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Memory

Corsair Brings DDR4 RAM Families

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Corsair Brings DDR4 RAM Families

Corsair launches the Vengeance LPX and Dominator Platinum desktop DDR4 RAM lines, promising "increased DRAM bandwidth, higher bus frequencies, lower power usage and higher reliability. "

The two sets of memory kits are validated with motherboard partners (namely Asus, ASRock, EVGA, Gigabyte and MSI) and use the XMP 2.0 profile for compatibility with the upcoming Intel X99 platforms and Core i7 (aka Haswell-E) processors.

The Vengeance LPX is designed for high-performance overclocking, with an aluminium low-profile heatspreader and an 8-layer PCB for faster heat dissipation and superior overclocking headroom. The memory kits are available in black, red or blue, allowing customers to match RAM with their PC colour schemes.

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Protective Coating for Innodisk DRAM

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Protective Coating for Innodisk DRAM

Innodisk launches a memory module range equipped with conformal coatings to provide protection against moisture, dust and chemical contaminants, thus allowing normal operation even in extreme environments.

Conformal coatings consist of a chemical layer on the surface of the DRAM module creating a protective film around components. The coating protects against moisture, contaminants, dust and acid or alkaline materials, as well as issues caused by electrical or thermal conduction, static electricity and heat.

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Micron, Rambus End Disputes

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Micron, Rambus End Disputes

Micron Technology and Rambus sign a "broad patent cross license agreement"-- one bringing 13 years of legal disputes to an end as Micron agrees to pay Rambus up to $280 million over the next 7 years.

In exchange Micron gets the rights to use any Rambus patent for the manufacture of specified integrated circuit products, including memory, as well as the dropping of all pending litigation.

"This milestone agreement puts years of legal disputes behind both companies and opens doors for future cooperation," Rambus CEO Dr. Ron Black says. "We continue to focus on developing innovative technology and furthering our more open, collaborative relationship with the broader industry."

The deal sees Micron making quarterly royalty payments reaching around 0.6% of revenues from products using Rambus patents. The payments are capped at $10m per quarter (with a fixed cap of $40m per 4 quarters), meaning during the next 7 years Rambus will make up to $280m according to sales volume.

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G.Skill Shows Off DDR4 at IDF 2013

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G.Skill Shows Off DDR4 at IDF 2013

Memory maker G.Skill shows off its first DDR4 DIMMs at Intel Developer Forum 2013, with engineering samples of 4GB DDR4 modules running at 2133Mhz as based on SK Hynix DDR4 chips.

Since the first Intel platforms able to run DDR4 RAM (Haswell-E) is still under wraps the G.Skill demo was static, meaning it did not actually involve functioning modules.

“The next generation of DDR memory is still under development, and G.Skill is working to push the new technology to its limits in the future,” the company says.

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iSuppli: DRAM Grows Up, Matures

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iSuppli: DRAM Grows Up, Matures

Bless, they grow up so fast-- according to IHS iSuppli the DRAM market achieves "some maturity in the face of daunting challenges" as 2013 300mm-equivalent wafer production drops by -24% to 13 million when compared to the 2008 peak of 16.4m units.

The -5% Y-o-Y cut makes 2013 the 2nd straight year of deliberate downsizing, following the -8% drop-off seen in 2012.

Controlled DRAM capacity is a positive for the industry-- it brings gradual normalisation between DRAM supply and demand, allowing firm DRAM pricing when production remains slightly behind demand.


“The DRAM industry has struggled with major challenges in recent years, including chronic oversupply and slowing demand from its main market, the PC business,” IHS says. “This has led to continued weak pricing, financial losses and market revenue declines. However, the DRAM industry has entered a more mature state, enacting structural changes that will allow it to grow even in challenging market conditions.”

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Trendforce: DRAM Prices Rebound in Q1 2013

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Trendforce: DRAM Prices Rebound in Q1 2013

According to TrendForce's DRAMeXchange Q1 2013 sees a rebound in commodity DRAM prices-- mainstream DDR3 4GB module contract prices grow by 36.2% Q-o-Q (from $17.25 on Q4 2012 to $23.50), a rare occurrence in a traditionally weak 1st quarter.

The analyst expects growing DRAM prices will support revenue growth until at least until Q2 2013.


When it comes to vendors, Korea's Samsung and SK Hynix control 64.3% of the market, a -3% drop from Q4 2012. Samsung fails to benefit from the price rebound, with DRAM revenues dropping by -10% Q-o-Q due to commodity DRAM production reduced to less than 20% of total supply. However, thanks mobile DRAM output exceeding 40% (mobile DRAM remains the most profitable of memory products) Samsung still sees strong Q1 2013 margins despite revenue reductions.

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First Hybrid Memory Cube Spec Complete

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First Hybrid Memory Cube Spec Complete

The Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium (HMCC) finishes the first specification for its titular memory technology-- HMC Specification 1.0, allowing OEMs to make 2 or 4GB DRAM employing a stacked, power-efficient architecture.

The result of a 17-month long collective effort led by Micron, Samsung and Hynix, the technology stacks multiple memory dies on top of a DRAM controller. In turn DRAM connects to the controller via silicon Vertical Interconnect Access (VIA), a technology passing a vertical electrical wire through a silicon wafer.

The structure reduces the tasks the memory chip performs, providing an interface 15x faster than standard DDR3 DRAM while reducing power requirements by -70% according to the HMCC.

In total the specification provides for chips with up to 160GBps of aggregate bi-directional bandwidth-- slightly faster than the current 11GBps of aggregate bandwidth of DDR3 or 18-20GBps of DDR4.

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iSuppli: DRAM Growth Slows Down

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iSuppli: DRAM Growth Slows Down

According to IHS iSuppli the average growth of DRAM content per PC will drop to a record low in 2013-- 17.4%, down from 21.4% in 2012 and the record highs of 56.1% in 2007 and 49.9% in 2008.

DRAM loading growth in PCs should remain low in the near future, rising by 21.3% in 2014 before sliding towards the 20% range until at least 2016.

The analyst attributes the decline to the current deceleration in the upgrade cycle (usually justified by the steady increase in PC capabilities) of both desktop and notebook PC.

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Magnetoelectrics: The Next Step in Memory?

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Magnetoelectrics: The Next Step in Memory?

Physicists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory may have found the materials making the next generation of memory-- "magnetoelectrics" with linked magnetic and electric properties.

Magnetoelectric materials allow one to control magnetic behaviours via the application of electrical current, or vice versa. As physicist Philip Ryan puts it "electricity and magnetism are intrinsically coupled-– they’re the same entity. Our research is designed to accentuate the coupling between the electric and magnetic parameters by subtly altering the structure of the material."

The team at Argonne uses EuTiO3 (europium-titanium oxide), a compound whose atomic structure has a titanium atom inside an atomic "cage" of europium and oxygen (see picture). Compressing the cage (via thin EuTiO3 film) and applying voltage shifts the titanium, electrically polarising the compound and essentially changing the magnetic order of the material.

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