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News of the day

  • Delays on PCI Express 3.0
  • P55: PATA or SATA 6 Gbits, a choice has been made
  • -27% on the X25-Ms thanks to 34nm engraving
  • SSDs: one more from Mushkin
  • 15K rpm and 600 GB HDD from Seagate
  • Corsair moves over to Indilinx
  • Intel results: in the red in the EU
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     Delays on PCI Express 3.0
      Posted on 16/07/2009 at 17:12 by Marc - source: EETimes
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    In August 2007, we were already talking about PCI-Express 3.0, which gives twice the bandwidth as the current 2.0 version. At that time, the final specs were planned for end 2009 with machine integration in 2010.

    Now it looks as if the final specs won’t be approved for PCI-E 3.0 before June 2010 and machine integration won’t happen before 2011. Nothing to panic about however as PCI-E 2.0 has been giving very satisfactory performance for some time now.

     P55: PATA or SATA 6 Gbits, a choice has been made
      Posted on 16/07/2009 at 16:47 by Marc
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    Intel still hasn’t planned to integrate native USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbits/s within its chipsets, and now the inclusion of SATA 6 Gbits/s on P55 motherboards for socket 1156, originally planned for the autumn, also seems compromised.

    The additional Marvell 88SE9123 that offers this support is suffering from a fault that will require a new revision of the chip, which means that manufacturers have had to put it on hold for now. Marvell says that the problem isn’t with support for SATA 6 Gbits/s but with PATA!

    Does this mean that SATA 6 Gbits/s is going to be sacrificed on the altar of PATA ? This is the curious choice that would seem to be being made by motherboard manufacturers, unless of course Marvell isn’t telling us everything in terms of the bugs that are affecting the chip. If the problem does indeed concern PATA, high end motherboards in 2010 could simply have not used this feature on the chip!

    In any case, if the manufacturers want PATA support, they are going to have to find a solution quickly: lets hope that the previous version of the chip (SATA 3 Gbits/s) was pin to pin compatible as this would avoid having to rework the design of motherboards at the last minute.

     -27% on the X25-Ms thanks to 34nm engraving
      Posted on 16/07/2009 at 14:44 by Marc
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    At the end of June, Micron announced that it had begun mass production of its MLC Flash NAND chips engraved at 34nm, as against 50nm previously. This allows them to produce a 2 GB chip that is just 84mm².

    Initially programmed for the fourth quarter, the new X25-Ms using these chips should now be ready sooner than thought, according to The Inquirer and some German stores that are announcing availability of the 80 and 160 GB versions for the end of the month.

    Even better, these new X25-Ms, codename Postville, will be a lot cheaper. The best prices in the German stores are currently €195 for the 80 GB version and €380 for the 160 GB version, compared to €520 for the 50 nm versions! At these prices they are once again very competitive opposite the Indilinx Barefoot controllers and the Samsung S3C29RBB in terms of price per GB, which wasn’t the case until now.

    For info, here are the references of the 80 and 160 GB versions, according to the engravings used on chips:

    - 50 nm : SSDSA2MH080G101 and SSDSA2MH160G101
    - 34 nm : SSDSA2MH080G2C1 and SSDSA2MH160G2C1

     SSDs: one more from Mushkin
      Posted on 16/07/2009 at 14:40 by Marc - source: Mushkin
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    Mushkin has annnounced the release of a new 250 GB SSD called the Europa III. It is based on a Samsung S3C29RBB controller and has MLC NAND memory. Reads have been anounced at 220 MB/s and writes at 200 MB/s. It’s a 2.5" SATA II drive with energy consumption of 0.15 W in idle and 0.25 W in load. Good performances then, but not much originality in comparison with what else is on the market...

     15K rpm and 600 GB HDD from Seagate
      Posted on 16/07/2009 at 14:27 by Marc - source: Seagate
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    Seagate has announed the availability of a 3"1/2 Cheetah 15K.7 hard drive that, as it’s name indicates, is a 15 000 rpm drive and the first in this category to reach 600 GB. It has been designed with pro use in mind and uses the 6Gbit/s SAS interface or the Fibre Channel 4 Gbit/s.

    The access times of 3.4 ms are no different to the previous generation but transfers vary between 122 and 204 MB/s according to how deep in the head is, compared to 110 to 171 MB/s before.

     Corsair moves over to Indilinx
      Posted on 16/07/2009 at 14:11 by Marc
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    Corsair has just announced its new “Extreme” range of SSDs. Three models have been launched: 32, 64 and 128 GB (CMFSSD-32D1 , CMFSSD-64D1 and CMFSSD-128D1).
    All are based on the fairly common combination of an Indilinx Barefoot controller, 64 MB of cache and Samsung MLC Flash Nand memory. Read speeds of 240 MB/s and writes of 170 MB/s have been announced for the 128 GB version, 220/135 MB/s for the 32 and 64 GB versions.

    Corsair give a guarantee of 2 years and it’s a shame that Corsair are not offering anything more than the other Indilinx SSDs already on the market (OCZ Vertex, Gskill Falcon, SuperTalent UltraDrive ME…).

     Intel results: in the red in the EU
      Posted on 16/07/2009 at 09:15 by Marc
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    Intel has published results for the last quarter up to June 27. Turnover is $8 bn, or $1.4 bn less than last year but $879 m more than the previous quarter. Because of the record fine imposed by the EU of $1.45 bn, Intel is in the red this quarter with losses of $398 m. If you exclude this fine, profits are a little over a billion, which is $552 million less than last year.

    Intel says that it has sold more processors than in the first quarter with margins up from 46 to 50.8%. The average price of CPUs sold is however falling, in part because of the return of the Atom that now has a turnover of $362 m, 65% up.

    Intel’s predictions are for a turnover of $8.5 bn for the next quarter (+/- 400 million). The third quarter of 2008 saw record figures for Intel with sales of $10.2 bn.

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