Tag Archives: memory

Coronavirus outbreak could impact NAND flash prices

Memory manufacturers operating in Asia have reported no major impact to supply related to the coronavirus outbreak yet, but industry analysts predict weakening demand could affect NAND flash prices.

NAND flash prices had been rising in 2020, but some analysts say the trajectory could slow and reverse as the coronavirus outbreak drives down sales of mobile phones and other devices that use the chips. Others see the demand impact as insufficient to change the upward trend in NAND flash prices. So, enterprise, hyperscale, server and storage OEM buyers are left with an uneven set of forecasts as they plot their flash product purchases.

“All bets are off on the stability of pricing later this year,” said Don Jeanette, a vice president at Trendfocus.

Jeanette falls in the camp that thinks the coronavirus outbreak could drive manufacturers to lower the price of NAND flash this year, as supply outpaces demand. The price of NAND flash had soared higher than Jeanette expected in early 2020, and he said the trend appeared likely to continue until the “coronavirus effect” started.

Now Jeanette thinks the virus-related reductions in PC and mobile device sales could start to become a factor soon and free up NAND flash. Even more NAND flash could free up in the second half of the year, when major hyperscalers start to curb their “massive” first-half purchases of flash and SSDs, he said.

Coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created this image to illustrate the ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. The illness caused by this virus is named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Jim Handy, general director and semiconductor analyst at Objective Analysis, said he always viewed the early 2020 increase in NAND flash prices as temporary. He attributed the spike primarily to inventory buildup in China, as hyperscalers and other large buyers worried that a trade war would make it difficult for them to purchase SSDs and DRAM.

“While prices have not yet fallen back down, there’s every reason to expect that they will,” Handy said. “There’s no reason for a real shortage to develop in 2020. 2018 semiconductor capital spending was pretty huge, and that should drive overproduction all of this year. They didn’t stop spending in 2019, setting the stage for a 2021 oversupply, too.”

Handy predicts no price increases for NAND flash, SSDs and DRAM over the course of 2020 and 2021. He said hyperscalers, storage and server vendors, and their enterprise customers should be able to get anything they need at a reasonable price.

Forecasts vary on NAND flash prices

But opinions are not unanimous on NAND flash prices. Joe Unsworth, a research vice president at Gartner, said the roughly 1% reduction in demand will only slightly reduce the NAND flash shortage in 2020. He said Gartner still expects a shortage this year, causing NAND flash prices to rise about 10% to 15%, with SSD prices likely higher. The shortage should intensify in the second half of 2020 as the smartphone market recovers, 5G uptake ramps and SSD-based next-generation consoles debut, Unsworth said.

China-based NAND flash manufacturing represents 16.6% of the total wafer production per month, led by Samsung and Intel, according to Gartner. Startup Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) is still ramping up production and will account for less than 2% of that global total, Gartner said.

YMTC is based in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the new coronavirus first surfaced. YMTC employs more than 4,000, including about 2,000 engineers at R&D centers in Wuhan, Shanghai, Beijing and other locations, according to the company’s website.

Given its location, YMTC had to act swiftly to safeguard employees, prevent and control the spread of the virus, and maintain production. Steps included distributing masks to employees, strengthening disinfection efforts, delaying the return of foreign employees and encouraging remote work when conditions permit, a company spokesperson said.

A mid-February YMTC statement claimed no employees in the factory area had the virus, and it had taken partition isolation control measures to avoid the introduction of external viruses. The company was actively coordinating raw material supply and logistics to ensure normal operation of the production line.

Although YMTC is running production normally, its will delay plans to increase wafer capacity, according to Greg Wong, founder and principal analyst at Forward Insights. The delay is because of a lack of foreign technical personnel needed to install equipment from manufacturers outside of China.

Some SSD suppliers see impact

Wong added that SSD suppliers with factories, third-party assemblers or source materials in Wuhan, China, are seeing an impact from the coronavirus outbreak. He said factories are running at “low utilization” because of the slow return of laborers due to virus-related restrictions. Factories might experience shortages of materials once their current inventories are depleted, Wong cautioned.

The World Health Organization’s March 4 situation report noted that South Korea confirmed 516 new COVID-19 cases during the prior 24-hour period, raising the country’s total to 5,328. China confirmed 120 new cases during the same timeframe. Since reporting the first case on Dec. 31, China has confirmed a total of 80,422 cases and 2,984 COVID-19-related deaths.

With operations in Asia, all six major memory manufacturers — Intel, Kioxia, Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix and Western Digital — stress that their primary focus is ensuring the health and safety of their employees. None has flagged any impact to business, and it’s hard to tell if travel restrictions, logistics problems or any other issues are starting to have an impact on production.

NAND flash market leader Samsung has a memory production facility in Xi’an, China, and the rest are in Korea. A company spokesperson provided a brief statement yesterday: “For Samsung and its subsidiaries, there has been no impact on our market operations to date.”

Memory makers provide generic updates

Intel has a “corporate-wide Pandemic Leadership Team” and maintains a web page to update communications to suppliers. The March 3 update informed them that Intel personnel cannot travel to, from or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Italy, Iran, Germany, Spain and France until further notice. Germany, Spain and France represented new additions to the Feb. 27 update.

On Feb. 18, an Intel spokesperson said the 3D NAND flash fabrication site in Dalian, China, was “up and fully operational,” although the company might see “day-to-day issues” while processing new orders. The spokesperson said yesterday that Intel’s sites in mainland China continue “are continuing to operate,” although he declined to respond directly to a question about whether the Dalian fabrication site remains “fully” operational.

Kioxia said last week that its protocols call for travel only when necessary and executive management approval for travel to “level 2 or above” countries. Kioxia has flash memory facilities in Yokkaichi and Kitakami, Japan.

Micron implemented health-screening measures across global operations and introduced travel restrictions for employees and on-site suppliers. A company spokesperson said last week that Micron has seen little impact to operations, but it continues to monitor the latest developments.

Western Digital said last week that its facilities in China are “continuing to operate as usual,” and the company is working with regional suppliers to mitigate any impact and disruption to customers. Like other vendors, Western Digital also has travel restrictions to China and other Asian countries.

An SK hynix spokesperson said last week, “There have been no production disruptions, and all our production facilities are in operation. We are preparing a contingency plan just in case.”

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For Sale – 3 x BT Hubs. Free to a good home!

I have 3 BT hubs I’ve just cleared out of my loft, one is a Hub 5 and two are Hub 4’s. I think from memory they were working but I can’t be 100% positive, we were having problems with our broadband and they kept sending my routers but it turned out to be the connection that was the problem.

Anyway they are free to anybody that wants them, if you can cover the postage that would be great.

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For Sale – Parts Clear out: AMD GPUs, Mobo/CPU/RAM

GPUs:

SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 580 NITRO+ 4 GB [Hynix Memory] – £95

MSI Radeon RX 580 8GB [Samsung Memory] – £110

Sapphire Radeon RX 580 NITRO+ Special Edition 8 GB [Micron Memory] – £120

Mobo:

ASUS LGA 1151 PRIME Z270-A – £110

CPU:

Intel Celeron G3930 2.90 GHz CPU – £30 CPU

Corsair H100i with 2 Original Fans (AIO and Intel socket only) – £35
(listing as LGA155 socket only for now as I have to find old AMD brackets, please note this is old type of H100i that used to have glossy finish on the pump, if you need pic to confirm which one just let me know.)

7inch HDMI LCD (C) Touch Screen – £30 £25
(1024×600, 7 inch Capacitive Touch Screen LCD, HDMI interface, supports various systems)

Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 2400 MHz – £15
( amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DPZVP3W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

Postage is £8 for Mobo, CPU & each GPU. MyHermes Recorded Delivery.

Gigabyte AMD Radeon RX 570 Gaming 4G [Samsung Memory] – SOLD
Corsair Memory Vengeance Low Profile Jet Black 16GB DDR3SOLD

Important info regarding GPUs:
All these cards are from a mining rig BUT they are all regular cards and not mining cards.
I did not buy em all together and never actually finished my build of 6x GPUs.
These cards have not been under high temperature.
Sapphire cards (2 of them) have BIOS switch (Dual Bios) and original stock BIOS is still there, only OC mode was customised but will also be reverted before sending.

They all come in original boxes. (please note, for some reason Amazon stuck the address stickers on top of the boxes of some GPUs instead of using cardboard box for external packaging) . I might have to remove it or just stick another sticker on top of the current one.

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For Sale – Parts Clear out: AMD GPUs, Mobos/CPUs/RAMs & more to be added soon

SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 580 NITRO+ 4 GB [Hynix Memory] – £100

MSI Radeon RX 580 8GB [Samsung Memory] -£115

Sapphire Radeon RX 580 NITRO+ Special Edition 8 GB [Micron Memory] – £130

TP-Link RE200 AC750 Universal Dual Band Range Extender – £20

including delivery
(only 3 months old)

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX Motherboard – LGA1155 Socket (Mobo and back plate only)- £100

Intel Core i7-3770K Quad-core Processor 3.5Ghz – LGA 1155 (No Stock Cooler) – £80

Corsair Memory Vengeance Low Profile Jet Black 16GB DDR3 – £35

Corsair H100i with 2 Original Fans (AIO and Intel socket only) – £40
(listing as LGA155 socket only for now as I have to find old AMD brackets, please note this is old type of H100i that used to have glossy finish on the pump, if you need pic to confirm which one just let me know.)

ASUS Xonar D2X PCI-e Sound Card 7.1Ch – £40

7inch HDMI LCD (C) Touch Screen – £30
(1024×600, 7 inch Capacitive Touch Screen LCD, HDMI interface, supports various systems)

Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum – £25
(Used for about 2 months)

I can do discount price on the above (CPU, Mobo and RAM) just let me know if you would like those 3 together.

Also for sale AS A BUNDLE ONLY:
Mobo: ASUS LGA 1151 PRIME Z270-A
CPU: Intel Celeron G3930 2.90 GHz CPU
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 2400 MHz – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DPZVP3W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I can do Mobo+RAM+CPU for £90 as a bundle, this way I can post them in the same box. [NO CPU cooler included]

Postage is £8 £6 for Mobo/Bundle or each GPU. MyHermes Recorded Delivery.

Gigabyte AMD Radeon RX 570 Gaming 4G [Samsung Memory] – SOLD

Important info regarding GPUs:
All these cards are from a mining rig BUT they are all regular cards and not mining cards.
I did not buy em all together and never actually finished my build of 6x GPUs.
These cards have not been under high temperature.
Sapphire cards (2 of them) have BIOS switch (Dual Bios) and original stock BIOS is still there, only OC mode was customised but will also be reverted before sending.

They all come in original boxes. (please note, for some reason Amazon stuck the address stickers on top of the boxes of some GPUs instead of using cardboard box for external packaging) . I might have to remove it or just stick another sticker on top of the current one.

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For Sale – 3 x BT Hubs. Free to a good home!

I have 3 BT hubs I’ve just cleared out of my loft, one is a Hub 5 and two are Hub 4’s. I think from memory they were working but I can’t be 100% positive, we were having problems with our broadband and they kept sending my routers but it turned out to be the connection that was the problem.

Anyway they are free to anybody that wants them, if you can cover the postage that would be great.

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For Sale – Parts Clear out: AMD GPUs, Mobos/CPUs/RAMs & more to be added soon

SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 580 NITRO+ 4 GB [Hynix Memory] – £100

MSI Radeon RX 580 8GB [Samsung Memory] -£115

Sapphire Radeon RX 580 NITRO+ Special Edition 8 GB [Micron Memory] – £130

TP-Link RE200 AC750 Universal Dual Band Range Extender – £20

including delivery
(only 3 months old)

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX Motherboard – LGA1155 Socket (Mobo and back plate only)- £100

Intel Core i7-3770K Quad-core Processor 3.5Ghz – LGA 1155 (No Stock Cooler) – £80

Corsair Memory Vengeance Low Profile Jet Black 16GB DDR3 – £35

Corsair H100i with 2 Original Fans (AIO and Intel socket only) – £40
(listing as LGA155 socket only for now as I have to find old AMD brackets, please note this is old type of H100i that used to have glossy finish on the pump, if you need pic to confirm which one just let me know.)

ASUS Xonar D2X PCI-e Sound Card 7.1Ch – £40

7inch HDMI LCD (C) Touch Screen – £30
(1024×600, 7 inch Capacitive Touch Screen LCD, HDMI interface, supports various systems)

I can do discount price on the above (CPU, Mobo and RAM) just let me know if you would like those 3 together.

Also for sale AS A BUNDLE ONLY:
Mobo: ASUS LGA 1151 PRIME Z270-A
CPU: Intel Celeron G3930 2.90 GHz CPU
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 2400 MHz – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DPZVP3W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I can do Mobo+RAM+CPU for £90 as a bundle, this way I can post them in the same box. [NO CPU cooler included]

Postage is £8 £6 for Mobo/Bundle or each GPU. MyHermes Recorded Delivery.

Gigabyte AMD Radeon RX 570 Gaming 4G [Samsung Memory] – SOLD

Important info regarding GPUs:
All these cards are from a mining rig BUT they are all regular cards and not mining cards.
I did not buy em all together and never actually finished my build of 6x GPUs.
These cards have not been under high temperature.
Sapphire cards (2 of them) have BIOS switch (Dual Bios) and original stock BIOS is still there, only OC mode was customised but will also be reverted before sending.

They all come in original boxes. (please note, for some reason Amazon stuck the address stickers on top of the boxes of some GPUs instead of using cardboard box for external packaging) . I might have to remove it or just stick another sticker on top of the current one.

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For Sale – Few bits an peices

What memory size is the ipad pls?

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For Sale – Eight 8GB server grade DDR3 RAM sticks – suits Mac Pro’s

Specification matching or equivalent to the following:
– Crucial Micron 8GB PC3-10600R (Server) Memory CT102472BB1339 MT36JSF1G72PZ-1G4M1HF

These are working pulls from a MacPro 4,1 (2009) but will work in MacPro 5,1 (2010) as well as PC-based server systems. Purchased second-hand and given a full MEMTEST application run to check and went “live” for a good twelve months or so before being made surplus from further upgrades on the Mac’s.

If you have a compatible dual-processor cMP, then all slots can be filled with these for a full 64GB memory system.

Please note that many systems are fussy about RAMs – and hence you need to match all of the them. The RAMs here are Registered-ECC grade and any non-Registered (but ECC types) will need to be taken out.

Photo’s to follow but not sure if they’re different from stock images in terms of details.

Looking for £15 each with RM 2nd signed-for delivery, discounts on multiple sticks due to bundled delivery. Collection is always possible.

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Cisco MDS 9700 switches prep for 64G Fibre Channel NVMe-oF

Gearing up for adoption of non-volatile memory over fabrics, Cisco upgraded its multilayer MDs network switches to help shops transition to the next generation of Fibre Channel block storage.

Cisco will add line cards for the Cisco MDS 9700 family for in-place hardware upgrades and an extension of Cisco SAN Analytics to support the NVMe protocol.

The new Cisco MDS 9700 switching hardware enables data centers to run multiple Fibre Channel (FC) generations in the same chassis. Other new features include Ansible modules that automate deployment of storage tasks for VMware vSAN, device aliases and zoning.

Cisco said it plans to ship 64G line cards for MDS-9706, MDS-9710 and MDS-9718 Director switches by the end of 2019. The new cards are timed in advance of 64 gigabit per second FC, also known as Gen 7 FC. A data center can install the Cisco line card to run 64 Gbps FC concurrently with existing 16-gig and 32-gig traffic.

MDS 9700 switches are part of the Cisco MDS 9000 product line, which consists of large networking devices that centralize the management of storage traffic at the switch level. Cisco MDS 9700 products launched in 2013, around the time NVMe flash media emerged as a contender to SATA-based SSDs.

Cisco follows Brocade

The latest Cisco MDS product update comes nearly 18 months after similar products hit the market by SAN switching rival Brocade, now part of semiconductor giant Broadcom. Broadcom and Cisco are the only large vendors who sell FC network switches and are positioning those devices for NVMe over FC implementations. There are also Ethernet and InfiniBand options for running NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF).

FC technology delivers a high level of lossless performance, while NVMe offers a quantum boost in network latency by routing traffic across PCI Express lanes. The combination is expected to have broad appeal to data centers with applications demanding extreme high performance.

Reengineering the Cisco MDS 9700 required a lot of work to avoid “rip and replace” scenarios, said Scott Sinclair, an analyst for storage at Enterprise Strategy Group, an IT research firm in Milford, Mass.

“There is a big desire to transition storage networks to NVMe, and the Fibre Channel community is making it insanely easy to do. Cisco had to do a lot of hard work to make this transition seamless, and that will help companies save a ton of money over the long haul,” Sinclair said.

Data centers can adapt existing FC technologies for NVMe via a software upgrade. FC has fewer hurdles to NVMe adoption than Ethernet-based remote direct memory access memory technologies, which include RDMA over Converged Ethernet and Internet Wide Area RDMA Protocol. Another NVME fabric option is TCP/IP, a server-native functionality popular with hyper-scale cloud providers.

Enhanced troubleshooting

Onboard telemetry is native to all Cisco MDS 9000 switches. The latest iteration of the software is designed to capture high-fidelity reads of all traffic, including traditional SCSI block messages and data sent via NVMe-oF. The tool allows admins to slide back one hour at a time to pinpoint trouble spots with networks or storage.

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Dell EMC PowerMax SAN arrays meld NVMe, storage class memory

Dell EMC has injected Intel Optane storage class memory in its flagship PowerMax all-flash block array, adding a tier of persistent memory to buttress the NVMe over Fabrics-enabled block storage.

Dell EMC PowerMax is the first array to ship with non-volatile memory express (NVMe) SSDs and dual-ported Intel Optane DC 4800X SSDs resident on the same data plane. The Optane appears as a persistent tier and the dual ports provide redundancy needed by most modern data centers. Dell’s AI predictive engine automatically shifts high-value data between the tiers to eliminate overhead.

Intel Optane drives are based on Intel 3D XPoint nonvolatile memory, billed as a cross between dynamic RAM and NVMe flash. Dell was a co-development partner with Intel on the dual-ported Optane SSDs. (Intel also makes Optane technology available in smaller capacities as a dual inline memory module form factor.)

The vendor also introduced NVMe fabric modules for Dell EMC PowerMax, after teasing the componentry earlier this year. Dell said it has qualified host bus adapters for its PowerEdge servers and launched 32G Fibre Channel I/O modules and Connectrix switching gear, with updated PowerPath multi-path management software.

NVMe and SCM in tandem

Non-volatile memory express is a next-generation flash media that is widely believed will supplant SCSI storage. Unlike traditional networked storage, NVMe relies on PCI Express to transmit communication traffic, including commands, from applications to storage.

Dell EMC PowerMax
Dell EMC PowerMax combines NVMe flash and persistent memory storage with Intel Optane SCM SSDs.

A single Dell EMC PowerMAX systems spans from two to 16 controllers. A 10U entry PowerMax 2000 costs about $150,000, with 13 TB of usable storage in a single brick. There is no cost premium for adding NVMe and SCM, either individually or in combination. Dell said customers may opt for a PowerMax system with SCM only, although the relative newness of SCM would likely lead to higher overall purchase price.

Based on internal testing, Dell EMC PowerMax 8000 with NVMe and storage class memory (SCM) delivered 50% lower latency than Dell EMC’s VMAX 950F with SAS SSDs. The vendor rates PowerMax for 15 million IOPS, 350 Gbps throughput and read latency below 100 microseconds.

“I see this release as the fulfillment of the promise when PowerMax came out,” said Scott Sinclair, a storage analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, an IT consultancy based in Milford, Mass. “The PowerMax is all based on NVMe, which eliminates the bottlenecks that held flash back, and it also enables the [integration] of SCM.”

Machine learning on Dell EMC PowerMax provides storage analytics on optimal data placement. The analysis moves hot data to Optane storage and back to NVMe when it is no longer in demand. Dell EMC said PowerMax analyzes 40 million data sets in real time, driving about 6 billion decisions on data per day. 

I see this release as the fulfillment of the promise when PowerMax came out.
Scott SinclairStorage analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

This enables PowerMax users to take advantage of next generation of media, without creating an additional storage administration burden on the IT team, a Dell spokesperson said.

Automated provisioning has been added to PowerMax via integrated Ansible Playbook modules for hosts, networking and storage. Dell EMC also added a VMware vRealize Orchestrator plugin and a Container Storage Interface plugin to provision persistent storage for workloads in Kubernetes.

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