Intel and Micron Introduce the Next Generation of Memory

Intel has teamed up with Micron to create the next generation of memory and today’s press event was to announce this to the world. It was done with big words and as we’ve learned from the recent Intel 750 SSD launch, they mean business when they say so.

Where the 750 SSD took NAND and moved it onto a better platform that could be better utilized by the CPU instead of being bottlenecked by SATA and SAS bus’, this introduction is something completely new. It is dubbed the 3D XPoint (3D Cross Point) and is truly the next generation memory.

It’s also about time that we get a new type of memory as the current NAND technology, while improved upon over time, already is over 25 years old.

3D XPoint is a new class of non-volatile memory that can provide speeds up to 1,000 times faster than current NAND technology. Not only is it faster, it is also a lot more durable and doesn’t have the trouble with a lot of writes as NAND does. This will bring game-changing performance to the market.

Not only is 3D XPoint said to be 1000 times faster and 1000 times more durable, it also has 10 times or more density than conventional memory.

The idea in itself isn’t new, but most people didn’t think it was possible. Intel and Micron had to come up with completely new materials and combinations as well as methods to combine them into a working product that could be mass produced.

Where normal memory just changes a part of the material used to indicate its state, 3D XPoint memory uses bulk material property change where the whole part changes instead of just being electron-based. This allows for more capacity in denser storage and the current production is spitting out 128Gbit sizes.

The 3D stacking is different from 3D NAND as it truly allows expansion in all direction without any effect to the performance. The unique switches inside are the key for this and it’s where the strength comes from. 3D NAND allows for more capacity, but not more speed, and that is why we need this new technology.

The pure nature of the technology also allows for much better data security as nothing will be lost in case of power failures. It can be used for both storage and system memory and as such could be the next big thing.

This isn’t just a proof of concept or a fancy powerpoint presentation with an idea, these are actual memory chips that currently are being produced in the joint factory of Micron and Intel. Both companies will release products based on this new technology in 2016 and they don’t expect any shortages in supply. That’s great news.

The final thing you might be asking yourself, what is the price and how does it really place itself in usability in comparison with other memory types. Both of these questions can be answered in one, it places itself between DRAM and NAND, so that’s not so bad news.

Vector Smartwatch Says it Can Offer a 30-Day Battery Life

The Vector Smartwatch has been revealed at the annual luxury watch fair in Switzerland. The company stated that it will release the watch in two variants, a Luna round face and Meridian rectangular face. However, the most interesting thing about it is not its appearance, but its battery endurance.

Vector has announced that its smartwatch battery can last for 30 days. This however, is subject to a lot of debate, since nobody can believe a smartwatch can last that long during prolonged use.

The company is said to have former Timex CEO Joe Santana and ex-Nike Designer Steve Jarvis on board and although they haven’t revealed much about the gadget, it is said to give the user the ability to display messages on-screen, dismiss them with a flick of the wrist and even works with IFTTT commands.

In terms of compatibility, the Vector is said to be able to pair up with iPhones, iPads, Android and Windows devices. The smartwatch is expected to be released late this summer and come with a $340 price tag for the Luna model with brown leather strap or black nylon and a $199 price tag for the Meridian black nylon strap.

There are other models featuring stainless steel straps, but expect the price to match the quality of the material.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Sandisk X210 256GB Business Class Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


When it comes to covering a whole host of market segments with various forms of flash storage, there are not that many vendors that cover everything; from the production of bare NAND right up to a full-blown SSD. Sandisk are one of the few vendors that do just that and we can’t forget that on top of the production of solid state components and drives, they also produce their own memory card, and storage components for mobile devices. Simply put, they cover the flash storage market from virtually every angle and cater for every market segment from OEM through to consumer and on to the business/ enterprise sector.

As solid state storage has developed we have been watching these drives slowly work their way into the enterprise market, replacing mechanical drives in servers to make way for far greater speeds and IOPs performance. Sticking with the business and enterprise market, there is a relatively narrow channel that divides the consumer and enterprise markets and this is filled with the prosumer and SMB user groups. For this group of users, there is the need for a drive that offers all the speed and storage capacities that we get from a mainstream consumer drive, but more importantly the IOPs performance and reliability that is found in the enterprise markets. As the SSD has matured, the market has been able to open up and this has allowed a new breed of drive that offers all the above attributes to come into place, making it ideal for both business notebook and small server environments alike.

In the past we have had a good look at the consumer level solid state drives that Sandisk has on offer; the most recent of these being the Extreme II 240GB which won our coveted Extreme Performance award and some respects, the X210 is a little like the Extreme II, with the same controller being used. To make this a business class drive though, Sandisk have made a few tweaks here and there within the firmware, with the result being far greater reliability and expected lifespan as a result of sacrificing a small amount of performance. In a market segment where lifespan and reliability is for more important than top end performance, the X210 on paper is looking good, and with one drive aimed at serving the entry-level server and business notebook environment, Sandisk aim to have the best of both worlds her with a drive that comes in at a reasonable price.

When it comes to accessories, the X210 is not generally going to come with a box full of adaptors and stickers and even our review sample came in a plain black box with nothing more than foam padding inside. All these accessories are a waste of time at this level, all the user is after is the drive and the drive alone.