A trip down memory lane

The memory market might be known for its volatility, but one man with a clearer view than most is John Tu, president and co-founder of Kingston Technology. He predicts the major developments that will shape the memory industry during the course of this year.

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A trip down memory lane Kingston’s John Tu expects solid state drives and DDR3 technology to make all the headlines this year.
By  Andrew Seymour Published  March 6, 2010 Channel Middle East Logo
1. SSD to go mainstream

Greater production of NAND and the wide adoption of Windows 7, which includes a number of SSD-specific performance-enhancing features, will make this technology a mainstream part of the PC storage portfolio for corporate and personal users in 2010. Kingston will continue to educate end-users on the real price to performance ratio that SSDs have over traditional HDDs.

2. Prepare for the price crash

With pricing getting closer to the US$100 barrier, Kingston expects that prices for SSDs in 2010 will continue to decline as vendors refine production processes and NAND die shrinks continue. The lower pricing will directly result in capacity increases as costs come down. Thus, capacities of SSDs will continue to soar, with one 1TB drives on the horizon already.

3. Continued consolidation

As predicted last year, consolidation in the DRAM market has taken its toll in 2009, helping the industry’s recovery. The continued increase in prices and the recent narrowing of chipmakers’ losses come as an indicator of the upturn in the industry. Yet, with consolidation expected to continue in 2010, caution will be a top priority for manufacturers. DRAM supply and demand is projected to improve in 2010 in conjunction with the global economic resurgence.

4. Prolonging the life-cycle

The uptake of lower energy IT equipment, such as SSD drives, and higher capacity memory modules have proved that organisations are definitely looking further into the future by investing to reap cost-saving benefits over the next years. During 2010, we will see more organisations upgrading and extending the use of their server and client systems, as well as implementing solutions to reduce overall costs and become much more efficient.

5. The rise of DDR3

JEDEC-based DDR3 memory modules were launched by most manufacturers in the summer of 2007. However, as with most new technologies, implementation has taken some time. It is predicted that DDR3 shipments will rise to account for more than half of the global DRAM market by the second quarter of next year. What is more, according to DRAMeXchange, DDR3-based platforms are expected to account for 90% of new systems sales by the end of 2010, leading the PC memory technology.

6. USB 3.0 breaks through

USB 3.0 technology has been in the news for quite some time already, however we are yet to see a move from major vendors seeking to push USB 3.0-compatible motherboards. With specifications confirmed to support data transfer rates of up to 4.8GB/s — more than three times faster than a USB 2.0 — this new interface will truly set a new standard and also push demand for high capacity USBs as data transfer times are reduced. The first boards supporting USB 3.0 have begun shipping, with compatible USB drives expected in 2010. How quickly this new interface will find its way into the market is yet to be seen. USB 2.0 will remain the major standard throughout 2010, with USB 3.0 becoming stronger in 2011.

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