Are Memory Chips Commodities? (Part 1)

Photo of an old financial document bearing the title Commodity ExchangeThis post is the first of a two-part series explaining commodities, and especially how they relate to memory chips.  Part 1 defines a commodity and explains its attributes.  Part 2 explains the commodity cycle.


Often in my presentations The Memory Guy will refer to memory chips, particularly DRAM and NAND flash, as Continue reading “Are Memory Chips Commodities? (Part 1)”

Five More New Briefs Published

Five briefs on top of each otherToday, Groundhog’s Day, Objective Analysis is publishing another five of our Objective Analysis Briefs, rounding out 2022’s total of new documents to 20.  This week’s set covers even a more diverse range than those that we published in the past three weeks, with no overlap between any two Briefs’ subjects.  They range from forecast methodology and China’s semiconductor efforts to critically considering Continue reading “Five More New Briefs Published”

How 3D NAND Makes QLC and PLC Feasible

Four groups of dots representing the number of voltage levels in MLC, TLC, QLC, and PLC flash.Something that has really changed over the past few years is the use of an increasing numbers of voltage levels in multi-level cell flash, from SLC, to MLC, to TLC, and then QLC, with the promise of PLC (5 bits per cell) in the foreseeable future.  That means each PLC cell must be able to hold 32 voltage levels accurately, and the NAND chip’s control logic must be able to tell one level from the next.  This post’s graphic is intended to Continue reading “How 3D NAND Makes QLC and PLC Feasible”

This Week’s Round of Objective Analysis Briefs

Five briefs on top of each otherThis week’s newly-published Objective Analysis Briefs have just been released.  These five cover business strategies (Intel, WDC, and Everspin), policy issues, and quantum computing – quite a variety!  Each is derived from one of our most interesting and timeless “Insights” published on membership website Smartkarma.  Now Objective Analysis is making these studies available to Continue reading “This Week’s Round of Objective Analysis Briefs”

Samsung’s Aquabolt-XL Processor-In-Memory (Part 2)

Sketch of a sledgehammer driving a wedge into a logSamsung has been strongly promoting its “Aquabolt-XL” Processor-In-Memory (PIM) devices for the past year.  In this second post of a two-part series The Memory Guy will present other companies’ similar PIM devices, and will discuss the PIM approach’s outlook for commercial success.

Part 1 of this series explains the concept of Processing in Memory (PIM), details Samsung’s Aquabolt-XL design, and shares some performance data.  It can be found HERE.


Samsung’s Not the First PIM Maker

This is not at all the first Continue reading “Samsung’s Aquabolt-XL Processor-In-Memory (Part 2)”

More New Objective Analysis Briefs Available

Five briefs on top of each otherThis week five more Objective Analysis Briefs have just become available.  This handful covers commonly held myths and the basic underpinnings of semiconductor market cycles.  All are drawn from the most interesting and timeless of the Insights that we have published on membership website Smartkarma.  Now Objective Analysis is providing them to our friends for a reasonable price.

The Brief is a very Continue reading “More New Objective Analysis Briefs Available”

Samsung’s Aquabolt-XL Processor-In-Memory (Part 1)

Sketch of a sledgehammer driving a wedge into a logFor the past year, since ISSCC in February 2021, Samsung has been strongly promoting its “Aquabolt-XL” Processor-In-Memory (PIM) devices.  In this two-part post The Memory Guy will explain the Aquabolt-XL architecture, its performance, other companies’ similar devices, and discuss the PIM approach’s outlook for commercial success.

Processing in memory is not a Continue reading “Samsung’s Aquabolt-XL Processor-In-Memory (Part 1)”

Introducing New Objective Analysis Briefs

Five briefs on top of each otherAlthough Objective Analysis has published its “Brief” format white papers for some time, this line has never received the focus that it deserves.  To remedy that, we are taking the most interesting and timeless of the Insights that we have published on membership website Smartkarma and providing them to our friends for a reasonable price.

The Brief is a very short report format used to make a succinct Continue reading “Introducing New Objective Analysis Briefs”

Did Samsung Just Endorse YMTC’s Xtacking?

Closeup of Samsung graphic, showing illustration of wafer-bonded NANDDuring his December 15 IEDM keynote speech, Samsung Electronics Chairman Kinam Kim really surprised me.  He spoke favorably of the approach that YMTC is using to produce 3D NAND flash.

This approach, which YMTC named “Xtacking,” involves the use of two separate wafers to manufacture a 3D NAND chip.  The brief way to describe it is to say that Continue reading “Did Samsung Just Endorse YMTC’s Xtacking?”

What Exactly IS “Storage Class Memory”?

Single-quadrant chart with Bandwidth runing horizontally and cost vertically. Shows where HDD, DRAM, and NAND flash fit, and has an undefined Storage Class Memory block in the center.If you ask any two people in the computing industry to define the term “Storage Class Memory” you’re likely to get three or more answers.  That’s because the term isn’t well defined anywhere.

Some people use it for emerging memory technologies like MRAM, ReRAM, FRAM, and PCM/XPoint.  Others include NAND flash, even in the form of Continue reading “What Exactly IS “Storage Class Memory”?”