SanDisk launches industry's first line of ULLtraDIMM SSD's

Charles Gantt | Storage | Jan 20, 2014 9:24 AM CST

Today SanDisk became the industry's first manufacturer to launch a line of ultra-low latency, memory channel-based ULLtraDIMM solid state drives. The new SanDisk ULLtraDIMM SSDs are basically SSDs flash memory that has been populated on memory-channel DIMMs to provide as low latency as possible to ensure data gets to the CPU as fast as possible.

"The SanDisk ULLtraDIMM SSD was designed to expand the reach of ultra-low latency flash storage throughout the data center and scale to meet the requirements of any enterprise application, no matter how bandwidth or capacity intensive," said John Scaramuzzo, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk. "The ULLtraDIMM SSD's linear performance scalability and innovative DIMM form factor allow organizations to deploy flash as their application requirements change, without requiring significant infrastructure investment."

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Sharp unveils new 15.6-inch tablet with a 3200x1800 resolution screen

Sharp has just announced a new tablet that is destined for the business and professional world, the RW-16G1. Sharp's new slate features a 15.6-inch display, with a 3200x1800 resolution.

The new slate will feature a dual-core Intel Core i5-4200U processor - 1.6GHz/2.6GHz, 3MB of L2 cache, 15W TDP, and Intel HD 4400 graphics. We have 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 128GB SSD, and that gorgeous 15.6-inch display which is based off an IGZO panel. We have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC for wireless technologies, a 2-megapixel webcam, SD card reader, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, and three USB 3.0 ports.

Sharp's RW-16G1 also features a stylus, accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, and more. As for its operating system, we have Windows 8.1 Pro, which makes this new, massive, high-res slate like a much better, more expensive Surface Pro 2.

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Apple's rumored 12.9-inch 'iPad Pro' will launch later this year

Apple is rumored to be working on a 12.9-inch iPad, that would arrive as the iPad Pro. Apple is now reportedly accelerating the development of this larger iPad, because Samsung is already in the larger slate game with two 12.2-inch tablets.

DigiTimes' sources are claiming that Apple's new iPad Pro would launch in Q3 2014 at the earliest. It would seem doubtful that Apple is feeling threatened by Samsung, as the Cupertino-based iPhone giant is usually relaxed with its releases. But, increased competition in the market could be forcing Apple to work on products it normally wouldn't (a larger 'Pro' aimed iPad) and competing with Samsung.

The same sources claim that Apple is working on two new iPads that will replace the current Retina iPad mini and iPad Air. These new models would most likely debut at the same time as the iPad Pro.

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Paramount Pictures leaves behind film, goes fully digital

Michael Hatamoto | Internet & Websites | Jan 20, 2014 12:08 AM CST

The 35mm film format has been used by movie studios for more than 100 years, but the digital format continues to push the technological envelope. Movie studio Paramount Pictures is now the first studio to leave behind 35mm in favor of going fully digital - and it's a trend that could be mimicked by other companies in the future.

"It's of huge significance because Paramount is the first studio to make this policy known,"said Jan-Christopher Horak, UCLA Film & Television Archive Director. "For 120 years, film and 35 mm has been the format of choice for theatrical presentations. Now we're seeing the end of that. I'm not shocked that it's happened, but how quickly it has happened."

Just 8 percent of U.S. movie theaters only use 35mm and haven't switched to digital, though Paramount will still ship 35mm to theaters in other countries. Movie studios like digital because it's significantly more cost-effective, with digital copies on discs running less than $100 - but the film versions cost upwards of $2,000.

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US Army invests in Linux-powered, Wi-Fi capable 'smart rifles'

It seems that the United States military is investing in some next-gen firearms, which feature an internal computer, sensors that gauge environmental factors to help soldiers aim, and more, according to tech startup, Tracking Point.

Tracking Point has announced that the US military purchased six of its "smart" rifles, which are priced at between $10,000 and $27,000 each. The smart rifles feature technology so advanced that the initial investment should pay itself off over and over again in the future. A soldier equipped with a smart rifle would simply need to tag a target viewable on a screen, which is found on the gun's scope. The internal computer will then tell the shooter exactly how to hold the gun, and when to press the trigger.

Oren Schauble, a Marketing Official for the company: "Rifles can communicate with each other. We can enable a more information-driven combat in the sense that you can tag targets. You can pass off those targets to someone else with a scope. There's a whole layer of communication that comes with having a rifle that can designate and track targets."

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Intel 9-series chipset will support PCIe M.2 support, 1GB/sec SSDs!

Anthony Garreffa | CPU, APU & Chipsets | Jan 19, 2014 9:32 PM CST

Intel should fully unveil its 9-series chipset as we get closer to Computex 2014 in Taipei in June, but between now and then we'll have to tease you a little on what to expect from Intel's upcoming Haswell refresh-capable chipset.

The new 9-series chipset won't bring many new technologies to the consumer, but it will feature six SATA 6Gbps ports, 14 USB ports, PCI Express 3.0, and the usual array of other technologies. Where things are new, we have support for SSDs in the PCIe M.2 form factor - capable of driving 1GB/sec bandwidth. Intel device protection with boot guard technology, as well as Intel Rapid Storage technology which will support PCI Express-based drives.

There shouldn't be SATA Express support, which is a disappointment, as it is capable of driving 2GB/sec maximum bandwidth. We can't complain about 1GB/sec, as it is much higher than SATA 6Gbps' maximum rate of 600MB/sec.

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AMD plans native 16-core Steamroller-based processor for 2016

Anthony Garreffa | Displays & Projectors | Jan 19, 2014 7:28 PM CST

It looks like AMD is preparing an impressive "native" 16-core processor, with all sixteen cores sitting on the same die. This technology will reportedly surface sometime after 2015.

All of this will begin in AMD's server processor range, with its multi-core Opteron processors for high-end servers using multi-chip-module (MCM) technology. These chips use two six- or eight-core dies onto the same piece of substrate to create a 12- or 16-core solution. This tech will roll down to the consumer side of things, where we should expect a new 16-core processor from the chipmaker sometime in 2015-2016.

As this year continues, AMD will release an Opteron processor codenamed "Warsaw". Warsaw will feature 12 or 16 cores on AMD's Piledriver architecture, and should arrive toward late 2015. The company should also be capable of making a 32-core, multi-chip-module for high-end servers by slapping together two 16-core dies onto a single substrate. 32 cores aren't far away!

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Amazon wants to read your mind, ship packages before you buy them

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Jan 19, 2014 6:24 PM CST

Amazon is getting a little scary as we shift into 2014, with a new patent for "anticipatory shipping". This patent will allow the US giant to sent items to shipping hubs in areas where it believes that particular item will sell well.

The new shipping scheme should slice delivery times down, as well as putting Amazon much higher up on the food chain than it already is. The company plans to box, and ship products it expects its consumers will buy preemptively, based on previous searches and purchases, wish lists, and how long the user's cursor hovers over an item online.

Amazon wants to go a step further, by having the products "speculatively shipped to a physical address" without knowing if the customer wants it. This would eventuate in returns of unwanted deliveries, but Amazon is willing to take that risk. Amazon stated in its patent: "Delivering the package to the given customer as a promotional gift may be used to build goodwill."

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Solid state drives grow in popularity, price might not drop in 2014

Michael Hatamoto | SSDs | Jan 19, 2014 6:11 PM CST

The benefit of solid state drives and flash storage continue to intrigue consumers and business users, but consumers can still expect to see small storage capacities and relatively high prices, according to market research group Objective Analysis. Consumers can expect to pay around 75 cents per gigabyte for SSD, with manufacturers expected to see the best success with 200GB SSDs.

SanDisk, which expects SSDs to make up 25 percent of the company's corporate revenue before the end of the year, said pricing should stabilize.

SSD read and write speeds continue to increase - and consumers are becoming more familiar with the flash-based storage - but cost and smaller storage capacity may lead consumers to choose traditional hard disk drives. SSD performance still outpaces HDD, but price issues and low storage capacities may prevent consumers from purchasing SSDs for their own hardware upgrades.

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Samsung, Apple gobble up 68 percent of smartphones used in the US

The Apple iPhone and Samsung Google Android-powered smartphones both grew their respective market shares in the United States during Q4 2013, according to The NPD Group. iPhone ownership increased from 35 percent up to 42 percent year-over-year, while the Android smartphones jumped from 22 percent up to 26 percent during the same time frame.

The top five music apps used on smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2013: Pandora, iHeart Radio, Spotify, TunIn Radio, and Slacker Radio. As more consumers use smartphones with unlimited data - and Wi-Fi-supported devices - there is a huge demand for streaming music and other connected services. Music streaming rose 11 percent up to 52 percent, and that number will likely increase even higher.

"Considering the increase in prominence of smartphone music apps, it's not surprising that hardware manufacturers such as Betas are leveraging partnerships with carriers, like AT&T to break into the streaming music market," said John Buffone, NPD Executive Director of Connected Intelligence, in a statement. "This allows AT&T to offer subscribers more of what they want in the way innovative music apps and provides Beats a partner capable of driving trial in a market where consumers already have an affinity for the music services they use."

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