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May 5, 2017

Samsung to Overtake Intel As World’s Largest Chipmaker

Samsung Electronics is poised to surpass Intel (aka Chipzilla) as the world’s largest chip manufacturer.

Analyst firm IC Insights predicted recently that if the current price of DRAM and NAND hold for Q2, Samsung could generate enough revenue to take the number one spot. The firm predicts that Samsung will achieve $14.9 billion in revenue, while Intel is predicted to reach $14.4 billion.

The increase in the price of NAND and DRAM is fueled by significantly increased demand amid a major industry-wide supply shortage. The depleted inventory and industry-wide transition to 3D NAND is significantly increasing the price of storage and isn’t supposed [...]

 
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April 8, 2017

Micron, Samsung DRAM Woes Further Constrains DRAM Supply

According to a recent article from Digitimes, two of the world’s largest memory manufacturers may be having a hard time perfecting their sub-20nm DRAM processes. Micron is experiencing low yield rates transitioning into its 1xnm DRAM node, while Samsung had to recently recall a large batch of DRAM modules built on its 18nm process.

Last month, Micron announced that it was planning to spend $1 billion to upgrade its TaiChung fab to 1x nm, aiming to make its chips ready for the market by the end of the year. Due to the lower yields, its products may be delayed.

Samsung on the other hand had to recall more than 100,000 DRAM modules after PC OEMS reported [...]

 
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April 6, 2017

Amazon, Apple, Google Joins Bidding War for Toshiba Memory

When a company is forced to sell a highly profitable business in a high growth industry with very few players involved, everyone takes notice. With Toshiba’s memory business, a number of big names such as Western Digital, SK Hynix, Broadcom, Foxconn, TSMC and more have already entered bids for a majority stake in the company, but it looks like competition is about to get a whole lot more intense.

According to a new report from KoreaHerald, as many as 10 companies have entered bids for the Toshiba memory business including heavyweights such as Amazon, Apple, and Google. While these companies are traditionally not in the business of selling SSDs, they heavily [...]

 
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March 21, 2017

Corsair Releases Vegeance RGB DDR4 Memory

Corsair’s new Vengeance DDR4 modules adds *you guessed it* RGB lighting to its distinct heat spreaders.

Unlike many other RGB memory lighting kits, users can configure the lighting to react to temperature changes or set them to a variety of pre-configured lighting patterns including breathing, static, and rainbow. Lighting profiles can be configured through CORSAIR LINK, Corsair’s monitoring software for its power supplies and other components.

As with the previous Vengeance memory modules, the Vengeance RGB is designed for overclocking and has support for XMP 2.0.

The kits are available starting today in 16GB (2 x 8GB), 32GB (4 x 8GB), [...]

 
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February 16, 2017

DRAM Shortages Result in 30% Price Increase in 4Q2016

It’s good to be in the DRAM business these days. According to a recent report from DRAMeXchange, global DRAM revenues have increased 18.2% sequentially for 4Q2016.

Much of the demand is fueled by strong smartphone sales, particularly Chinese brands along with the iPhone 7. This has resulted in massive shortages of PC DRAM, resulting in a 30% price increase over the previous quarter. Server DRAM is expected to follow suit in 1Q2017.

Memory manufacturers are currently increasing efforts to expand DRAM production capacity, but their efforts aren’t expected to be realized until the 2H2017. As a result, the supply problem is expected to continue to [...]

 
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February 9, 2017

TSMC 7nm Process Ready to Go, Samsung 7nm Still in Development

At the International Solid State Circuit Conference (ISSCC), both TSMC and Samsung had working chips samples built on their respective 7nm nodes. However, the two companies gave very different outlooks on their readiness.

According to the presentation offered by TSMC, they described the condition of their 7nm node as “healthy”. Samsung on the other hand, had a bit less confidence in its production method, showcasing a development chip that suggests 7nm chips may not be ready for at least a few more years.

The reason behind the contradicting prospects is due to the different manufacturing techniques. Because TSMC will likely be producing the Apple [...]

 
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February 6, 2017

SK Hynix Makes Bid for Stake in Toshiba Memory Business

In a recent report from Reuters, SK Hynix may be among the suitors in the running for a stake in Toshiba’s memory business. According to an undisclosed source, SK Hynix has already submitted an initial bid for Toshiba’s memory business although no information as to how much of a stake SK Hynix is interested in purchasing.

Toshiba had recently fallen on some hard times with a failing nuclear power business and an accounting scandal that left their previous CEO out of a job and the company in billions of dollars in debt. In an attempt to protect the still profitable memory business and help keep Toshiba alive a bit longer, Toshiba spun off the memory [...]

 
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January 31, 2017

SK Hynix Readies 4GB 2nd Gen HBM2 for 1Q 2017 Launch

According to SK Hynix 1Q2017 Databook for graphics, it’s confirmed that SK Hynix’s 4GB HBM2 memory modules are getting ready for production in 1Q2017.

One of the hottest consumer products that is expected to take advantage of HBM2 is AMD’s highly anticipated Vega graphics cards. Among the memory lineup, the 5mKGSD SKU is the most likely candidate to be featured on the Vega GPU. The 5mKGSD configuration is 4 stacks tall and features a memory density of 4GB/ stack. At CES 2017, we saw a glimpse of an engineering sample of Vega carrying 2 stacks of HBM2 on its interposer. It was rumored to have 8GB of VRAM, which helps confirm our [...]

 
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January 28, 2017

Intel Launching Optane SSD in 1Q2017, 3D XPoint DIMM Now Sampling

Intel’s 3D XPoint has been long touted as a revolutionary new non-volatile memory technology ever since Intel announced it back in 2015. Unlike traditional NAND, 3D XPoint uses a mesh of storage cells that can greatly improve access times compared to conventional storage. According to Intel’s internal testing, Optane SSDs can reach speeds up to 10x faster than current generation SSDs. However since its launch, 3D XPoint has been more talk than anything else with both Intel and development partner, Micron, doing little more than talking about the performance, applications, and missing potential launch dates.

That said, this time it appears that Intel may [...]

 
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January 25, 2017

Tsinghua Unigroup to Invest $30 Billion in Nanjing Memory Fab, Increasing Total Fab Investment to $70 Billion

It’s no secret that China wants advanced chip manufacturing technology and will do whatever it takes to get it. However, after several failed attempts by China’s state sponsored technology investment group, Tsinghua Unigroup, to acquire US chip manufacturing companies such as Western Digital and Micron, it appears that they have given up on acquiring the manufacturing capability altogether and have decided invest into building their own manufacturing capability instead.

According to a recent statement from Tsinghua Unigroup, the investment group recently revealed plans to invest $30 billion into the construction and development of a DRAM and 3D NAND fab [...]

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