Tom's Hardware decided to check up with Samsung about what's going on with the 850 Pro 4TB SSD. This MLC-based model has long been rumored since the arrival of the 850 EVO with 4TB of TLC-based NAND memory, it was mentioned in a CES press release but is still not available.
Samsung's press agency replied the 850 Pro 4TB is delayed due to the worldwide shortage of NAND flash memory:
“As a result of the worldwide NAND shortage, Samsung is focused on allocating NAND to products where we see the greatest demand. We will let you know when further updates on the 850 PRO 4TB are available.”
As the site reports, this is the first official confirmation of a retail SSD product that has been delayed due to NAND shortages. Several other solid state disks are in short supply and prices are rising due to the shortage:
Rumor has it the early 960 Series products destined for consumer shoppers were scooped up by datacenters. The series, the Pro model in particular, delivers exceptional performance and endurance for a consumer SSD and rivals many of the existing enterprise-focused models shipping today. There was a lingering suspicion that the low volume at Newegg and Amazon were a combination of datacenter purchasing and supply-side troubles.
Some chip makers are converting DRAM production lines to NAND, which in turn will result in a DRAM shortage later this year.
Dutch tech site Tweakers had the opportunity to interview ASML CEO Peter Wennink about how the introduction of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) technology will change the semiconductor industry.
Originally, it was hoped EUV would be ready in time for the shrink to the 22nm node but getting these extremely complicated machines ready for mass production turned out to be much harder than ASML expected when it starting working on this new technology at the start of the millennium.
The first EUV prototype machine was ready in 2006 but several generations later the company is still in a race against the clock to ensure its clients, which include Intel, TSMC, GlobalFoundries and Samsung, will be able to kick off EUV mass production towards the end of 2018 or early 2019.
The chip makers all have a close cooperation with ASML because this Dutch company is the only one in the world that manufactures cutting-edge chip production equipment. Japanese firms Nikon and Canon also participate in the lithography market but have steadily lost marketshare to ASML.
Wennink claims EUV arrives just in time for the 7nm node as the currently used immersion lithography is hitting the limits of what is technically and economically possible. This is one of the reasons why companies are struggling right now with new nodes and why Intel delayed its 10nm node.
Chip makers were able to stretch the lifetime of immersion by adopting multiple patterning techniques, but this had an adverse impact on yields and costs.
Intel hopes that with the introduction of EUV it will be able to get back to its tick-tock cadence.
The ASML CEO adds that EUV will make the 7nm, 5nm and 3nm process nodes cost-effective. Furthermore, he also reveals that current .33 NA (numerical aperture) EUV will likely be good for two nodes, before switching to High NA with a numerical aperture of over .5, which in turn should be good for another two to three nodes.
Obviously, significant technical challenges remain but ASML expects EUV will have a horizon of beyond the year 2030. Some clients reportedly have roadmaps that reveal a path to the 1.5nm node with EUV.
The Toshiba accounting scandal may have some interesting implications for the tech world as the Japanese conglomerate is considering to spin off its semiconductor operations. According to Nikkei Asian Review, the new chip business may be created as early as the first half of this year.
By selling a 20 percent stake in the business, Toshiba aims to raise a figure between 200 billion yen and 300 billion yen ($1.77 billion to $2.65 billion), while retaining a majority stake of 80 percent. Possible suitors include Western Digital as well as several investment funds.
If WD buys the stake it would create an even closer cooperation between the two companies. The former finished its acquisition of SanDisk in 2016, which was a major partner of Toshiba in the NAND industry.
The arrangement would provide Toshiba with short-term funds in the form of proceeds from the stake sale, as well as make it easier for the business to get bank loans and other funding for capital investment and research and development. This would facilitate growth driven by flash memory chips, eventually lifting Toshiba's capital.
Toshiba and Western Digital operate a key flash memory plant together in the Mie Prefecture city of Yokkaichi.
The dual-GPU Radeon Pro Duo launched in April 2016 for a whopping $1,499. Due to the high price, the limited availability and the intended target audience, the product wasn't covered on a lot of tech sites but now we have some interesting news as the card recently dropped significantly in price.
Over at Newegg you can now pick up a XFX Raeon Pro Duo for $799.99, basically a discount of over 45 percent versus the original launch price.
Sites like The Tech Report speculate this may be a clearance sale to clear out inventory before Vega arrives.
One of the peculiar things about electric car maker Tesla is that the company spends no money on advertising. Happy customers deliver a lot of word-of-mouth marketing for the company, and now even the US government is inadvertently doing some marketing for Tesla as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that crash rates of Tesla vehicles dropped significantly after the introduction of the Autopilot feature.
NHTSA found that the number of crashes dropped by almost 40 percent since Tesla added semi-autonomous features in its vehicles in 2015. Before Autosteer, Tesla car drivers had a crash rate of 1.3 per million miles, whereas after Autosteer the rate fell to 0.8 per million miles.
The government concluded that while advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) like Autopilot may help in reducing auto accidents, they should not supplement or replace a driver’s attention to the road. “While ADAS technologies are continually improving in performance in larger percentages of crash types, a driver should never wait for automatic braking to occur when a collision threat is perceived,” the NHTSA said.
Inspired by the the iBuyPower Snowblind, a new case prototype with a transparent display side panel that was shown at CES 2017, modder Joshua Dennis of Pixel Six Designs decided to create his own custom side panel LCD window.
He stripped down a 16" AOC USB-powered display, used a sheet of acrylic glass and made the necessary customizations to integrate the components into the side panel of his computer case.
All things considered, he says it's a relatively cheap and easy mod that delivers a kickass effect:
Joshua started the project with a 16" AOC USB-powered monitor that he stripped down to the LCD panel. He customized a sheet of acrylic to serve as the new side panel for his case, and cut out a hole for the display. The display needs considerable lighting behind it in order for its images to be visible, so he attached two LED strips to the side panel, and six more inside the case. The display's cable runs out of the back of the case.
Windows sees the display as a third monitor, giving Joshua freedom to put just about whatever he likes on his side panel.
As I have written a couple of times now, the name of a semiconductor process doesn't tell you a whole lot about its performance. One company's 14nm may be similar to another foundry's 10nm node, as these are all just marketing names.
TSMC illustrated the concept during its latest earnings call as the foundry confirmed the existence of a "12nm" node. Co-CEO C.C. Wei confirmed TSMC is continuining to enhance its 16nm technology and said its latest 16nm revision may be worth calling 12nm because this particular node will deliver significant enhancements in terms of density, classical density, performance and power consumption. This will be TSMC's fourth 16nm node.
On the call, TSMC Co-CEO C.C. Wei told analysts that its strategy is "continuously to improve every node in the performance, such as 28-nanometer." He went on to say that TSMC is "continuing to [improve] the 16-nanometers technology." Wei explained that its next revision of the 16nm technology may be worth calling 12nm because it will deliver improved "density, classical density, performance, and power consumption," according to a transcript by Seeking Alpha.
NZXT showcases the Puck, a multifunctional magnetic tool that promises to make cable management of wired accessories a lot easier. It's primarily designed to be used with headsets, and it will ship in black white, red, blue and NZXT purple versions. NZXT says shipments will start in February for $19.99.
How to identify the Puck:
Various colors have been confirmed: black, white, red, blue and NZXT purple.
Its magnetic powers have fixed itself to surfaces like the NZXT S340 Elite, Noctis 450 ROG, or Manta.
Audio headsets, VR headsets are mysteriously well-organized in an efficient space-saving fashion.
The Puck has split into two parts to organize even more rogue cables simultaneously.
The Puck is made of futuristic, non-conductive and hazardous-free silicone.
The video clip below explains how to use the product:
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is reportedly working on a new laptop with a chassis made of magnesium-lithium alloy. DigiTimes heard the notebook will arrive later this year and claims the chassis will be made by a China-based joint-venture established by Taiwan-based thermal management solution provider TaiSol Electronics and Japan-based ShinSho.
While magnesium-alloy is more expensive than aluminium, it has the advantage of being very sturdy yet a lot lighter than aluminium. A magnesium-lithium alloy with 10 percent lithhium has a density of just 1.4g/cm³, versus 2.7g/cm³ for aluminium.
ODM production of this particular laptop will be handled by Inventec, which was also one of the two providers Xiaomi used last year for its first laptops.
Microsoft announced it acquired Simplygon. The name may not ring a bell but this is a Swedish company that makes tools for automatic 3D data optimization and its APIs are used by almost every major video game developer.
In a blog post, Microsoft explains it will use the IP from this new bolt-on acquisition to accelerate its 3D For Everyone vision and strategy:
Simplygon’s technology and talent will strengthen our position in 3D creation, making it easier to capture, create and share in 3D. It builds on and extends our aspirations to empower a new wave of creativity with the Windows 10 Creators Update, Paint 3D and our online creator community at Remix3D.com.
Simplygon was developed by Donya Labs AB, a privately held company based in Sweden. Donya was founded in 2006 with the aim to be the premier developer of automatic 3D data-optimization solutions. Simplygon is a leader in 3D game optimization, dedicated to helping creators and users of 3D data across industries optimize content pipelines and streamline workflows.