3D NAND flash memory chips and you have the making of a near-perfect storm for lower prices. In theory, this should lead to cheaper SSDs. It could also lead to larger capacity drives in the marketplace. "The... Read more...
Samsung has announced that it has begun mass production of a new type of Flash storage chip. The company's fifth-gen V-NAND has the fastest data transfer speed in the industry and is the first to use the Toggle DDR 4.0 NAND interface. That new interface improves the speed for transmitting data of the 256Gb V-NAND to over 1.4 Gbps. That is a 40% gain in performance for this new Samsung 90-layer NAND technology, compared to Samsung's 64-layer predecessor. Samsung says that the new V-NAND (Vertically stacked NAND) has energy efficiency comparable to the old 64-layer chip because the operating voltage for the fifth-gen part has been reduced from the 1.8 volts required for that old... Read more...
Intel and Micron have just jointly announced shipment of the first quad-level cell (QLC) NAND-based SSD in the industry: the Micron 5210 ION, which is aimed directly at read-intensive cloud workloads. Intel-Micron say that the new QLC NAND has 33 percent greater bit density than TLC NAND, which gives it the ability to address opportunities in the market that used to be serviced only by lower cost, higher density Hard Disk Drives (HDD). QLC technology allows the SSD to reach 1-terabit densities using a 64-layer 3D NAND structure. However, the Intel-Micron team also notes 96-layer QLC NAND is also en-route. Regardless, the first products are optimized to meet demands of high performance data... Read more...
Intel has released a dizzying array of solid state storage products over the last few weeks. We recently took a look at a pair of Intel Optane SSD 800P series drives for enthusiast desktop and mobile systems, and also tinkered with the impressive Intel SSD DC P4600 series enterprise-class NVMe drive. Today, we’ll stay in the enterprise space and inspect a pair of Intel’s recently-announced SSD DC P4510 series drives, which target cloud storage applications with impressive throughput and latency characteristics. The Intel SSD DC P4510 series is an evolution of the existing SSD DC P4500, but feature some newer technologies and highly-optimized and re-tooled firmware to boost performance... Read more...
Last year, Intel updated its line-up of NVMe, PCI Express-based solid state drives, for cloud and data center applications, with a couple of different models tuned for different workloads. The Intel SSD DC P4600 we will be showing you here was among those drives. It features a fourth-generation Intel controller and performance-optimized firmware, along with 3D TLC NAND flash memory (384Gb per die). If you remember, the DC P3700 we looked at a few years back had an 18-channel controller and MLC NAND, so the P4600 may sound like a downgrade in some respects, but as you’ll see a little later, performance is still strong with this newer drive relative to its predecessor. We’ve got the... Read more...
Surging NAND flash and DRAM memory chip pricing has prompted China's economic regulator to look into whether or not suppliers such as Samsung and others have engaged in price fixing shenanigans. The chips in question are found in a variety of electronics products, most notably mobile phones, which use both NAND flash and DRAM ICs for permanent and temporary storage duties. "We have noticed the price surge and will pay more attention to future problems that may be caused by 'price fixing' in the sector," said Xu Xinyu, an official with the Pricing Supervision Department of the National Development and Reform Commission. He did not elaborate on the matter. Wang Yanhui, secretary general of the... Read more...
NAND flash helps to make our [electronic] world go 'round and 'round. NAND flash is used in everything from our smartphones to our tablets to our notebook computers to numerous IoT devices that float in and out of our everyday lives. For the past year, demand has outstripped supply with regards to NAND flash, which has resulted in higher prices. However, DRAMeXchange is forecasting that that trajectory is set to change during the first quarter of 2018. The fourth quarter is traditionally the hottest selling period in tech, while the first quarter is traditionally one of the slowest periods. Thanks to increased production and the seasonal downturn, DRAMeXchange estimates that overall demand will... Read more...
Western Digital today announced that it has successfully developed four bit-per-cell (also known as X4) 3D NAND built using 64-layer, BiCS3 technology. The company says that these chips can store 768 gigabits on a single chip (equivalent to 96GB), which is a 50% increase from 512 gigabit three bit-per-cell NAND (as basic math verifies). WD's X4 3D NAND was designed with the help of the company's work with X4 2D NAND, and one thing in particular the company is really proud of is the fact that its QLC flash delivers performance similar to that of X3 three bit-per-cell NAND. What that means is that consumers shouldn't fret too much over performance, but instead focus on the extra storage they're... Read more...
There might not be a storage medium that's definitively indestructible, or perfectly reliable, but solid-state storage would rank near the top. A hard drive, for example, might be able to house a large amount of data, but if it's dropped to the ground, or its host PC is bumped hard enough, all of that data could effectively be ruined in the blink of an eye. Solid-state storage is a bit different. If it's jostled during operation, it won't be affected, and the same goes for experiencing a fall to the ground. But, despite its durability, it's still not indestructible or entirely reliable, and new research from Carnegie Mellon University, Seagate, and ETH Zürich highlights some new reason why. It's... Read more...
It looks as though Western Digital could improve its position in the NAND flash market thanks to an impending deal with segment originator Toshiba. Toshiba announced today that it will spin off its NAND flash business (including its SSD operations), and will sell a minority share in order to raise capital.  It’s reported that Western Digital is the leading candidate purchase the minority share, with Reuters saying that the company could take a 20 percent stake. This would still leave Toshiba with 80 percent of its profitable business. "Toshiba has positioned the memory business as a focus business where timely investments, accelerated development time and the ability to ramp-up the production... Read more...
Western Digital is the king of the hard drive market but up to now has been a non-factor in SSDs. However, with its purchase of solid state storage giant, SanDisk, the company immediately leaped to the forefront of the market in one fell swoop. Now the company is entering the consumer/commercial SSD market with WD Green and WD Blue SSDs, using a naming scheme borrowed from its hard drive line and technology acquired from SanDisk. WD's Green lineup is for entry level PCs meant to have a low power draw while the Blue SSD series is aimed at mainstream consumers. Both series are available in both 2.5″ SATA III and M.2 SATA III form factors. The WD Green SSD is only available in lower density... Read more...
Although NVMe PCI Express solid state drives are all the rage as of late, due to their relatively strong performance and inherent feature benefits, manufacturers continue to tune and refine their SATA based offerings as well. Case in point: the brand new OCZ VX500 series solid state drives we’ll be showing you here today. The OCZ VX500 series targets the mainstream computing segment and initially consists of a quartet of 2.5mm SATA SSDs, packing all, in-house, Toshiba made technology. The hook is, even though these new drives are priced aggressively, they eschew less expensive TLC NAND in favor of more durable MLC, and performance is relatively strong too.We’ve got the full list of features and... Read more...
A couple of weeks back, Intel announced a slew of new solid state drives, targeting a wide array of market segments, that leverage 3D TLC NAND. One of those offerings was a new series of M.2 NVMe drives, dubbed the SSD 600P. According to Intel, the SSD 600P series is “designed to deliver PCIe performance at near-SATA prices”. To date, most NVMe PCIe solid state drives are roughly 1.5 – 3x the cost per gigabyte of SATA based drives, due to the inherent performance benefits and likely the added cost of NVMe controllers. But, as the company has done a number of times in the past dating all the way back to the venerable X25, Intel is pushing hard to drive down prices in the segment. In fact, the... Read more...
This past summer, Intel and Micron jointly announced a new type of memory they call 3D XPoint. While new memory types seem to emerge all of the time, this one stood out based on the fact that it's being touted as 1,000x faster than NAND. It almost seems too good to be true, and I guess that's all it is until we begin to see production silicon trickle out onto the market. Nonetheless, Intel and Micron have just found themselves more competition with a duo involving SanDisk and HP. On the SanDisk side, the company has been tightly integrated into the memory and storage market for quite some time, and is one of the world's leaders in NAND production. To say it brings a lot to the partnership here... Read more...
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