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Thread: Anandtech News

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    Anandtech: Toshiba & WD NAND Production Hit By Power Outage: 6 Exabytes Lost

    Toshiba Memory and Western Digital on Friday disclosed that an unexpected power outage in the Yokkaichi province in Japan on June 15 affected the manufacturing facilities that are jointly operated. Right now, production facilities are partially halted and they are expected to resume operations only by mid-July.
    Western Digital says that the 13-minute power outage impacted wafers that were processed, the facilities, and production equipment. The company indicates that the incident will reduce its NAND flash wafer supply in Q3 by approximately 6 EB (exabytes), which is believed to be about a half of the company’s quarterly supply of NAND. Toshiba does not disclose the impact the outage will have on its NAND wafer supply in the coming months, but confirms that the fabs are partially suspended at the moment. Keeping in mind that Toshiba generally uses more capacity of the fabs than WD, the impact on its supply could be significantly higher than 6 EB with some estimating that it could be as high as ~9 EB.
    Both companies are assessing the damage at the moment, so the financial harm of the incident is unclear. Not even counting potential damage to production tools and other equipment used at the fabs, 6 EB of NAND cost a lot of money. Furthermore, analysts from TrendForce believe that a consequence of the outage will be some loss of confidence from clients of both companies, which will have a financial impact as well.
    The Yokkaichi Operations campus jointly owned and run by Toshiba and Western Digital produces about 35% of the global NAND output in terms of revenue, according to TrendForce. At present, the manufacturing base has five production facilities (Fab 2, Fab 3, Fab 4, Fab 5, and Fab 6) as well as an R&D center, all of which were affected by the outage. Three fabs within the campus produce 3D NAND flash, whereas another two are used to make special-purpose types of memory.
    Considering the gargantuan size of the Yokkaichi Operations, disruptions of its supply will inevitably have an effect on 2D NAND and 3D NAND spot prices in the short-term future. Nonetheless, since contract prices have already been set for Q3 (and possibly Q4), they are not going to change. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether large customers will have to go shopping in Q3 or Q4 and affect prices on the spot markets further.
    Considering that the Yokkaichi Operations produces at least 1/3 of the global NAND flash output (let’s assume that dollar share more or less corresponds to bit share) and half of its production for the quarter was lost because of the incident, this means that the industry will miss approximately 1/6 (or 16.5%) of the global NAND supply in Q3. Whether or not this will create a deficit on the market that will cause significant price hikes depends on multiple factors and is something that remains to be seen.
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    Sources: Western Digital, Reuters, TrendForce, Blocks & Files


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    Anandtech: ADATAís HM800 DAS: Up to 8 TB, Up to 250 MB/s, Smart TV Recording

    ADATA has introduced a new external hard drive that combines high capacities, high performance, as well as advanced functionality. The ADATA HM800 DAS supports Smart TV recording capability, one-touch backup, as well as TurboHDD software to boost performance.
    ADATA’s HM800 external storage devices come in a black plastic chassis with anti-shock silicone inlays and pack a 3.5-inch HDD featuring a 4 TB, 6 TB or 8 TB capacity.
    The DASes use a USB 3.2 Gen 1 interface (up to 5 Gbps) via a microUSB 3 connector port. There's a bit of confusion in terms of the power requirement of the drive: ADATA states it consumes up to 12W, however this would be out of spec for most hosts that don't support USB PD. Indeed the company states you'll need a Y-adapter if you have a USB 2.0 host and use two port, and the drive does have an DC input port, although it's not clear if an adapter is included.
    The manufacturer does not disclose which hard drives are used inside its new DAS devices, but based on the up to 250 MB/s transfer rates they are said to support, we are probably dealing with 7200 RPM-class HDDs. To guarantee high transfer rates during backup and to avoid high CPU loads, ADATA supplies the HM800 DAS with its TurboHDD software that applies 'custom profiles and algorithms'.
    To protect sensitive data, the HM800 supports AES256 bit encryption, though it is unclear whether it features hardware or software implementation of AES256.
    As far as compatibility is concerned, ADATA’s HM800 external HDDs can work with systems running Apple’s MacOS X 10.6 or later, Microsoft’s Windows Vista or later, as well as Linux 2.6 or later.
    The HM800 DASes from ADATA are covered by a three-year warranty. The drives will be available in the near future.
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    Source: ADATA


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    Anandtech: Mitsubishi's Verbatim, Known for CD, DVD and BD Optical Media, Sold to CMC

    This month Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. decided to sell its legendary Verbatim business unit to CMC Magnetics. Verbatim is primarily known for its recordable optical media, but the company also sells USB flash drives, DAS devices, accessories, and so on.
    Under the terms of the agreement, CMC will pay Mitsubishi Chemical $32 million in cash for Verbatim-related assets, including patents, technologies, sales network, and other. Being one of the pioneers of blank floppy disk and optical media, Verbatim owns a large portfolio of IP for discs, including production methods, various coatings, and other technologies. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Chemical has used the brand to market USB flash drives, SSDs, DAS devices, power banks, various accessories, and even 3D printing filaments. It is unclear whether CMC is also set to get these businesses and whether it intends to keep them running.
    CMC has manufactured Verbatim-branded optical media for a while now using Verbatim’s technologies, so change of ownership is not expected to result in change of quality. Meanwhile, since the whole Verbatim supply chain will now belong to CMC, it is possible to expect the media to get slightly cheaper. Furthermore, with IP from Verbatim, CMC will be able to improve its own-brand products without paying for a license.
    The acquisition of Verbatim’s assets by CMC is a yet another sign of consolidation of the optical media market as sales of both blank media and discs with movies shrink. Mitsubishi Chemical no longer sees new opportunities with CD/DVD/Blu-ray media, which is why it is selling not only the brand, but all of the related assets. Mitsubishi is not the only company to exit optical disc media in the recent years. Such legendary names as Taiyo Yuden, TDK, Maxell, Fujifilm, BASF, and other decided to withdraw from this business in the last ~10 years. While some of the aforementioned brands still exist on the market, they are not produced by the original owners.
    CMC is one of the world’s largest producers of optical media with operations in China, Taiwan, Thailand, and the US. The discs the company produces are then sold under other brands (HP, Verbatim, etc.) or are used by high-volume commercial customers like movie studios for replication purposes. Besides, the company offers custom packaging services for optical media, something also used primarily by large studios nowadays.
    Related Reading

    Source: Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group


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    Anandtech: The 1STPLAYER Bullet Hunter MK6 Mechanical Keyboard Review: Affordable But

    In today's review we are taking a look at the Bullet Hunter MK6, a mechanical gaming keyboard with RGB backlighting by 1STPlayer, a peripherals manufacturer based in China. The keyboard is fully programmable and comes with removable OUTEMU Blue switches, which are a clone of Cherry’s MX Blue switch.


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    Anandtech: Intelís Islay Canyon Mini NUCs Available: Whiskey Lake, Radeon 540X, 8GB L

    Several retailers have started sales of Intel’s NUC 8 Mainstream-G systems previously known as codenamed Islay Canyon. The ultra-compact form-factor PCs pack Intel’s 8th Gen Core i5/i7 processors for laptops, alongside AMD’s Radeon 540X discrete graphics, a rather rare combination.
    The Intel NUC8i5INH/NUC8i7INH-series compact PCs come in conventional 4.6-inch × 4.4-inch chassis and is powered by Intel’s quad-core Core i5-8265U/Core i7-8565U CPU accompanied by AMD’s Radeon 540X discrete graphics processor (codenamed Lexa, based on Polaris architecture, featuring 512 SPs) with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory. The UCFF PC are equipped with soldered-down 8 GB of LPDDR3-1866/2133 DRAM.
    The key selling feature of Intel’s NUC 8 Mainstream-G systems is a combination of Intel’s low-power Core i5-8265U/Core i7-8565U (Whiskey Lake, 15 W) and AMD’s discrete Radeon 540X that provides higher graphics performance than Intel’s UHD 630 Graphics in games, but there is a catch. As far as media playback is concerned, Intel’s modern iGPUs have numerous advantages over AMD’s Polaris, which includes VP9 10-bit decode, support for sophisticated copyright protection methods that require Intel’s SGX, and so on.
    Depending on exact model, different versions of Intel’s NUC 8 Mainstream-G systems will come equipped with Intel’s Optane Memory caching SSD or a 128GB/256 GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD, along with a 1 TB 2.5-in hard drive. Besides, there will also be barebones kits without any storage devices or software installed.
    As far as wireless connectivity is concerned, Intel’s NUC 8 Mainstream-G computers are equipped with the company’s Wireless-AC 9560 CNVi 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5 solution that supports up to 1.73 Gbps throughput over 160 MHz channels. On the wired side of things, the PCs have one GbE (I219-V), two display outputs (DP 1.2, HDMI 2.0b), three USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector, an SD card reader, a 3.5-mm audio connector for headsets, and so on.
    Leading retailers, such as Amazon, Newegg, Walmart, and SimplyNUC, already sell the new NUC8i5INH/NUC8i7INH-series compact PCs for $772 – $1075 depending on configuration. Considering pricing of the systems, it is not completely clear how Intel is positioning its Islay Canyon NUCs against its own Bean Canyon machines that are priced similarly, yet they feature higher CPU performance, similar GPU performance, and a better feature set when it comes to media playback.
    Buy Intel NUC 8 Mainstream-G Mini PC on
    Related Reading:

    Source: Liliputing


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    Anandtech: AOC's Professional U2790PQU Monitor: 4K, 10-Bit, IPS, Sub $350

    AOC is a brand primarily known for its gaming, mainstream, stylish, and entry-level displays. Meanwhile, the company also has its 90-series monitors aimed at demanding professionals, offering color accuracy and other features appreciated by the target audience. Last week the company introduced its most advanced addition to the 90-series lineup: the U2790PQU display that combines a 10-bit 4K panel and a relatively low price.
    The AOC U2790PQU monitor is based on a 10-bit 27-inch IPS panel featuring a 3840×2160 resolution, 350 nits brightness, a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 5 ms response time, 60 Hz refresh rate, and 178/178º viewing angles. For some reason, AOC does not disclose anything about the color gamuts the display supports, but indicates that the LCD supports the company’s Wide Color Gamut technology, which might mean that we are dealing with a monitor that supports wider than 100% sRGB color gamut, but this is only a suggestion.
    Two important features of the AOC U2790PQU display are their very thin bezels along with an adjustable stand. The former will enable owners to organize multi-monitor setups easier.
    When it comes to connectivity, the AOC U2790PQU has one DisplayPort 1.2, an HDMI 2.0, and one HDMI 1.4 input. In addition, the monitor has integrated speakers, a headphone out, and a dual-port USB 3.0 hub.
    Brief Specifications of the AOC's U2790PQU
    Panel 27" IPS
    Resolution 3840 × 2160
    Refresh Rate 60 Hz
    Response Time 5 ms gray-to-gray
    Brightness Normal: 350 cd/m²
    Contrast 1000:1
    Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical
    Color Saturation ?
    Display Colors 1.07 billion
    3D-LUT ? bits
    Pixel Pitch 0.1554 mm²
    Pixel Density 163 PPI
    Anti-Glare Coating ?
    Inputs 1 × DP 1.2
    1 × HDMI 2.0
    1 × HDMI 1.4
    USB Hub dual-port USB 3.0 hub
    Audio 2 × 2 W speakers
    3.5-mm mini jack
    Mechanical Design Chassis Colors: black, metallic.
    Tilt: yes
    Height Adjustment: yes
    Swivel: yes
    Power Consumption Idle 0.5 W
    Active 35 W
    AOC will start selling the monitor in July for £299 in the UK. Pricing in the US is unknown, yet it is likely that its MSRP will be around $315.
    Related Reading:

    Source: AOC


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    Anandtech: Phison PS5016-E16 PCIe 4.0 SSDs: Random Read/Write Performance Disclosed

    We spotted Phison PS5016-E16-based SSDs from over half of a dozen of companies at Computex several weeks ago and we are sure there are many more to come. While almost all suppliers demonstrated peak sequential read/write performance numbers of their upcoming drives, nobody showcased random read/write performance numbers. Last week Japan-based CFD company introduced its PS5016-E16-based drives and finally revealed all the information about their speed.
    Because all Phison PS5016-E16-powered SSDs feature a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, it is natural that they offer sequential read/write speeds of up to 5.0/4.4 GB/s which significantly exceed performance of contemporary high-end drives featuring a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. Meanwhile, in real life random read/write performance affects user experience far more substantially than peak sequential read/write speeds and yet these numbers in case of PS5016-E16-based drives have never been disclosed until recently.
    Fortunately, CFD published all the details about its PG3VNF SSDs, including random read and write performance numbers. As it appears, 1 TB and 2 TB versions of the drives offer up to 600K IOPS random read as well as up to 500K IOPS random write speeds. When compared to Phison PS5012-E12-based Corsair’s MP510, the new drives are not necessarily faster.
    Phison-Based SSD Comparison
    Model CFD PG3VNF
    500 GB
    1 TB
    2 TB
    Corsair MP600 Corsair MP510
    Form Factor double-sided
    M.2 2280
    M.2 2280
    (with heatsink)
    M.2 2280
    Interface NVMe, PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe, PCIe 3.0 x4
    Controller Phison PS5016-E16 Phison PS5012-E12
    NAND Flash Toshiba BiCS4 3D TLC undisclosed 3D TLC Toshiba 64-layer 3D TLC
    Capacities 500 GB 1 TB 2 TB ? 240GB–1920GB
    Sequential Read (max) 5000 MB/s 4950 MB/s 3480 MB/s
    Sequential Write (max) 2500 MB/s 4400 MB/s 4250 MB/s 3000 MB/s
    Random Read (max) 400K IOPS 600K IOPS ? 610K IOPS
    Random Write (max) 550K IOPS 500K IOPS ? 570K IOPS
    Warranty 5 years
    Write Endurance ? ? ? ? 1.0 DWPD
    TBW 850 TBW 1800 TBW 3600 TBW ? ?
    Release Date July 2019 October 2018
    Considering the fact that the Phison PS5016-E16 controller is essentially the PS5012-E12 controller with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, it is not surprising that the new drives hardly offer any improvement when it comes to random read and write speeds. On the other hand, since the SSDs offer substantially higher sequential read and write speeds, they will still provide advantages over existing drives.
    SSDs powered by the Phison PS5016-E16 controller will be released later in July after AMD and its partners start to sell platforms that support the PCIe 4.0 technology.
    Related Reading:

    Source: CFD (via PC Watch)


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    Anandtech: AMD Unveils Radeon Pro WX 3200: A Professional Graphics Card for Sub-$200

    AMD on Tuesday introduced one of the industry’s most affordable professional graphics cards with drivers certified by leading vendors of CAD/CAM software. The Radeon Pro WX 3200 comes in a low-profile single-slot form-factor and can address the most compact workstations available today.
    The AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200 is based on the company's Polaris architecture GPU featuring 640 stream processors that offers up to 1.66 TFLOPS of single precision compute performance. The card carries 4 GB of GDDR5 memory and has four mini DisplayPort 1.4 outputs to drive four 4K displays, or two 5K monitors, or one 8K LCD.
    The Radeon Pro WX 3200 card fully supports 10-bit color required by professional graphics applications. Since the board is designed for mainstream CAD/CAM projects it comes with certificates from such ISVs as Adobe, Autodesk, Dassault, Siemens, and others for Windows 10 and Linux operating systems.
    Since the card is extremely small (it is just 6.6 inch/168 mm long), it is compatible with almost any desktop workstation that has a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot and can supply up to 50 W of power to the board.
    AMD’s Radeon Pro WX 3200 replaces the company’s Radeon Pro WX 3100 board introduced two years ago and brings in enhanced performance along with refined software. Just like its predecessor, the new card will retail for $199
    Related Reading:

    Source: AMD


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    Anandtech: Fourth Chinese DRAM Company Established by Tsinghua Unigroup

    After the U.S. Department of Commerce banned U.S. exports to Chinese Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company (also known as Fujian or JHICC), essentially destroying this maker of memory, it was a matter of time before the Chinese government established a new DRAM maker as a part of its ‘Made in China 2025’ project. On Sunday Tsinghua Unigroup announced its formation of DRAM business group that will develop and build computer memory.
    Ziguang Group, the new entity of Tsinghua Unigroup, will be headed by chairman Diao Shijing, former director of the Electronic Information Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, as the group's chairman, as well as Charles Kao as CEO. The latter is a legend of the Taiwanese DRAM industry as the he used to be the chairman of Inotera Memories as well as the president of Nanya. Besides, Mr. Kao is the chairman of Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC), a maker of 3D NAND from China.
    Under the ‘Made in China 2025’ program, local governments are constructing 300-mm semiconductor fabs in various parts in China, so Tsinghua Unigroup’s DRAM business unit will have access to production capacities. This is why the company lacks DRAM process technologies and this is why it had to hire Charles Kao, which has plenty of connections in the computer memory world, which might help to lure talented engineers from around the world. Meanwhile, Taiwanese DRAM makers are primarily known for ‘technology for capacity’ deals with companies like Elpida, Infineon, or Micron, but not for their own fabrication processes.
    Ziguang will be the fourth Chinese DRAM maker after Xi'an UniIC Semiconductors (which inherited its original DRAM IP from Infineon and Qimonda yet currently develops its own technologies and chips), Fujian Jinhua (aka JHICC, which is accused by the U.S. Government and Micron of stealing the latter’s IP), as well as Innotron Memory (which says it relies on in-house developed technologies).
    Tsinghua Unigroup, a joint venture between Tsinghua Holdings and Beijing Jiankun Investment Group (which is controlled by Zhao Weiguo, the chairman of Tsinghua Unigroup), attempted to buy Micron for $23 billion in 2015, but the deal was never made. After that, Tsinghua Holdings acquired Xi’an UniIC Semiconductor from Inspur. Furthermore, Tsinghua Unigroup controls Unigroup Guoxin Microelectronics, a developer and distributor of chips.
    To sum up, both Tsinghua Unigroup as well as Tsinghua Holdings are not newcomers in the DRAM market. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen when either of the companies come up with viable technologies to make computer memory as well as competitive DRAM chips.
    Related Reading:

    Sources: Tsinghua Unigroup, TrendForce


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    Anandtech: AOCís Agon Monitors with 0.5ms Response Time & 240 Hz Refresh Now Availabl

    AOC this week started sales of its Agon displays featuring a 0.5 ms response time as well as a 240 Hz refresh rate. Aimed at extreme gamers looking for maximum dynamics and comfort, the new AOC Agon AG271FZ2 and AG251FZ2 support AMD’s FreeSync dynamic refresh rate technology along with AOC’ proprietary enhancements for the audience.
    AOC’s Agon AG251FZ2 and Agon AG271FZ2 displays are based on 24.5 and 27-inch TN panels featuring a 1920x1080 resolution, 400 nits brightness, a 0.5 ms response time, a dynamic refresh rate of up to 240 Hz with a 48 Hz – 240 Hz FreeSync range over DP and HDMI, featuring low framerate compensation (LFC). See exact specs in the table below.
    While the key selling points of the Agon AG251FZ2 and AG271FZ2 monitors are their 0.5 ms response time and up to 240 Hz refresh rate, AOC decided to further enhance the displays with its Shadow Control (increases contrast of dark areas), Low Input Lag (omits processing of images by the display itself), and Lowblue Light Mode (protects eyes against harmful blue light wavelengths without affecting color composition) features.
    When it comes to inputs, AOC’s Agon AG251FZ2 and Agon AG271FZ2 displays feature DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4/2.0, DVI-D, and D-Sub connectors. Besides, the monitors have a built-in quad-port USB 3.0 hub along with 3.5-mm audio input and output. Last but not least, the LCDs also feature two 3 W speakers.
    As traditional for AOC’s Agon displays, the AG251FZ2 and AG271FZ2 feature a distinctive design with aggressive red inlays. Furtheremore, the LCDs are also equipped with stands that can be adjusted in height and tilt. For added comfort, the monitors have a QuickSwitch button setup to rapidly switch from one mode to another, as well as a holder for headsets.
    AOC's Agon Gaming LCDs
    with 0.5 ms Response Time, 240 Hz Refresh Rate
    AG251FZ2 AG271FZ2
    Panel 24.5" TN 27" TN
    Native Resolution 1920 × 1080
    Maximum Refresh Rate 240 Hz
    Dynamic Refresh Tech AMD FreeSync
    Range - -
    Brightness 400 cd/m²* 400 cd/m²
    Contrast ?
    Viewing Angles 170°/160° horizontal/vertical
    Response Time 0.5 ms 0.5 ms
    Pixel Pitch ~0.28 mm² ~0.31 mm²
    Pixel Density ~90 PPI ~81 PPI
    Color Gamut Support sRGB (?)
    Inputs 1×DP 1.2
    1×HDMI 1.4
    1×HDMI 2.0
    Audio 2×3W speakers
    audio input
    audio output
    VESA Mounts 100 × 100 mm
    Warranty 3 years
    Additional Information ? ?
    Retail Price in the USA $329.99 $379.99.
    Note *Not all specs of the AG251FZ2 have been confirmed
    Both new monitors from AOC are available now from Amazon and will soon hit shelves of other retailers. The Agon AG251FZ2 retails for $329.99, whereas the Agon AG271FZ2 is sold for $379.99.
    Buy AOC Agon AG271FZ2 on
    Related Reading:

    Source: AOC’s Press Release
    Gallery: AOCís Agon Monitors with 0.5 Ms Response Time & 240 Hz Refresh Available


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