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Samsung Electronics has started increasing its 25nm DRAM production with the hopes that it can grab a good share of the DRAM market while they still can. The South Korean based chipmaker is taking advantage of the situation courtesy of an accident that broke out at SK Hynix's DRAM production fab in China on September 2013.
Because of the fire that broke out in its plant, one third of the DRAM's production halted. Samsung Electronics and Micron Technology are the only DRAM chipmakers who are close enough to compensate for the production scarcity, including the production of chips for Apple Technology and GDDR5 for video cards.
CES 2014 - It's always fun to find a few diamonds in the rough at CES, and luckily this year held a few as usual. Kingston was demonstrating a whopping 384 GB's of its new DDR4 running in a blacked-out server. For those in the know, there currently isn't a publicly released CPU/chipset combination that supports DDR4 memory.
In order to recieve clearance for this demo, Kingston had to black out key areas of the chassis, which means essentially everything other than the heat sinks and DDR4 sticks. We speculate this is Grantley-EP and Wellsburg PCH. If so, the server supports Thunderbolt and features DDR4 speeds of 2400 and 3200MHz. However, these specs are pure conjecture.
Of course we tried to 'play the angles' to get a view underneath at the new unnannounced chipset. Unfortunately, Kingston delivered on their promise to Intel by making a more detailed analysis of the chipset impossible through use of the large black covers underneath the plexiglass cover.
Of course, we have the picture of the DDR4 actually up and running during the demo.
Mobile memory technology has taken a major leap forward with today's announcement of 8-gigabit low-profile double-data-rate 4 (LPDDR4) mobile DRAM chips from Samsung. The new DRAM chips offer the ability to pack 1GB on a single die, which will most likely lead to many upcoming next-gen smartphones featuring 4GB of RAM.
Samsung says that the new LPDDR4 silicon offers improved efficiency which results in up to 40-percent less power consumption than previously seen. This is possible because the chips are designed to run at just 1.1 volts each. The chips are designed on a 20nm process, which shrinks the package small enough to fit 1GB onto a single chip. With Qualcomm releasing a 64-bit mobile processor next year, and Apple's 64-bit A7 already on the market we could see a major jump in the amount of RAM smartphones house in 2014 and 2015.
"This next-generation LPDDR4 DRAM will contribute significantly to faster growth of the global mobile DRAM market, which will soon comprise the largest share of the entire DRAM market," said Young-Hyun Jun, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Samsung Electronics. "We will continue introducing the most advanced mobile DRAM one step ahead of the rest of the industry so that global OEMs can launch innovative mobile devices with exceptional user convenience in the timeliest manner."
We aren't quite at the DDR4 stages yet, but as we do start slotting in DDR4 onto our consumer boards, we could begin to see over the horizon, and spot a new memory standard: MRAM.
This is because the US-Japan alliance is looking for a replacement of the old DRAM technology, with over 20 companies in Japan and US joining forces to develop mass-production techniques for a next-generation chip technology. This new tech is called magnetoresistive random access memory, or MRAM. Those involved include Tokyo Electron, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Renesas Electronics, Hitachi, and US memory giant Micron Technology.
MRAM will see data stored in magnetic storage elements instead of electric charges, or current flows. MRAM will also reportedly have just one-third the power consumption of DRAM, with 10 times the capacity, and wait for it - 10 times the writing speed. This will make the technology perfect for the next, next-generation of smartphones and tablets, too.
If Crucial Memory's promotional page is anything to go by, we could expect DDR4 RAM to be released next month. But, this will require new motherboards, and even if you did that, is there a benefit?
Yes, and it's quite the improvement, and a bigger improvement than we had moving from DDR to DDR2, and even DDR2 to DDR3. DDR4 memory will use 20% less power, deliver speeds of up to 100% faster, and is 100% denser than its predecessor. Most DDR3 is around 1066MHz, but DDR4 kicks things off from 2133MHz, which is a huge increase.
Another benefit is going to be the amount of RAM per stick, with DDR3 seeing 1Gb when it was introduced, and while we have more per stick now, DDR4 will have a sweet 4Gb density. This means we should see much higher GB kits of DDR4, where we should hopefully see kits being at a minimum of 8GB, although I'd like to see 16GB. We should finally see a world of 16GB per module, which will be great for 64GB kits when Haswell-E arrives.
Today G.Skill announced that it has expanded its RipJaws SO-DIMM line of DDR3L RAM with an new 8GB module kit that is clocked at a blazingly fast 2133MHz. The new RipJaws kit has been designed to operate at a low voltage of just 1.35V and comes in a 2x4GB configuration.
Being able to operate at 1.35V is key to compatibility with Intel Haswell-based notebooks. G.Skill says that because of this, this new module kit is the perfect upgrade solution for any Haswell-based notebook. The SO-DIMM DDR3L kits will also work with any SO-DIMM DDR3 compatible PC and is said to provide the boost in performance customers are looking for.
Today Transcend unveiled a new line of memory modules aimed at the high-end enterprise server market. The new DDR3-1866 modules come in 4GB capacities and are featured in both Registered DIMM and Unbuffered ECC DIMM profiles. Transcend says the new DRAM modules are ideal for servers running Intel's Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors for optimal performance.
The company says that each module is constructed with the highest quality DDR3-1866 DRAM chips and have a latency of 13-13-13 with an operating voltage of 1.5V. The modules are said to fully comply with JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) standards, which ensure the best performance, compatibility, and stability. Each of the new 4GB DDR3-1866 modules are backed by a lifetime warranty. SKUs are listed below.
Today Patriot Memory unveiled a new line of memory kits in its Viper series of high-performance RAM. Patriot says the new low-profile kits are the perfect memory kits for the extreme-performance enthusiast as well as the overclocking gurus.
The new DDR3 kits feature clock speeds of 1600MHz, 1866MHz, and 2133MHz, and are available in capacities of 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB. Patriot says the memory modules are XMP 1.3 certified and are just 1/25" tall which allows more clearance for massive CPU coolers. The kits feature heat-spreaders that are available in black, red, and blue. No information was given on pricing at the time of this writing.
Since we first broke the story about a fire last month at an SK Hynix DRAM fabrication facility, TweakTown's editors have been saying that DRAM prices will go up as a result of the damage to the plant. Just how high they would rise was a mystery until today.
A new report from TechSpot shows that on the day of the fire a 2GB capacity DRAM chip cost about $1.60. Now two months after the fire, the same Hynix chip cost a whopping $2.27. This represents a 42 percent rise in DRAM pricing.
Hynix leads the world to believe that the damage was contained to a chemical storage dock and to a ventilation system separate from the clean room fabrication environments. Unfortunately, that appears not to be the case as a bit more damage was done than it was first thought. Hynix says that they have increased production in their South Korean facility to help offset production loss, but the impact of losing one plant is evident.
Production is set to resume to normal levels next month and we should see prices trickle down once again after supply levels even off. The report says that while the fire has negatively impacted Hynix, its competitor Micron has seen their stock rise more than 23 percent since word of the fire first broke.
G.Skill has broken yet another world record in the world of high-performance memory. In just a week after the official release of Intel's Ivy Bridge-E processors, G.Skill has managed to push the limits of its quad-channel DDR3 memory to extreme limits never before seen.
G.Skill has managed to overclock a 16GB kit (4x4GB) of its TridentX line of DDR3 to an astronomical clock speed of 4072MHz. The company says this is the first instance of a quad-channel DDR3 memory kit breaking the 4GHz barrier. The amazing feat was accomplished with the aid of an Intel Core i7-4960 CPU and an ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition motherboard. The overclock was achieved with a healthy dose of extreme cooling provided by liquid nitrogen.