Tag - Flash memory
Apple is rumored to be in talks to buy an Israeli startup called Anobit in deal said to be valued up to $500 million. The fabless semiconductor company has developed a flash memory controller technology that makes cheap non-volatile memory work as well as more expensive memory. The company claims to be able to make 3-bit multi-level cell MLC NAND flash, which typically has a shorter working life, last as long as 2-bit MLC, and 2-bit MLC function as long as single-level cell flash.
Toshiba has reportedly established an agreement with Samsung over its system chips, with fabrication said to be outsourced to the latter company, according to an unconfirmed report in the Japanese newspaper Nikkei. The strategy change is reportedly designed to allow Toshiba to concentrate its production efforts on flash memory.
A new chip, created by startup Lyric Semiconductor, promises to shrink flash memory and provide new methods for spam filtering or other processes. The technology utilizes "probability processing" to solve certain problems that can benefit from determining the probability of bits being zero or one. Lyric's LEC chips are designed with new gates, architecture and language dedicated solely to processing probabilities.
Toshiba on Monday introduced a new 64GB embedded NAND flash memory module, claimed to be the highest capacity in the industry. The component combines a dedicated controller and sixteen 32Gbit chips manufactured using the company's 32nm technology. Chip thinning and layering methods help bring the chip thickness down to just 30 micrometers.
The US International Trade Commission has reportedly begun an investigation focusing on several companies that produce or purchase NAND flash components, including Samsung, RIM, Apple and others, according to Barron's. BTG International has accused Samsung of violating several patents involving "MLC" type flash memory.
OCZ has released its OCZ Solid 2 SATA II 2.5” Solid State Drive, using MLC-based NAND flash memory for a balance between performance and price. While MLC memory is slightly slower than SLC memory, the new drives deliver 100MB/sec write (120GB model) and 125MB/sec read speeds and a seek time of less than 0.1ms using the less expensive memory type. The drives carry a 64MB onboard cache and a three-year warranty, while mean time between failure is rated at 1.5 million hours.
Speculation that Apple has been ordering large quantities of NAND flash memory and constraining global supplies has contributed to a recent surge in prices. An inSpectrum report claims that the mainstream 16GB multi-level cell (MLC) components appreciated over 40 percent through February. The spot price has jumped by eight percent just in the past week, following reports suggesting that preparations for the next-generation iPhone were reducing inventory levels for the memory modules.
Apple's preparations for the next-generation iPhone line is constraining worldwide supplies for leading flash memory manufacturers and may increase prices. A new analyst report says that Apple’s (unannounced) refresh of iPhones is putting increased pressure on flash memory manufacturers managing dwindling inventory. According to Cult of Mac, ThinkEquity analyst Vijay Rakesh is telling clients that Apple has begun placing orders for memory for a yet unannounced upgrade to the current iPhone 3G and the rumored "iPhone Nano" or a similar device. Most recently RBC analyst Mark Abramsky claimed that a $99 iPhone would appear later this summer, but that the device would not be a rumored iPhone nano, but instead a pared-down regular iPhone.
Toshiba has announced higher density, faster memory chips in a new lineup of 43nm single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash memory, featuring 2GB, 4GB and 8GB individual chips. The 43 nanometer process allows Toshiba to deliver double the density of its previous 56nm process, while also delivering SLC speeds, which are approximately 2.5x faster than the more common, denser but historically slower MLC (Multi-Level Cell) memory.
Earlier this month, a report had Samsung interested in buying portable flash memory maker SanDisk, and today’s rumors have another suitor considering making a bid for the company. A newswire reports Toshiba is the latest interested party, and is only considering a bid in order to prevent competitor Samsung from taking over SanDisk, thus creating a near monopoly as the sole supplier of NAND flash memory devices, components and subsystems.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives