This is a guest post from Mike Montemorra, who is a technology guru with long and successful career in computer industry. Mike keeps an eye on the latest developments in computer and storage technology and publishes his observations weekly. Below is his brief summary of what was important in the past week.
What did we learn last week?
The year might be coming to an end shortly, but advances in technology that will make a difference in coming years do not slow down! Despite the current oversupply situation in memory, it is important to note that these businesses have and always will be cyclical. So what will drive the next big boom (in memory and otherwise)? I think the upcoming buildout of 5G capable infrastructure and associated IoT products will start to take hold in 2HCY19. The associated edge/fog compute buildouts should begin late CY19 as well, so hang on, but product mix on the other end of this glut may change! Those of you with alternative views, please comment!
This quarter does not look good for HDD demand in almost all segments per TrendFocus. Is this simply digestion of inventories or a portent of further HDD demand softening? Combine this with flash oversupply (read: pricing reductions) in coming quarters and we may see further share loss for HDD in memory…
The good news is there is still demand, but it is declining Y/Y primarily due to lack of meaningful areal density growth. HDD demand will continue to decline but it will remain a good business for years.
So where is the memory market going in CY19? Jim handy usually has a pretty good idea based on history and his divining of industry dynamics. The outlook is not pretty and you will want to listen to his prognostication.
Source: Jim Handy, Objective Analysis
… and to underscore all this, Digitimes says the 1HCY19 downturn will indeed be severe. What is going to be interesting is whether we see some growth in 2HCY19 due to ramp ups for 5G and IoT infrastructure expected in CY20.
The recent IEDM conference highlighted advances with integrated devices using MRAM. For the first time, actual products with meaningful amounts of MRAM were announced, so this is the dawn of the intelligent IoT/AI age is now upon us. Tom Coughlin highlights the potential for eMRAM as well as other memory technologies discussed at IEDM.
HPC is going strong! What do 3125 AMD ROME CPU’s equate to? … 6.4 petaFlops (200k Zen2 cores)! Yikes… this is scale-out taken to extreme!! 3125 ROME modules, each with up to 4TB of DDR4 DRAM and associated archival memories is going to be a monster; maybe it will finally get weather predictions accurate.
Watch for developments as they build this.
Good discussion about SS memory fab equipment. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomcoughlin/2018/12/18/european-memory-developments/amp/
It looks like we have a new winner in the Quantum computing qubit horserace, but these guys may be different in their lower error rate. This is reminiscent of the early CPU speed wars from days gone with new announcements almost weekly. CY19 should be eventful for QC… let’s see if they can design a system that will do useful work for the world!
Truly sobering statistics about cybercrime from McAfee. There is a lot of activity in the cyber crime world and this article highlights some of their methods.
The final version of 5G specs are delayed (by 3 months)… this may not impact early 5G products out now, but could impact CY20 designs, designs for which have already started. Further delays would be disastrous, however.
If only batteries could have improved energy density, we would all benefit from improved lifetime and portability. This startup is working hard to deliver on this vision with a simpler and more energy dense design.
Source: 24M (Video)
Also, an interesting use of AI to assess how many solar rooftops we have here in the US. Not only are the satellite images sufficiently detailed to identify these installations, but the algorithm they used seems to have reduced the false positive rate to an acceptable level.