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TweakTown News Posts - Page 56

'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' could be split into two films

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 10:16 pm

Warner Bros. certainly has form in the area of splitting films unnecessarily, as seen with 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows', and 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' which is currently steaming it's way to a billion dollars at the international box office, so today's news that the upcoming sequel to 'Man of Steel' might be split into two film releases does have more than a whiff of authenticity about it.


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Currently pegged for a March 25, 2016 release date, FlickeringMyth is reporting that Warner are poised to announce that the Superman sequel, which has morphed into a trojan horse to launch the Justice League as a fully fledged franchise, will be split into two films - the first ' Batman v Superman Part I: Enter the Knight' coming on October 23rd 2015, with 'Batman v Superman Part II: Dawn of Justice' to be released on the original release date of March 25th 2016.


With a theatrical teaser attached to next month's release of the Wachowski's 'Jupiter Rising', it won't be long before this rumour is confirmed either way - but I'd put my money on happening.

Plextor M7e Shown at CES 2015 - June Release for the High Speed Crowd

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 9:41 pm

CES 2015 - Despite the new M6e Black Edition with PlexTurbo 2.0 software just hitting the market, Plextor was prepared to talk about a future M7e SSD that doubles the available bandwidth of the just announced M6e Black Edition.


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The new M7e moves the PCIe AHCI SSD to PCIe 2.0 x4. This doubles the theoretical bandwidth from the M6e and M6e Black Edition. Users will need to balance the fact that the M6e Black Edition is available now with the performance increase offered by the new model available in six months or so.


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The new M7e is build with the Marvell Altaplus controller we first broke cover on in an exclusive report at CES 2014.

Continue reading 'Plextor M7e Shown at CES 2015 - June Release for the High Speed Crowd' (full post)

Phison shows new enterprise NVMe SSD controller supporting TLC

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 9:17 pm

CES 2015 -Phison is poised to make waves with their new PS5007-E7 controller. This new controller will power enterprise NVMe SSDs in both the M.2 and 2.5" form factors, with the latter sporting the new SFF-8639 connector. The controller will provide plenty of bandwidth with a PCIe 3.0 x4 connection. The new controllers support capacities from 16GB all the way up to 2TB. Sequential reads are rated for 2,800 MB/s, and sequential writes come in at 1,500 MB/s. The controller also features random read/write speeds of 350,000/300,000 IOPS.


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The controller supports both AHCI 1.3 and NVMe 1.1 (covered in our Defining NVMe article). Current designs do not include power capacitors, but power loss protection will be included in the final designs. It is also only rational that an NVMe controller with this type of grunt power will eventually make its way to a standard PCIe form factor product, but we did not receive official confirmation of that possibility. The M.2 form factor is starting to pop up in roadmaps of more manufacturers for enterprise applications, so there is definitely an emerging customer base for these products as well.

Continue reading 'Phison shows new enterprise NVMe SSD controller supporting TLC' (full post)

Crucial Releases Storage Executive - The First Crucial SSD Toolbox

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 8:57 pm

CES 2015 - Crucial announced a new 'SSD Toolbox' type software at CES 2015. Officially, the new software is called Crucial Storage Executive. The software installs on your system and then is browser based for quick and easy management. It works with all SSDs back to the M500 model.


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The interface looks really good and scales to the resolution of your browser window. This is just the above the fold image on a 1920x1080 display with the browser set to 50% size.


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The menu system was thought out well and shows you information on every drive in your system, not just the Crucial SSDs.

Continue reading 'Crucial Releases Storage Executive - The First Crucial SSD Toolbox' (full post)

Michael Lynton says Sony Pictures had no 'playbook' for cyberattack

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 7:37 pm

Sony Pictures managed to release "The Interview" to the Internet on Christmas Eve and in theaters on Christmas, but it continues to be a bumpy road for the movie studio. The Guardians of Peace hacker group compromised SPE servers, took all the data, and then "wiped them clean" so Sony no longer had backups.


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The initial breach took place shortly before Thanksgiving, and the movie studio's networks are still down - and likely won't be back online for a few more weeks, at the earliest.


"We are the canary in the coal mine, that's for sure," said Michael Lynton, Sony Pictures CEO, in an interview with the Associated Press. "There's no playbook for this, so you are in essence trying to look at the situation as it unfolds and make decisions without being able to refer to a lot of experiences you've had in the past or other peoples' experiences. You're on completely new ground."

Continue reading 'Michael Lynton says Sony Pictures had no 'playbook' for cyberattack' (full post)

Cybersecurity experts urge companies not to try to hack back

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 6:28 pm

Companies struggle to keep their networks secure, and are becoming frustrated by cyberattacks and data breaches. Despite some interest in launching retaliatory attacks, there are a number of hurdles that make it difficult, legal issues aside - not only would it be ineffective because it could escalate the matter further, but there are concerns victims would launch cyberattacks against the wrong targets.


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The topic came back to life after JPMorgan Chase may have recruited hackers to launch attacks in retaliation for a cyberattack. Cybersecurity experts and the US government don't recommend companies seek revenge, as US infrastructure has the most to lose - and it'll likely end poorly for the victim either way.


"The technical sector is the backbone of the American economy, and if we start engaging in these kind of behaviors, in these kind of attacks, we're setting a standard, we're creating a new international norm of behavior that says this is what nations do," said former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, in a an interview that PBS Nova will publish soon.

Continue reading 'Cybersecurity experts urge companies not to try to hack back' (full post)

ADATA Shows Premier Pro SP320 SSD with 3bit per Cell NAND at CES 2015

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 3:25 pm

CES 2015 - Two themes stuck out this year in the consumer SSD world at CES 2015, Silicon Motion and 3bit per cell NAND flash.


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At the ADATA suite we found these two topics merging together in the new ADATA SP320 SSD, the first retail branded product with a SMI SM2256 controller. Paired with the new Silicon Motion controller is 3bit per cell (TLC) NAND. ADATA didn't tell us what flavor of TLC rests under the cover. At this time the pool is fairly shallow but in the coming months several NAND flash fabs will deepen the pool.


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The SP320 will ship in four capacity sizes, read up to 560 MB/s and write up to 510 MB/s, both sequential . No word on the random performance or price but we expect both to be low considering the low cost consumer placement of this product.


In 2015 the trend is to focus on higher SSD adaption rates, trying to displace HDDs and that can only be achieved by giving consumers larger capacity at better prices than what we have now. The SP320 puts ADATA on the right track to make that happen.

Continue reading 'ADATA Shows Premier Pro SP320 SSD with 3bit per Cell NAND at CES 2015' (full post)

ADATA displays Seagate's SandForce SF3700 - We run exclusive tests

By: Paul Alcorn | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 3:00 pm

CES 2015 -ADATA had a working reference Seagate SandForce SF3700 SSD on display at CES 2015. The SF3700 has run over the expected release date, but with manufacturers highlighting the SF3700 in working demo's we know the controller is coming closer to market. Speculation is that shipping products will be ready around June, which is around the Computex trade show.


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The demonstration was powered by a SandForce SSD placed on a PCB adapter board which allows an M.2 SSD to work over a standard PCIe slot. The SF3700 controller on display, commonly referred to by the code-name Griffen, communicates over a PCIe 2.0 x4 connection, though a x2 variant is also under development. The Griffen controller can communicate via either the AHCI or the NVMe protocol across the PCIe connection.


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An important distinction between earlier demo's is the fact that the working demo was running without a heat sink. This points to continued optimization of the power consumption metrics, which relate directly to heat generation. The SF3700 has several key technologies, such as DEVSLP functionality, to allow it to operate within a very low power and thermal envelope.


The Jaguar codename on the demo board refers to a reference PCB design offered by SandForce, not the actual Griffen controller. The board contains 512GB of Toshiba A19nm flash. The SF3700 controller itself still bears LSI branding, a holdover from SandForce's parent company before the Seagate acquisition.


Read on for the performance results...

Continue reading 'ADATA displays Seagate's SandForce SF3700 - We run exclusive tests' (full post)

Silicon Motion Testing Exotic 3bit per Cell Flash at CES 2015

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 2:30 pm

CES 2015 - Today we spoke with Silicon Motion (SMI) on several topics, but later learned more details that helped to piece a puzzle together. Analyst reports show that 3bit per cell (TLC) will quickly overtake 2bit per cell (MLC) NAND in the future. Samsung dominates the 3bit per cell area, but SanDisk has also started shipping products with the technology. Toshiba will soon follow suit, the company actually produces TLC wafers with SanDisk in the Flash Forward joint venture. It's been stated that Micron will have TLC ready for consumer SSD devices as early as Q2 2015, and the technology is already utilized in other product types from Micron/Lexar/Crucial, such as SD cards.


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Silicon Motion's upcoming SM2256 controller was designed exclusively to usher in the TLC era, and today we saw the controller working inside this laptop with Samsung TLC flash. At this time only two companies selling to the channel use Samsung NAND flash - Samsung and Seagate.


Samsung already has two existing low cost consumer SSD products on the market with 3bit per cell flash, the 840 EVO and 850 EVO. This leaves us to wonder why Silicon Motion would spend valuable engineering resources with Samsung TLC NAND. Enter Seagate and the the company's strategic alliance with Samsung for guaranteed Samsung flash, as seen with the Seagate 1200 SSD. Did we inadvertently just capture a quick look at what may be an early test of a Seagate consumer SSD that uses a Silicon Motion controller today?


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A rumor floating around CES 2015 is that Intel will soon announce a low cost consumer SSD that also uses a Silicon Motion controller. Intel didn't invest with Micron in 16nm lithography manufacturing, choosing instead to bring in SK Hynix flash as a stopgap until the IMFT (Intel Micron Flash Technology) 3D NAND transition takes place sometime in mid to late 2015. Today we observed a Silicon Motion SM2256 controller paired with SK Hynix TLC NAND flash. SK Hynix acquired Link_A_Media Devices more than two years ago, but from a finished product point of view, the LAMD products have stalled.


In summary, not only do we feel we've caught a glimpse of a Seagate product, but also a potential product for Intel as well.

Silicon Motion Penetrating NAND Flash Fabs - SMI on the Rise

By: Chris Ramseyer | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 9, 2015 7:24 am

CES 2015 - Over the last year we've often discussed Silicon Motion's rise in the SSD controller space. The fabless semiconductor's SM2246EN controller was well received, first by smaller SSD manufacturers, and now by NAND flash fabs.


This week, SanDisk announced the new SSD Plus that is priced less than $70 in 128GB. The SSD Plus won't break any performance records but is clearly designed to break price barriers. SanDisk didn't brief media before introducing the SSD Plus at Storage Visions 2015, but since that time we've learned that Silicon Motion is inside with a custom variant of the SM2246EN controller.


Getting one NAND fab company to use your controller is a big step for a controller maker that was virtually unheard of one year ago. Getting two is big news for investors. Just days after the SanDisk announcement, Crucial, a division of Lexar and also a NAND flash manufacturer, announced the new BX100. Again, this new low cost consumer SSD with 16nm MLC flash is managed by a Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller.


They say when it comes it comes in threes. Analysts have recently come forward to state that Intel, a partner with Micron/Crucial/Lexar, has chosen a Silicon Motion controller for an unannounced consumer SSD that should break cover in the coming months. Most likely Intel will brand the new product in the 300 Series family, a low cost series that again is designed to increase the adoption rate of solid state storage technology, replacing mechanical hard drives.


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None of this is all that radical when you know the history of the SSD market. SandForce quickly came to power but acquisitions and long product delays have left the door open for Silicon Motion to get a foot in the door. Now that Silicon Motion is sitting at the table, we think the real objective is for the company to use SM2246EN as a stepping stone for SM2256, a flash controller that takes advantage of new 3bit per cell technology that will further reduce the cost of solid state storage technology to consumers.


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At this time, the NAND flash fab companies are also focusing engineering resources on high margin enterprise products. SMI provides reference designs, controller hardware, and firmware. This provides a low 4-month turn around, speeding time to market, which is opening more doors for the company.

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