Business, Hardware

Elpida Preparing Micron Nanya Deal ? February Closure?

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Nikkei Business Daily reported today that Japan?s last remaining DRAM memory manufacturer, Elpida Memory Inc., presented a broad based recovery plan based on a partnership with Micron Technology and Nanya Technologies in a meeting with lenders on Wednesday. The lenders have given Elpida President Yukio Sakamoto until next month to come up with a satisfactory recovery plan that according to sources is based upon the outcome of talks with Micron and Nanya. The lenders originally demanded the plan in January but negotiations with potential partners ran into problems that needed additional time to work out according to sources. According to sources, Elpida is technology rich

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Business, Hardware

Micron?s Mark Durcan Retires ? Some Implicational Logic

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Mark Durcan, Micron Technology?s [NASDAQ:MU] Chief Operating Officer, will retire at the end of August. Durcan joined Micron in 1984 and was promoted to his present position in 2006. Durcan will be replaced by Micron?s head of sales, Mark Adams, previously Chief Operating Officer of Lexar Media Inc. before being acquired by Micron in 2006. Micron has suffered through the current DRAM depression losing money for the last two consecutive quarters. PC manufacturers have cut back DRAM purchases as a result of floods in Thailand limiting the availability of hard disk drives to build units. Durcan, 50, is retiring and is not leaving for another

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Business, Hardware

Elpida, Micron & Nanya – Unlikely Merger or Likely ReRAM Joint Development?

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A story in Yomiuri Shinbun reports that financially stressed Elpida is in discussions with U.S. based Micron Technology and Taiwan based Nanya Technology. An Elpida spokesperson said that parts of the report were inaccurate but would not elaborate. A spokesperson for Micron also did not immediately respond to a request for comment by BSN*. Elpida has a debt load reported at $6.26 billion with a note $1.6 billion due in April. Industry analysts are skeptical that Elpida can meet the obligation. Speculation has been rampant over the past week. One was that Japanese Government had requested Toshiba look into investing in Elpida. Toshiba denied any

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Business, Enterprise, Hardware

Elpida Announces Resistance RAM Prototype: End of Road for DRAM & NAND Flash?

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Elpida Memory, Inc. announced the development of its first high-speed non-volatile resistive memory [ReRAM] prototype. For some reason, Elpida used "Resistance RAM" instead of "Resistive RAM" but we believe it is a matter of creative interpretation by the Japanese translator. The prototype was fabricated using 50nm process technology and consists of a 64 Megabit array making it one the highest density prototype reported thus far. President and CEO of Elpida, Yukio Sakamoto (photo Maurice Tsai /  Bloomberg). The prototype was jointly developed with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a Japanese-funded public institution. Further work on ReRAM development is being conducted with

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Business, Hardware

Rambus Waterloo: How Intel Sunk the Antitrust Micron/Hynix Lawsuit

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Yesterday, Rambus Inc. lost a long fought legal battle filed against Micron and Hynix by the company in 2004. The San Francisco jury decided 9-3 against Rambus after deliberating a near record of more than eight weeks on their decision. Rambus’ stock, halted in anticipation of the court action, fell more than 60% of its market value on the decision (today, it saw a 15% recovery). It’s been a very bad day for Rambus aficionados.  Rambus accused Micron and Hynix of violating antitrust laws in that they purposely sold Rambus DRAM at elevated prices while conspiring to sell DDR2 SDRAM at depressed prices to deprive

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Business, Hardware

HP – Hynix Plan Resistive RAM Intro in Summer of 2013

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Stan Williams, HP’s memristor guru, announced at the International Electronics Forum being held in Seville, Spain, that a the two terminal memristor technology will be taking market share away from flash memory within 18 months. "We have big plans for it and we’re working with Hynix Semiconductor to launch a replacement for flash in the summer of 2013 and to also address the solid-state drive market," Williams related to the audience.Williams further explained that the results achieved by the technology in areas of write current, read and write time and retention proved too compelling not to take to market. Williams is not shy about commanding further

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Business, Hardware

Micron & Samsung Form Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium

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Seems the boys in Boise have their eyes set on establishing the Hybrid Memory Cube as an industry standard. In a joint announcement today Samsung and Micron announced the formation of Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium [HMCC] whose aim is the development and implementation of an open interface specification for the technology. Hybrid Memory Cube is consisted out of logic layer (blue layer, with connecting BGA array), and multiple DRAM dies stacked on top of each other. Imagine an 4Gbit DRAM chip becoming 16Gbit one, and a single DIMM module with 32GB instead of current maximum of 8GB. Micron and Samsung are the founding partners and

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Enterprise, Hardware

Intel Micron Hybrid Memory Cube: The Future of Exascale Computing?

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Intel and Micron showed results of their Hybrid Memory Cube [HMC] collaboration last week at IDF 2011. This is the first public showing of the jointly developed high performance memory architecture, a purpose designed memory solution for their exascale computing effort. Intel-Micron Hybrid Memory Cube in real world Intel has set the year 2018 as the year in which the company plans to build a supercomputer capable of an exaflop or better execution rate. This is approximately two orders of magnitude faster than those extant as of June 2011. The proposed machine, targeted to consume less than 20 megawatts of power, a reduction of 300

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Business, Hardware

Intel Scores Profit Gain ? Bullish Bellwether

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Intel Corporation announced their 4Q results on Thursday with earnings jumping a surprising 48%. Revenue jumped 8.4% to $11.46 billion. Analysts are picking up pieces of their shattered forecasts wondering what happened to their decidedly downcast "view" for the company. Tablet Expectations & Reality The market, mesmerized with the mobile computing phenomenon, has caused the analyst community to lose their bearings when it comes to what constitutes margin and how it?s accumulated on the bottom line. The ramp-up in sales of tablet computers has caused concern about the company?s prospects as it has been slow in reacting to it were put to rest with Intel?s

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Business

Toshiba Flash Memory Fades on a Power Blip

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Not a good day to be a Toshiba shareholder this Wednesday morning, that’s for sure. It all started early Wednesday morning when the company’s memory production facility in Yokkaichi, Japan experienced a 70 millisecond power dip. As a result, Toshiba may be forced to reduce its Flash output in the January through February time frame by a whooping twenty percent, or one fifth of its normal capacity. This represents approximately eight percent of the world supply but it most likely won’t affect the company?s major buyers such as Apple. Tier 2 and tier 3 customers are now bracing for a possible price spike and some

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Business

AT&T Graded Worst in Class: S&P Downgrades to A-

Ok, I?m an AT&T subscriber and I?ve got a grudge. AT&T never delivered on bandwidth, leaving most of those who bought in on the promise listless freaks unconnected to anything that resembles real time on the internet. It came as little wonder that Consumer Reports’ annual review of cellular carriers found AT&T dead last in the pack with their overall satisfaction score falling to 60 from 66 a year ago – the only carrier to see such a substantial drop. AT&T stated that through the third quarter it "continued to maintain a strong balance sheet, deliver strong cash flows and reduce debt." The company noted

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Business, Hardware

DRAM Sales Drop – NAND Flash Building Momentum

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The bad news is that memory suppliers have outdone themselves once again and have stepped off the proverbial cliff [almost on cue]. The good news is that this may be perfect timing for the solid state storage market.   Synoptic Memory Producer Financial Reports Korea Although Samsung reported a 17 percent net income advance over a year ago on Thursday it cited slowing PC sales as a cautionary on their outlook for the next quarter earnings.  The company was quick to add that NAND Flash sales remained robust.     Hynix reported results that were off 1 percent down from second quarter results. Demand for

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Business, Enterprise, Hardware

Analysis: Windows 3.1 Déjà Vu & Jumpin Jack Flash

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Microsoft Windows 3.1 was released in March of 1992. The release turned a DRAM memory sales depression into a hockey stick bonanza nearly overnight as adopter?s bought up additional memory modules required to make 3.1 perform decently. The aftermarket module makers suddenly became very important mass merchandisers for the memory manufacturers. That was the last time anyone in the memory business can remember whistling or humming "What a Difference a Day Makes"…, maybe until just recently. OCZ Results – Surprising uptick in Corporate Use OCZ?s recent operating results got my attention. Not so for the earnings report [they still lost money] but for the eye

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Enterprise, Hardware, Rumors

Wednesday?s Child Buyout Woes – A Rumor of Some Strength

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A persistent rumor has surfaced recently and after checking around it seems to have some veracity. A well known startup company making splashes in the Solid State Storage sector is about to become the latest buyout of the year on Wednesday. We learned about the buyer and well, the potential announcement could not sound better. Naturally, disclosing it right now would be speaking out of school now, wouldn?t it? And then again it just may be a well placed rumor? tied well with the recent announcement of closing in on another round of funding. Take your best shot at guessing the involved players in the

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Business, Hardware

Elpida, Sharp Team Up on Resistive RAM – A Full Blown Memory Initiative?

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Japan?s Elpida Memory Inc. and Sharp Corp. announced the formation of a Resistive RAM [ReRAM] development program which promises commercial devices as early as 2013, reported Nikkei Business Daily. The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology [AIST], University of Tokyo and a number of semiconductor equipment companies are also joining the collaboration indicating the level of importance the project is being given within Japan?s semiconductor technology community. The New Memory Project has been assigned under the newly created MCP & Flash Division reporting directly to Yukio Sakamoto, President of Elpida Memory Inc. as reported in a recent company reorganization announcement. Resistive random access

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Enterprise, Hardware

SandForce Announces SF-2000 SSD Family, Enters Enterprise

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SandForce Inc. from Saratoga, CA recently announced the company?s new solid state disk processor family.  Based on their foundry partners TSMC and proven 65nm process, the SF-2000 family of SSD controllers from SandForce include three processors; The SF-2300 for industrial applications, the SF-2500 [SATA] and SF-2600 [SAS] intended for enterprise. SandForce SF-2000 SSD Controller Family Overview One of the unique and impressive features of the new processor line is the industrial temperature support [-40 to +85 degrees Celsius]. While still not automotive-grade [105C required], the SF-2300 is opening up doors for SSD technology to enter embed applications such as airplane entertainment systems, heavy duty workstations,

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Business, Hardware

Adesto Technologies Acquires Qimonda CBRAM IP & Patents

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Adesto Technologies, a venture dedicated to developing non volatile memory technology has acquired intellectual property and patnets related to their Conductive Bridging Random Access Memory [CBRAM] technology from the now defunct Qimonda AG. The agreement includes purchase of 30 patent related families and licensing of additional undisclosed patents. The agreement "positions Adesto as the clear leader in CBRAM memory technology and enhances our current IP position in this area tremendously" according to Dr. Narbeh Derhacobian, CEO of Adesto Technologies. Further, Dr. Derhacobian stated "We are impressed with the Qimonda developed IP and believe it will accelerate our time to market in delivering our memory technology

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Hardware

SSDs Finally Do Fly : The Search for SoC Memory

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The Non-Volatile Memory Conference held last Wednesday in Santa Clara proved to be a rich resource on the current state of affairs within the non volatile memory industry. The long expected NAND-Flash growth ramp in Solid State Disks [SSD] has finally begun. Adding the high usage rates within the mobile electronics space yields a market forecast that nearly doubles each year for the next two years reaching nearly $9 Billion in 2012. Flash End Near?A presentation by Spansion stated that flash memory will not have enough electrons on the storage element for the technology to work beginning at 128 Gbs. Though there is a lot

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Business, Enterprise, Graphics

GPU Enables Beating Heart Surgery

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Nvidia?s GTC 2010 opening day Keynote by Jen-Hsun Huang presented a breakthrough development in robotic cardiac surgery called "beating heart surgery". Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of nVidia introduces Dr. Michael D. Black This notable development of minimally invasive surgery [MIS] benefits patients through shortening convalescence, reducing trauma and surgery costs. The aim is to make the surgery more intuitive for the surgeon and safer for the patient. The fact that the heartbeat and respiration represent the two major sources for motion disturbance requires the use of computer vision techniques that accurately sense the motion of the heart which are then used in a feedback control loop

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Business, Hardware

Intel Developer Forum 2010 – Mobilization of Intel

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San Francisco?s Moscone Center was home to Intel?s annual Developer forum this past week.  It was fairly low key with a couple of 3.1 Richter Scale announcements.  A little peaking under the surface reveals that Intel is repositioning their consumer side to address changing market demands? Margin Diversification Intel is a margin driven organization with sales that roughly divide into two categories consisting of corporate [33%] and consumer [66%]. Corporate sales have, for the most part, maintained good volume and margin though the consumer side of the business seems to have suffered from a shift in consumer spending habits. Consumer expenditures for desktops and high

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