Hardware Developments In The Near Future

by March 23, 2015 0 comments

Manufacturers are constantly innovating to cater to the ever-changing consumer requirements and design products with enhanced performance. Improvements in the storage, RAM, cables, printing are all on their way. Read more about the various hardware developments

This year we have seen various technological advancements in hardware and as we move forward, various developments are also on the way. So let’s just dig in and find out what to expect in 2015

3D NAND Flash to increase storage many fold

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As USB flash drives, smart phones, digital cameras, tablet PCs and iPads are becoming an integral part of our daily lives, NAND flash storage has evolved significantly and has now become an important aspect of today’s technological community. The three largest markets for NAND Flash are smartphones, solid state drives (SSDs) and tablets. SSDs are also witnessing significant consumer demand, also in the large data server architecture as more and more people are embracing cloud and are migrating their content to it. The increase in demand is expected to continue, and the four main manufacturers (Samsung, Toshiba/Sandisk, SK Hynix and Intel/Micron) are working forward to increase the storage density. In order to get to the next density level, manufacturers are preparing to shift from ‘2D’ designs to ‘3D’. Currently, 2D designs create the memory cells in a two dimensional array on a silicon substrate. 3D design moves into the third dimension by stacking cells on top of each other, thus increasing the storage density. The NAND strings used in this approach are arranged to conduct charge either horizontally (parallel to the substrate) or vertically.

Intel has announced to launch 3D technology based solid state drives in the upcoming year. On the mobile side, it’s possible to squeeze 1TB of storage into a form-factor that’s just two millimeters thick, according to Intel.

DDR4 SDRAM to hit PC market soon

New CPU or GPU architecture hit the markets on a regular basis, but the computing industry relies on the same memory architecture for a longer period of time. The third generation DDR3 SDRAM was introduced in 2007 and now the computing industry is gearing up to shift to the fourth generation DDR4 SDRAM and is regarded as the proposed higher speed successor to DDR2 and DDR3. The primary advantages of DDR4 in contrast to its forerunner, DDR3, include higher module density and lower voltage requirements, along with higher data rate transfer speeds. DDR4 operates at a voltage of 1.2V with frequency between 1600 and 3200 MHz, in comparison to frequency between 800 and 2400 MHz and voltage requirement of 1.5 or 1.65V of DDR3. Less power draw means less heat and longer battery life, so laptops and servers are expected to be the biggest beneficiaries of DDR4.  Also DDR4 uses higher-density chips, so each memory stick (DIMM, technically) will be able to pack and hold a lot more memory. That means you can expect to see 4GB and 8GB kits with DDR4 for desktops and notebooks. For high-end servers, each DDR4 DIMM could provide 64 or even 128GB of memory.

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A new USB type C connector to be integrated in smartphone devices
The MHL Consortium continues to advance the MHL specification to support additional capabilities and connectors, such as USB Type-C, ahead of industry demand. MHL, LLC have published a supplement to the MHL 1, 2 and 3 specifications, which enables devices to transmit MHL (uncompressed audio/video concurrently with USB data and USB power) over the USB Type-C connector. The supplement covers USB Type-C to HDMI Type A cables, USB Type-C protocol conversion adapters (i.e. MHL-to-HDMI) and MHL Alt Mode for USB Type-C docks. Using the MHL Alt Mode, a USB Type-C connector and cable can support the MHL 3 specification, which includes 4K video, multi- channel surround sound audio, HDCP 2.2 and is backward compatible with existing versions of the MHL specification.

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3D Printing to evolve rapidly in the next two years

If you’re not excited or thrilled by 3-D printing, it can be mainly because you’re not thinking big enough. 3D printing is evolving rapidly, although it is still five to ten years away from mainstream adoption. 3D printing or additive manufacturing (AM) refers to the procedure of printing a three-dimensional object. Primarily, additive processes are used, wherein successive layers of material are laid down under computer control, until the whole object is created.

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Various additive processes are now available and the major differences between them are in the way layers are placed to create parts and in the materials used. Some methods melt or soften material to produce the layers, e.g. selective laser melting(SLM) or direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), selective laser sintering (SLS), and fused deposition modeling (FDM). While others cure liquid materials using different sophisticated technologies, e.g. stereolithigraphy(SLA). These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry, and are produced from a 3D model or other electronic data source.
3D printers have many appealing areas of potential future application. 3D printing can be highly significant in manufacturing different kinds of plastic and metal objects, in medicine, in the arts, and in outer space. Another possible upcoming application is to create replacement organs for the human body. This is known as bioprinting, and is an area of rapid development. 3D printing will also make its way to the classrooms as it’s a tool to create objects and prototypes. And we will probably see Apple, Google or Amazon coming up with their own 3D-printers as soon as the consumer market is ready to explode. Car manufacturers today are using 3D printing mainly for research and experiment with their concept cars.

A Giant Leap: First 3D-Printer In Space printed its first object
The world’s first zerogravity 3D printer on the International Space Station (ISS) has created the first object using additive manufacturing, paving the way for future long-term space expeditions. It printed the part of the printer itself, a faceplate for the printhead, sculpted with the logo for ‘Made In Space’, the company that designed and built the 3D printer for NASA, and the NASA logo.

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