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?
This is shaping up to be an eventful spring, both in technology as well as outside where everthing is growing and greening up nicely… (for those of you in California, I suppose your green hills are giving way to brown as the rainy season ends, but hey, at least the resevoirs are full)… I hope you find some of these new items from the week provocative.
As expected, there is continued growth in the server segment which will include AFA’s as well as hybrid server systems, plus more revolutionary systems that include QLC flash instead of HDD’s. This business is growing and changing!
… and to underscore the potential for growth in this area, at least one AFA supplier (Pure Storage) is investing in hybrid cloud and object storage (Compuverde) to hedge his bets across this rapidly expanding product space.
…but as we all know, the solid state memory industry is in a slump at least through the first half of this year. IC Insights has been tracking this cyclicity and CY19 does not look good if you believe their predictions. Let’s hope the dip is brief and followed rapidly by another boom.
Perhaps client products like this Intel Optane H10 will help us move rapidly out of the current semi slump… there are plenty of memory chips on this device. This performance review of the H10 shows it will help improve ultrabook performance, but it is not cheap and only works with compatible Intel processors.
Image soure: Argonne National Lab
Well, we keep learning about the behavior of our old friend the CoFe alloy system which is widely used in the HDD biz. This particular observation may be useful for those working on MAMR technology. Here’s a link to the full paper but you will need to subscribe to access.
High definition video (4k, 8k and even 16k), low latency live broadcasting worldwide, 5G everywhere and even broadcast TV on your cell or car…. these were all topics discussed at the recent NAB show in Las Vegas. They also discussed how content will be aggregrated and distributed in the cloud and the new broadcast standard (ATSC 3.0). This summary from Backblaze gives a good overview as is this one from IBC365.
Stacked chips have been around for decades, but as we begin to see slowdown in scaling, will wafer level stacking enable continued increases in effective density? TSMC is betting that at their upcoming 5nm EUV node, they can leverage wafer on wafer (WoW) for dramatic density gains. Cool!
Exascale computing is hyper-hyperscale and it is alive and well in a few US labs. Argonne National Labs is one of the leaders in exascale and here is an update on how they intend to use it in the cancer fight. They also have a project for massive online data analysis called CODAR that may be useful for the next black hole pictures!
For reference, here’s a link to a little more detail on high performance computing (HPC), which is the more pervasive little brother to exascale computing…
Under the topic of ‘I hate it when this happens’, we have two this past week that will result in delays of their respective ‘production releases’. The Samsung Galaxy-Fold screen fails much as you would expect and the SpaceX Dragon Crew capsule ‘anomaly‘ Both examples show just how difficult it is to engineer revolutionary new technologies these days.
Image source: Discover Magazine
… and finally, they’ve found one of our universes precursor ions out there in space, as described in this interesting paper. If only we could capture it for use as a HDD fill gas (yes, I’m kidding)… enabling He for more important uses, like party balloons!