Hardware stub

HW News - NVidia Multi-Chip GPUs, AMD Threadripper & R3

Posted on July 14, 2017

This week's hardware news recap gives us a break from Vega -- if a brief one -- so that we can discussed nVidia's multi-chip GPU white paper, AMD's Ryzen Threadripper CPUs (1920X + 1950X), the R3 CPUs, and new fabs for Samsung. This discussion also bleeds over into DRAM shortages and NAND prices, particularly relating to Micron's fab "event" from last week.

The show notes are below the embedded video, for folks who prefer the notes and sources.


Show Notes

Threadripper / R3

Ryzen Threadripper is the official name.

R9 1920X - $800, 12C/24T at 3.5/4.0GHz (bit slower than R7 high-end)

R9 1950X - $1000, 16C/32T at 3.4/4.0GHz

Quad-channel DDR4, 60 lanes of PCIe with 4 to the chipset.

Likely still August 10.

The Threadripper CPUs are being presented as competitors to Intel’s i9-7900X which, at about $1000 MSRP, is the same price as the 1950X.

Less sensational (but still important) was the re-announcement of the 4C/4T Ryzen R3 processors, available July 27th. In terms of thread/core count, the R3s are analogous to Intel’s i5s.

Source: GamersNexus story

Samsung Pyeongtaek Fab Online

Samsung announced last week that it successfully brought its newest Fab in Pyeongtaek (pie-yon-take), South Korea, online for V-NAND production. The multi-billion dollar fab was initially intended to serve as a DRAM manufacturing facility, but given the global flash shortage, Samsung has scaled the facility for NAND production – at least for the present. Samsung’s new facility will be the largest and most expensive fab in the world, especially once the facility reaches full production capacity.


Micron Fab "Event" Could Worsen DRAM Shortage

A report by TrendForce last week indicated that Micron had suspended operation of its Fab-2 DRAM facility in wake of a malfunction regarding a nitrogen gas dispensing system. While Micron as since confirmed an “event”, they claimed there was not a nitrogen leak. Regardless, the suspended operation will hamper Micron’s contribution to an already tight DRAM supply for July, by as much as 5.5% according to TrendForce. This could be enough to exacerbate the ongoing memory shortage – even to the point of affecting Apple’s new iPhone launch.


SK Hynix 72-Layer NAND

SK Hynix is beginning mass production of its recently announced 72-layer NAND. The new NAND offers 4-billion cells, improved circuit design, 2x faster internal operation speeds, and 20% NAND-to-controller speed increase. SK Hynix plans to ramp up 3D NAND production at its M12 and M14 facilities –both in South Korea – to allow them to begin shipping more 3D NAND than planar NAND by the end of the year.


Toshiba Touts 1000 Write Cycles for QLC

Last week we talked about new QLC NAND coming from Toshiba and Western Digital, and at that time we did not have any information regarding endurance or performance. While we still lack clarity on the latter, Toshiba has offered some information on the former. It was initially believed that Toshiba’s QLC would offer between 100-150 P/E cycles, but the company is now touting 1,000 program/erase cycles—enough to rival TLC NAND. While it is still unclear how Toshiba managed to increase endurance by that magnitude, we expect to know more around the time of the Flash Memory Summit next month.


Product & Miscellaneous News

Research & Reporting: Eric Hamilton
Host: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman