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.

Intel Introduces Brand Levels for Their Atom Series

Intel doesn’t have the easiest naming system and it looks like they know that. They’re now adding branding levels to their Atom line of processors in a similar way as it’s already done with the Core processors. Starting from the next generation of Atom CPUs they will be offered in three distinct brand levels as in good, better, and best construct: Intel Atom x3, x5, and x7 processors.

The Atom x3 provides basic phablet and smartphone performance, the Atom x5 processor has more capabilities and features for people who want an even better experience, and the flagship Intel Atom x7 processor will provide the highest level of performance and capabilities for this family.

This is good news for all the ones that skip right to the next product when they read the word Atom, as I do. Because they ain’t all bad.

Thanks to Intel for providing us with this information

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 808 and 810 Processors

Qualcomm certainly isn’t wasting any time.

Now that the Snapdragon 801 processor is being pushed out into the wild via phones like the HTC M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5, it’s only fitting that they announce their next generation line. According to Qualcomm these new chips are looking at a Q1/Q2 2015 release time frame which makes sense since we will most likely see Snapdragon 805 equipped devices released in late summer.

These new chips are the first high end processors to be based on 64-bit architecture which is obviously the ammo needed to battle Apple since they had released their own 64-bit processing in the iPhone 5s. The low end will be covered by the recently announced Snapdragon 410, 610, and 615. With native 4k Ultra HD interface and video capturing support baked in its looking to be a beast of a SoC. With an upgraded camera suite using gyro-stabilization and 3D noise reduction for producing high quality 4K video at 30 frames per second and 1080p video at 120 frames per second, there’s no doubt that it will lead the next generation of mobile devices. There’s also a combined 14-bit dual Image Signal Processors (ISPs) capable of supporting 1.2GP/s throughput and image sensors up to 55MP. With the current crop of high end devices capping out at around 20mp (excluding the Lumia 1020 of course) this will help mobile devices cut deeper and deeper into the Point and Shoot camera market in the future.

The real meat of these processors is from combining Cortex-A53 cores and the more powerful Cortex-A57s. The A57 is supposed to be bringing a 50% increase in performance over the current A15s. Memory will be  supported by advanced DDR4 along with other bonuses like Cat 6 LTE-Advanced speed of up to 300 Mbps as well as enhanced carrier aggregation

Saving the best news for last is that with new processors comes better graphical processing as well. The Snapdragon 808 will come packed with an Adreno 418. According to the San Diego chip manufacturer this gpu will be about 20% faster than Adreno 330. The 810 processor will be armed with Adreno 430, which is roughly about 30% faster which will most likely only marginally surpass that of the Adreno 420 paired with the 805.

 

Thanks to Qualcomm for providing us with this information.