Computer Humor

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Computer Humor

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Computer Humor

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Weekly Global Tech News, April 1, 2019

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?

Hi Folks,

Well, for us in Colorado, we enjoyed a week of warm weather giving us line-of-sight to summertime, but as of today (3/29), it appears that winter is back for at least a couple days… Ugh!    Well, be sure to enjoy every day… get out and have fun despite the weather as I am going to do!   Here are some technology snippets from the weeks’ news for your enjoyment!

We all know that MRAM is one of the more promising next generation data storage elements, but have you considered how MR (magnetoresistive) sensors will evolve post-HDD?   This question was studied by IEEE and sensor roadmaps for a few promising industries identified.  Some may surprise you as there are many applications for these ultra-sensitive (down to femtotesla) magnetometers, especially in IoT (biomedical, pneumatic, automotive, ultra-small sensors, etc).

Source:  Paul Scherr Institute

Here’s an interesting development in nano-magnetism that might ultimately enable such things as skyrmion based switching as well as novel storage schemes.   What they have found seems to be more than simple exchange magnetism; the researchers found that if a nano-magnet is oriented north (or south), then the neighboring nano-magnet is oriented west (or east).  This observation was repeatable at the atomic level, leading to optimism that new storage or even compute elements could be built (assuming, of course, that defects in these ultra-thin films can be controlled).

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Computer Humor

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Weekly Global Tech News, March 25, 2019

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?

Hi everyone,

Well, spring appears to be returning to Colorado and the more moderate weather is heralding upcoming biking and fishing adventures!  Hopefully you have something fun planned for this spring besides yardwork!  I hope you enjoy these tidbits from the week’s news.

Intel continues to hype their Optane storage class memory solution, but the impressive performance numbers for Optane come with requirements to use Intel’s proprietary hardware, so it is far from a universal memory architecture solution.  However, others (like VAST Data) are beginning to make use of Optane in unique compute+storage architectures that could soon become disruptive.

There are going to be many applications for storage class memories in coming years and while not the fastest, Optane memory is commercially available.  Here is a paper that studies the performance of Optane PCM (persistent memory module) based compute systems and compares that with a conventional DRAM based system.   …and in case you want to integrate it, here are a few suggestions from Tom’s Hardware on how to use Optane memory modules.

Now all the big memory makers are either constraining their wafer inputs or taking capacity offline.  Either way, it should help stabilize DRAM and flash price declines next quarter.   These look to be good moves, but everyone is also preparing for the next demand upswing, so these are merely temporary compensation strategies and all manufacturers are poised to be ready when the uptick in demand arrives.   In a sign that the second half of CY19 will show upticks in demand, TSMC is seeing orders firming, so perhaps the flash guys’ moves to slow wafer inputs will have to soon be reversed.

WDC has announced a mainstream NVMe (2-lane) SSD without DRAM and it has decent power and performance specs but this class of products remain shy on capacity and lack of DRAM might bottleneck even client workloads.  This product appears to be based on it’s much more expensive (and faster) 4-lane NVMe enterprise-class ‘brother’, (the SN520 ‘black’ series) that was reviewed months ago.

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Posted in Amazing technology, data, and people, Cloud technology, computing, storage, data, Computers, Data storage, hard disk drives (hdd), solid state drives (ssd), Datacenters and data centers, Editorials, IoT, Internet of things, smart connected devices, IoT analytics, Research, Security, threats, DDOS, attacks, hacking | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Global Tech News, March 18, 2019

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?

Hi Folks,

For those of you in the US, you are enjoying the loss of an hour in the mornning but gaining an ‘extra’ hour in the evening which will come in handy this summer!  After this weeks’ ‘bomb cyclone’ snowstorm, I for one, cannot wait for warmer weather to finally take hold…

Toshiba’s (relatively) mature 9D helium filled nearline HDD makes their 16TB MG-08 offering compelling.  It also smooths their path to 18TB using MAMR and TDMR (dual readers on a single track) as the capacity leap does not require a corresponding mechanical redesign.   For more on their overall corporate roadmap, here’s their technology presentation from Nov 22 2018.

This week, the Open Compute Project held their annual global summit (OCP 2019).  They focused on how to advance ‘open’ data center designs from a speed, security and performance perspective.  There were a lot of good talks, but nothing overly groundbreaking that I could find. These guys have a lot going on…   Here is a link to some of the talks.

Here’s an interesting discussion by Mark Webb (MKW Ventures) on memory cycling vs its associated specifications.  For those of us in the memory biz, it is clear that there is a strong relationship between write and read latency and the associated system error rate.  Mark elaborates specifically on how this works for NAND flash and why a single ‘memory cycle spec’ is sufficient to specify system performance…

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Posted in Amazing technology, data, and people, Cloud technology, computing, storage, data, Computers, Data storage, hard disk drives (hdd), solid state drives (ssd), Datacenters and data centers, Editorials, IoT, Internet of things, smart connected devices, IoT analytics, Research, Security, threats, DDOS, attacks, hacking | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment