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February 14, 2017

Toshiba Planning Majority Stake Sale in Memory Business

Struggling Japanese conglomerate Toshiba just can’t seem to catch a break. According to a recent announcement, the company is now expecting a 712.5 billion Yen ($6.3 billion) writedown of losses stemming from their nuclear power business, resulting in a net income loss of 390 billion Yen ($3.4 Billion).

As a result of the recent projections release, Toshiba Chairman Shinegori Shiga has stepped down from his role as chairman and Toshiba is now reportedly planning to sell a majority stake in their memory business to cover their losses. Toshiba’s memory business was previously expected to be spun off by the end of March with Toshiba selling a 20% stake to [...]

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February 12, 2017

CES 2017: Phison Demos E8 Entry Level PCIe NVMe SSD Controller

With the NAND shortage in full effect at CES this year, SSDs didn’t really make much of an appearance at the show. However, we did get a chance to stop by controller vendor, Phison, who had a new entry level PCIe NVMe controller to show.

The new controller is the Phison E8 which is going to be the low cost brother to the Phison E7. The new controller will come in two variants: the PS5008-E8 or PS5008-E8T.

The Phison PS5008-E8 will be a PCIe Gen 3 x2 controller featuring performance up to 1.6GB/s sequential reads and 1.3GB/s sequential writes. Random read/write performance will top out at 240K/220K IOPS respectively. It’ll also feature support [...]

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February 11, 2017

Intel Optane DC P4800X 3D XPoint SSD Spec Sheet Leaked

Intel’s collaboration with Micron to develop 3D XPoint storage has been a long time in the works and for the first time, we’re getting a concrete idea of how Intel’s upcoming Optane 3D XPoint-based enterprise SSDs will perform.

According to a recently leaked spec sheet by Chinese technology website, Techbang, the upcoming Intel Optane DC P4800X a very admirable drive. Coming in the HHHL form factor, the Optane DC P4800X features up to 375TB of storage and features the PCIe NVMe interface which allows for sequential read/write speed of up to 2,400/2,000MB/s, and 4K random performance up to 550,000/550,000 IOPS respectively.

What’s really [...]

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February 9, 2017

Toshiba Begins Construction of Fab 6 and R&D Center

Despite Toshiba’s financial woes, their memory division is pressing on, recently announcing that they’ve begun construction on their latest semiconductor fabrication facility, Fab 6 at Yokkaichi, Japan.

Like all the other new fabs that were constructed or retrofitted, Fab 6 will be built to produce Toshiba’s latest BiCS 3D NAND flash. Construction of the new fab will occur in two phases with Phase 1 slated to be complete in the summer of 2018. This will allow Toshiba to re-evaluate and re-asses continued investment in the event NAND flash demand takes a nosedive.

In addition to Fab 6, Toshiba also announced the construction of a new Memory [...]

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February 8, 2017

CES 2017: Patriot Adds New Peripherals, SD Cards to Product Lineup

Patriot had more than a few cool new products to show at their suite at CES this year. Not only is it looking to improve its line of peripherals, it’s also expanding mobile storage solutions for the ever increasing volume of HD media content.

 

Patriot V730 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The V730 is Patriot’s new budget-friendly mechanical gaming keyboard. It features Khail Brown switches, an aluminum front plate, red LED backlighting, and an attached wrist rest. Users can choose between 6 levels of brightness and 6 lighting settings.

Although targets the budget consumer market with a price of under $70, the keyboard feels like it’s [...]

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February 8, 2017

Western Digital, Toshiba Introduces 512Gb, 64-layer TLC BICS 3D NAND

Western Digital and Toshiba had some great news to announce at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) recently as they revealed that they’ve begun initial production of their BICS3 512Gb, 64-layer TLC 3D NAND at their NAND fabrication facility at Yokkaichi, Japan.

The new 512Gb, 64-layer BICS3 TLC 3D NAND will be the highest density NAND dies announced to date, matching Samsung’s 4th Generation V-NAND which also features 64-layers and 512Gb density. Full production of the new BICS3 NAND is expected to begin in 2H2017.

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February 1, 2017

HGST HDDs Most Reliable Once Again as Backblaze Releases 2016 Hard Drive Failure Stats

Popular low cost cloud storage company Backblaze recently shared their hard drive failure rates for 2016 and to no surprise, HGST is once again the most reliable HDD maker.

According to the stats, Backblaze has a total of 71,939 HDDs in their datacenter and 1,225 of them failed in 2016. Most of the failures came from Seagate’s 4TB ST4000DM000 drives which saw 938 of the 34,738 drives fail over the year with an average age of 21.73 months.

Aggregating all the hard drive failures by manufacturer, the hard drive maker with the least failure rates once again was HGST which only experienced a failure rate of 0.60%. The drivemaker with the [...]

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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 27, 2017

Toshiba Officially Spinning Off Memory Business by March 31, 2017

Several days ago, we heard rumors that Toshiba may be considering spinning off their memory business and today, Toshiba is making it official. According to a recent announcement from the financially troubled company, Toshiba will spin off their memory business (including SSD) into a wholly owned subsidiary by March 31, 2017.

This is a strategic move by Toshiba to protect its financially strong memory business and utilize it to raise much needed third party capital. In addition to the fallout from its massive accounting scandal in 2015, it was recently revealed that Toshiba’s nuclear power business had significantly greater than expected losses of 680 billion yen [...]

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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 in [...]

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