Hynix Fabs 1 and 2 in Wuxi, China were engulfed in flames today after a chemical fire broke out. The fire was large and in many of the pictures circling the internet the buildings appeared to be totally immolated. When the news of the fire broke it was estimated that as much as 30% of world memory production were destroyed. This led to much speculation about memory shipments and prices as well as how long the consumer electronics industry will be affected.
Micron has introduced the M500 line of Solid State Drives with which they intend to offer customers a high capacity and high performance Solid State Drive at a cheaper price. The company will sell the SSDs on the market under the brand Crucial, while versions for OEM customers wear the market name Micron.
FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) is annoying to read regardless of what side is doing it. Today’s bit of FUD is about Apple decreasing the amount of memory they are using from Samsung for the next iPhone. To start off with the decrease is nothing new nor is it unexpected. Apple used Elpida as the primary source for memory in the third generation iPad last year. They liked the product and the price so we would not expect them to drop that particular connection. Another supplier of memory to Apple is Micron Technologies. By an amazing coincidence Micron is also planning to buy Elpida some, like Citibank even feel that Apple might have encouraged Micron to make the purchase last year.
Today we find a rumor turning to truth as Micron Technology has admitted it is considering rescue buyout of Elpida Memory. Elpida has been the subject of something of an acquisition hot potato as at least two other companies have considering grabbing them up in the last 18 months. As things stand it looks like Hynix, Naya and Toshiba are also interested in picking up the bankrupt company.
During our coverage of Intel’s Ivy Bridge and in particular our coverage of Asus’ Z77 based motherboards we mentioned that Asus was already starting to use a new tracing layout to deal with increasing memory speeds. The new memory they were working towards was not only DDR3 (up to 3200MHz) but also DDR4. It is a good thing they have already started working on this as we now hear that Micron has working DDR4 memory modules.
Solid State drives are what the enthusiast market wants for storage. This has been the case since the first SSDs hit the market a few years ago. However, the drives were too expensive for most and ended up being available to very few. In the last year or so the price per Gigabyte has dropped to almost $1 making the SSD a more viable option for not only the enthusiast but also for the regular consumer market. Additionally with the introduction of high-performance, low cost SATA 3.0 Controllers for SSDs the performance of these drives has made them almost too good to pass up. As far as completion and variety the SSD market is also better now than the traditional magnetic media market. There are simply more companies making SSDs than there are making HDD. We have already taken a look at a few of these in the past and are now working into the new line of SATA 3.0 drives complete with the SandForce 2281 SATA 3.0 controller. Today we have one from Patriot Memory, the PyroSE 120GB solid state drive. Let’s see just how fast it is.