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News from the Memory Front

Yes, DDR2 is finally here. All the mainboard makers unanimously reported that the sales of DDR2 memory have finally grown bigger than the sales of the previous generation DDR I.

Among the new interesting solutions I should certainly mention the OCZ XTC DDR2 Titanium Edition that features specific enhanced honeycomb design of the heat-spreaders to optimize the thermal management of the memory modules thus providing better heat dissipation and hence allowing the memory to function at higher frequencies ad withy more aggressive timings.

Patriot Memory displayed 900MHz 2GB DDR2 kit built on Elpida chips that can be easily overclocked to 930Hz, according to the company representatives.

Another company, Team is coming into the US market with the new eXtreme series for overclockers and gamers. This company has been in the memory business for quite some time, however they are starting to build their brand name in the US only now. The reason – no real margin in manufacturing. As the company representatives explained, they have been manufacturing memory modules for some well-known US vendors for quite a while. So, looks like Team has at least one component required for the success: quality products.

One more type of products in the memory market that has been gaining popularity really rapidly is the DDR2 SO-DIMM. Now that Intel is rolling out new mobile platform supporting DDR2 and the overall share of mobile and low-profile solutions is growing rapidly, the demand for SO-DIMMs is really high. Almost every memory maker at the show demoed some solutions for notebooks. However, I would like to specifically mention one of them: the SO-DIMM memory modules from AData with the built-in thermal sensor.

The idea behind this technology is that there is a thermal sensor that reads temperature and sends this data to the system management tools that monitor the thermal status of the entire system. This way the actual DRAM temperature is taken with much higher precision.

These modules will be available for DDR2 standard in 256MB, 512MB and 1GB storage capacities.

Another rapidly developing direction in the memory market is definitely the flash memory. And I have to say that there were quite a few interesting items at CES. There was plenty of USB flash drives that have become tiny in size, huge in storage capacity, shock and water resistant. But even such universal work horses as SD cards, which cannot really change much acquire something cool to boast. Have you seen an SD card with an LCD display that would tell the amount of free memory space and require no additional power? AData had one at their booth:

To be honest I don’t know if there is any real practical application for this type of LCD display. The default capacity of the memory card is always indicated on the sticker, and the devices you use it in, such s cell phones, cameras, etc. usually have an LCD display indicating how much free space is left. Unless you will be using it as a portable storage…

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