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  • The mini-SATA en route
  • Samsung making PRAM (at last)
  • The “Phenom II X6” confirmed for 2010
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     The mini-SATA en route
      Posted on 22/09/2009 at 16:40 by Marc - source: SATA-IO
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    SATA-IO has announced a new standard known as mSATA (for mini SATA) designed with netbooks and laptops in mind. mSATA will provide compact connection for SSDs and other small-form factor devices. While SATA III is starting to appear, mSATA currently only gives SATA II speeds, namely 3 Gbit/s. This interface should moreover harmonise design for small hard drives.

    Toshiba have taken advantage of this announcement to come onto the market with an SSD range that uses the mSATA interface. It is called the SG2 range and offers drives of 30 and 60 GB that measure just 50x30x4.45 mm. 32 nm MLC memory is used and the MTBF has been announced at 1 million usage hours. The speeds announced are good: 70 MB/s writes and 180 MB/s reads, already a jump forward from PATA. These drives will be in production as of October 2009.

     Samsung making PRAM (at last)
      Posted on 22/09/2009 at 14:34 by Marc
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    Samsung have just announced that they have started production of Phase-change Ram or PRAM. Manufactured at 60 nm, this chip comes 3 years after the first working prototype and a year late on initial planning. Destined for mobile devices at first due to its low energy consumption, this non-volatile memory could eventually replace NOR Flash memory in these devices.

    What about SSDs? For the moment – and this will be the case for quite some time – it won’t compete with Flash NAND, because although PRAM is better in certain aspects, in particular because it lasts longer (100 million writes) and allows reprogramming of cells per bit, write speeds, though 7 to 10 times faster than NOR, are still significantly down on NAND, as is density.

     The “Phenom II X6” confirmed for 2010
      Posted on 22/09/2009 at 13:41 by Marc
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    At Maximum PC AMD representatives have confirmed the rumour that AMD will launch a 6 core processor next year for AM3/AM2+ platforms. While Intel now have 3 platforms, AMD seem to have decided to continue to develop their current platform, which is to be appreciated.

    Nevertheless, the advent of the 6 core alone will not necessarily be enough to improve AM3 performance. We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that this processor will probably be clocked lower than its quad equivalent, if only because of energy economy as it will be engraved at 45 nm.

    This will limit performance in many cases where all 6 cores aren’t full exploited. It may well be that this processor will only close the gap on the Core i7s, just when Intel will be on the point of launching its 32 nm LGA1366 six core, the Gulftown…

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