Samsung is releasing a trinity of gaming displays sporting High Dynamic Range (HDR), quantum-dot composition (QLED), 144 Hz refresh rates, and curved screens.
Samsung has seemingly reserved their Quantum-Dot Technology for their high-end TVs, and we are slowly seeing more HDR enabled gaming panels suffusing across the market, with the likes of both Acer and ASUS having flagship displays with the technology. Samsung’s flagship C49HG90, along with the C27HG70 and C32HG70, denote an ambitious incursion into the high-fidelity gaming display market for Samsung.
The race to invest in semiconductor technology is unabating, it would seem. SK Hynix, the world’s second largest memory chipmaker (after Samsung), has announced plans to construct a new memory semiconductor fab in Cheongju, South Korea. The company will also upgrade DRAM facilities in China, with the total outlay summing $2.6 billion. This comes after global chipmakers like Samsung, Toshiba, and TSMC have spurred investments of their own to expand production.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has set sights on building a new $15.7 billion facility geared towards the 5 and 3 nanometer chip processes, eyes set for future process nodes. TSMC is the world’s biggest chip maker by revenue, accounting for 55% of the market share. TSMC’s deep-pocketed clients include Qualcomm, nVidia, and Apple, whose iPhone 7 launch was especially pivotal in the record quarter to quarter profits TSMC has been reporting, as TSMC produces the A10 processor for the iPhone 7.
Taiwan Semiconductor houses its base of operations in Northern Taiwan, where several of their fabs are located. This is in addition to leading-edge fabs in Southern Taiwan and Central Taiwan, not to mention manufacturing bases in China.
Samsung's 900-series SSDs marked the arrival of VNAND (NAND Flash explained here), a new NAND type that expanded capacity vertically to theoretically drive down the cost per gigabyte metric. Today, the company officially announced its 960 series SSDs, including the Samsung 960 Pro and Samsung 960 EVO. Both devices modernize their architecture by supporting NVMe on their new VNAND-based SSDs.
We think NVMe is one of the next big standards, as the standard SATA interface has reached its cap with data transfer rates. Intel and Samsung have both made moves to build the NVMe market and achieve higher throughput than was possible on a SATA bus.
NVidia's fiercely aggressive move to disallow Samsung's US smartphone sales was met with a return volley from Samsung, ultimately invalidating one of nVidia's patents. The two silicon megaliths have maintained ongoing battles in a number of courts; today marks a point of closure, as nVidia and Samsung have mutually agreed upon settlement of their respective actions.
Despite the season's best efforts to give weary editors a rest, last week remained active as ever, producing some major news items that impact 1H16.
As quickly as possible, then our news recap video:
Last week's hardware news saw the acquisition of Inotera, a supplier with a seven-year history working with the Flash manufacturer. Micron's $3.2 billion acquisition buys-out the remaining two-thirds stake of Inotera, enabling Micron to purchase DRAM and cost and reduce its overall BOM on memory products.
NVidia recently filed a complaint against Qualcomm and Samsung with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). NVidia has also filed a suit against Samsung and Qualcomm. The GPU giant claims that Samsung and Qualcomm are infringing upon nVidia’s patents, specifically ones pertaining to GPU architecture and technologies. Despite the fact that nVidia is often better known for their desktop and high-performance GPUs, they have a significant presence in the supercomputing and mobile sectors. This makes the lawsuit very relevant as all three are significant players in the mobile sector.
This complaint and suit are due to alleged patent infringements in Samsung and Qualcomm’s graphics processors: the Exynos (Samsung) and Snapdragon (Qualcomm).
Samsung's vertically stacked NAND was introduced in June of 2014, heralding an era of increased capacity with (theoretically) reduced endurance concerns when compared against TLC. The NAND type takes a page from Intel's 3D transistor book and stacks NAND vertically, making for greater density in “apartment high-rise” fashion.
Samsung's 850 EVO and 850 Pro have been around for a little while now, with the 850 Pro debuting 3D NAND (also called “VNAND”). The company's 850 Pro capped at 1TB of storage, but has been refreshed in 2TB capacities as of today; the 850 EVO – a cheaper alternative for consumer-class usage – has also been refreshed to 2TB.