posts on CNET

Micron puts large-capacity SSD in small package

Micron Technology has updated its RealSSD C400 series of solid-state drives for small mSATA packages.

Basically, Micron is delivering the same performance of previous C400 products but in a 1.2 x 2.0 inch (3cm x 5cm) mSATA size -- the size typically used in thin laptops.

SSDs are faster than the standard spinning hard disk drives found in mainstream laptops (and often a lot faster).

The higher-capacity Micron models deliver the best performance. For example, the 256GB version has a read rate of 500 megabytes per second (MB/s) and write speed of 260 MB/s. The smaller-capacity … Read more

Sharp IGZO display possible for iPad 3, says analyst

Sharp's high-resolution IGZO display technology may not be out of the running for the iPad 3, according an analyst at DisplaySearch.

Though there have been rumors claiming that Sharp's IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) technology did not make the cut for the iPad 3, Charles Annis, a Kyoto, Japan-based analyst at DisplaySearch, thinks Sharp still has a good shot at the iPad 3.

The iPad 3 is expected to sport a 9.7-inch 2048x1536 resolution LCD, a much higher resolution than the iPad 2's 1024-by-768 panel.

Annis spoke with CNET on Monday.

Question: So, what is the … Read more

CEO Appleton reflected Micron's high-risk business

Steve Appleton mirrored the survivalist streak in the company he led.

Micron Technology CEO Appleton died Friday at 51 years old when a high-performance Lancair plane he was piloting crashed at Boise Airport in Idaho.

Lancairs aren't easy to fly. In fact, they're difficult enough that the Federal Aviation Administration gave notice to Lancair operators in 2009 that the planes had a "disproportionate" number of fatal accidents.

Though Lancairs accounted for only 3 percent of the nation's amateur-built airplanes, they accounted for 16 percent of the fatal accidents in the 11 months prior to the … Read more

Obama at Intel: America, make more stuff

President Obama paid a visit to Intel's Chandler, Ariz., chip plant today, praising the chipmaker for keeping high-tech manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Here are some excerpts from his remarks. The event was streamed live at whitehouse.gov.

An America that makes more: "I'm here because the factory being built behind me is an example of an America that is within our reach. An America that attracts that next generation of good manufacturing jobs. An America where we make stuff and sell stuff all over the world...We can't go back to a economy weakened … Read more

Here's why Obama is visiting Intel

On Wednesday, President Obama is due to visit an Intel plant in Arizona. Here's why.

Obama aims to highlight manufacturing in America--one of the State of the Union's themes--and it's hard to find a better example of that than the world's leading chipmaker. Intel is now one of America's foremost manufacturers, boasting some of the most sophisticated manufacturing facilities in the world, many of them sprinkled throughout the U.S. 

Its development fabs (fabrication plants) in Oregon are the most cutting-edge of its leading-edge factories and have already received one presidential visit, in February … Read more

Apple's iPad 3 to usher in pixel-packing tablets

Apple's next-gen iPad won't be the only new tablet design with lots more pixels. Market researcher DisplaySearch said today that the average pixel density of tablets will surge next year.

The forecast calls for the average resolution of tablet displays to grow to more than 200 pixels per inch (PPI) in the second quarter of 2012 (see chart above), according to David Hsieh, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. Currently, displays average just shy of 150 PPI.

The transition to very-high-resolution 9.7-inch tablet displays will begin with a bang on the iPad 3's 2048x1536 display likely due in the first quarter of next year. This is expected to have a PPI of 264, twice that of the iPad 2.

DisplaySearch's Richard Shim said Apple will pretty much eat up all supply of the 9.7-inch 2048x1536 displays. (Note that 9to5Mac has found new references by Apple to next-gen iPads here.) … Read more

Micron to tap IBM chip-stacking tech for fast memory

IBM and Micron Technology are beginning to produce a new memory chip based on technology designed to boost memory speeds 15-fold.

The technology, the companies announced today, will be used to make a Hybrid Memory Cube chip that will be commercially manufactured by Micron, the largest manufacturer of memory chips in the United States and one of the largest in the world. IBM plans to manufacture and supply the "controller" silicon that will be used in the memory as well as in the 3D-chip technology.

The joint efforts are designed to result in memory chips that realize the … Read more

IBM, Intel group to invest $4.4 billion in chip tech

A group of semiconductor heavyweights led by Intel, IBM, and Globalfoundries will invest $4.4 billion in a New York-based chip R&D hub, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said today.

The five-year investment will target upstate New York, which is already a major center of chip research and development activity tied to IBM and Globalfoundries. The latter--Advanced Micro Devices' erstwhile chipmaking arm now owned by Abu Dhabi-based ATIC--is in the process of completing a massive manufacturing complex to make 28-nanometer chips in the town of Malta, NY. IBM has had manufacturing and R&D facilities … Read more

Report: MacBook Air slated for updated storage tech

Apple's upcoming refresh of the MacBook Air will get more than just new Intel processors. A Japanese report says the flash drives will get updated storage tech too.

Apple's flash drives--also referred to as solid-state drives or SSDs--in the upcoming MacBook Air will use a technology called "Toggle Mode Double Data Rate NAND Flash" 2.0 (Toggle DDR 2.0) according to Macotakara, a Japanese-language Apple enthusiast Web site.

The standard is supported by Toshiba and Samsung. Both companies currently supply flash drives for the MacBook Air.

Here's how Toshiba describes the technology: "Toggle … Read more

How Intel's 3D tech redefines the transistor (FAQ)

Intel made one its most significant technology announcements ever today by stating it will base upcoming processors on 3D transistors. So, what is a 3D transistor exactly and why is it important? Here are some answers.

What is 3D exactly?It can get confusing very quickly because there are a few technical terms being bandied about to describe the new transistor structure. Intel calls it generically 3D but technically it's a Tri-Gate transistor (see image below). The traditional flat two-dimensional "planar" gate is replaced with a thin three-dimensional silicon fin that rises up vertically from the silicon … Read more