In a recent and more rigorous experiment, a group of researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan and Google, dropped nearly 300 USB thumb drives around six campus locations and found that at least 45 percent of them were plugged into a computer and perused by the person who found them.While modern Windows and Mac systems no longer run programs on a USB stick by default, other attacks, such as BadUSB, can make a USB drive appear to be something else, such as keyboard, and then use that access to take malicious actions.When the company finds untrusted USB drives, it can test them, said Chris Novak, a director with the firm s RISK team, a computer investigations group.We often do executive protection, where, when executives go overseas or to a big conference, we give them temporary equipment, and if something happens, we get it back.Playing the movie trailer on the drive installed malware on the victim s computer, enabling the attacker to steal an unreleased movie.The fact that users plug such storage devices into corporate computers is a nightmare for IT security professionals, to the degree that they sometimes—and somewhat controversially—block USB ports on highly sensitive computers by gluing them closed with epoxy.
In an ideal world, computers would only have one type of data storage, but thanks to the laws of physics and businesses, we have two main types three if you count CPU L caches .Previous PCM implementations only used 1 bit per cell, basically equivalent to storing either 0 or 1 2 values ."Someday" being the operative word here.As no actual commercially available implementation has been launched yet, we can't really speculate on how viable PCM will be as a replacement for both DRAM and flash.As mentioned, it is a topic of interest in the wider computing industry, including other companies.Suffice it to say, whoever is able to come out with a wallet-friendly and reliable solution first could very well end up in the annals of computing history as the pioneers of the new age of computer memory.
The breakthrough involves phase-change memory PCM which IBM has successfully achieved storing three bits of data per cell for the first time, compared to previous demonstrations of storing one bit per cell.PCM is much more durable than flash – it can last something like 10 million write cycles compared to the average flash USB stick which endures around 3,000 write cycles – and it's way faster, coming closer to DRAM performance, but with one big difference: it doesn't lose data when switched off like DRAM.Significant cost reductionDr Haris Pozidis, manager of non-volatile memory research at IBM Research, commented: "Phase change memory is the first instantiation of a universal memory with properties of both DRAM and flash, thus answering one of the grand challenges of our industry.The new memory tech could have implications across a range of uses, including providing blazingly quick storage for cloud and IoT applications, and boosting performance of the likes of machine learning.Businesses could see entire databases stored in PCM enabling ultra-fast querying, and of course this will also make a major difference to smartphones.IBM envisions hybrid applications with PCM running alongside traditional flash storage in a phone, but with the OS stored in the PCM so when you switch your phone on, it loads almost immediately and you're staring at your home screen before you've had time to bat an eyelid.
In PCM cell, '0' is programmed to be written in the amorphous phase or a '1' in the crystalline phase, or vice versa while low voltage is applied to read the bits back as in re-writable Blue-ray Discs.For storing 3 bits per cell, the scientists have developed a set of drift-immune cell-state metrics and drift-tolerant coding and detection schemes.IBM Research - Zurich manager of non-volatile memory research and one of the authors of the paper Dr. Haris Pozidis said: "Phase change memory is the first instantiation of a universal memory with properties of both DRAM and flash, thus answering one of the grand challenges of our industry."Reaching 3 bits per cell is a significant milestone because at this density the cost of PCM will be significantly less than DRAM and closer to flash."With the technology, scientists are expecting that a mobile phone's operating system could be stored in PCM, which will help it launch in a few seconds.The technology could also be used in enterprise environments, as the entire databases could be stored in PCM, allowing faster query processing for time-critical online applications, such as financial transactions.
Big Blue researchers demonstrate reliable phase-change memory PCM Scientists at IBM Research said they have for the first time reliably stored 3 bits of data per cell and retained the information at elevated temperatures , a technical advance that makes phase-change memory PCM an alternative to flash storage.Long Time ComingIBM Stand MWC 2016IBM scientists in Zurich first introduced PCM technology way back in 2011, when they presented a whitepaper at the 3rd IEEE International Memory Workshop in Monterey, California.Researchers believe this means it could be used in either standalone PCM, as well as hybrid applications that combines PCM and flash storage together, with PCM acting as an extremely fast cache.This is how re-writable Blue-ray Discs store videos, said IBM Phase change memory is the first instantiation of a universal memory with properties of both DRAM and flash, thus answering one of the grand challenges of our industry, said Dr. Haris Pozidis, an author of the paper and the manager of non-volatile memory research at IBM Research – Zurich.Reaching 3 bits per cell is a significant milestone because at this density the cost of PCM will be significantly less than DRAM and closer to flash.The chip consists of a 2 2 Mcell array with a 4- bank interleaved architecture.
Better-than-binary multi-level memoryMemory could be getting an upgrade beyond the two states used in binary, as researchers have designed a magnetic element with six stable magnetic states, according to a paper published in Applied Physics Letters.They consume less power, allow memory to be written and read at a quicker pace, and last longer."Furthermore, since MRAM is different in its nature from flash, there is no reason that it should suffer from the drawbacks of multi-level-cell flash memory."This technique, known as spin-orbit torque switching, shows that more memory can be packed over a tighter space.Researchers believe that even more magnetic states can be created by adding more layers of magnetic film – crossing four ellipses could give eight magnetic states.The researchers said they would like to "progress towards fabricating a prototype" that would help them "convince the magnetic memory industry to make a shift towards multi-level magnetic memory."
The first day of Google's I/O conference might have been heavier on software than hardware, but that doesn't mean gadget-lovers will be left out in the cold.Caught up in the deluge of other news was the announcement of new partners coming to Android TV - particularly Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi, which is developing its own set-top box for the platform.The Mi Box packs a lot of power inside its small casing, with 8GB of flash memory, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a quad-core Cortex-A53 2.0GHz processor, and output of up to 60 frames per second in glorious 4K resolution.The Mi Box also features voice commands, Google Cast support, and comes with a Bluetooth-enabled wireless remote similar in design to the Nvidia Shield - another 4K Android TV device currently on the market.Just like the Shield, the Mi Box will also have a special gaming controller for those who wish to play Android's selection of games with two hands instead of one.While pricing and release details are still unknown, the device is planning on coming to the US - a first for Xiaomi's line of set-tops.
Google Home is likely to stand out as the most memorable new piece of hardware revealed at I/O 2016 but away from the spotlight, Google added some new televisions and set-top boxes to its Android TV lineup.The most notable of the bunch is a new set-top box from Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi called the Mi Box.The Mi Box is powered by a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor clocked at 2.0GHz, Mali 450 graphics running at 750MHz and 2GB of RAM.There s also 8GB of eMMC flash memory on board, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 / 3.0.A Bluetooth-powered voice remote accepts two AAA batteries.There s even an optional Bluetooth gamepad called the Mi Game ControllerThe product page and announcement on Google s Android blog doesn t mention a price or release date but we do know the set-top box is headed to the US.
Dell has updated its Storage Centre Operating System 7 SCOS 7 in its latest attempt to grab a piece of the expanding flash-based storage architecture market.In addition, the SCOS 7 has been designed to enhance support for virtualisation and cloud strategies, and help increase portfolio-level investment protection."One of the core capabilities of the SC architecture over the last few years it has been to mix different kinds of drives together, so we can blend the characteristics of performance, capacity and cost.According to the company, the SCOS 7 also elevates storage management control as a future-proofed capability.With Dell's new Live Migrate feature, storage administrators can now move volumes quickly and seamlessly between arrays, optimising and re-balancing the environment without interrupting workloads and without purchasing additional virtualisation hardware or software.Lastly, Dell also released the Dell Storage Manager DSM software, to help unify the storage ecosystem in the data centre.
SC, or Storage Center, is the operating system software for Dell's SC series arrays, originally branded Compellent, and generally Fibre Channel SANs.Dell SCv2000 storage arrayDedupe and compression enables SC arrays to offer all-flash storage for less than $0.45/GB, Dell claims this the lowest in the industry*, and hard drive tiers under $0.10/GB for net effective capacity**.Storage admins can move volumes non-disruptively between arrays.Quality of service features to help admins automatically ensure higher priority workloads get the resources they need from the array.AvailabilitySCOS 7 will be delivered as a free firmware upgrade for SC Series customers with a current support contract.PS 9.0 firmware, available this month at no charge with a current support contract, provides unified management and cross-platform replication capabilities across PS and SC series arrays.
With a phone you only have to worry about cost, color, and capacity, but when upgrading your computer you need to consider portability, power, speed, storage, screen size, pixels, expansion needs and more.Mac ProA cylindrical tower of powerCPU: Up to 3.0GHz 8-core processor with 25MB L3 cache or 2.7GHz 12-core processor with 30MB L3 cache Graphics: Up to dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 vRAM each RAM: Up to 32GB four 8GB or 64GB four 16GB of DDR3 ECC memory Storage: 256GB PCIe-based flash storage configurable to 512GB or 1TB Communication: Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, IEEE 802.11ac Dimensions WxDxH : 16.7cm x 16.7cm x 25.1cmStellar designTwin GPUsThe Mac Pro was cutting-edge when it launched in late 2013, and it's still one of the most advanced PCs money can buy - though an update wouldn't go amiss.If you're dropping more than a grand and a half on an iMac you might as well go the whole hog and get the faster, Fusion Drive-packing model, packing a 5K Retina Display, 3.5GHz processor and Fusion Drive for £1,849 $2,299 .When the PowerBook debuted in 1991, Apple caused a stir by pushing the keys closer to the screen to create a natural palm rest and room for a trackball.The Air is Apple's best selling model, according to supply chain estimates, and continues to be the cheapest way of getting a laptop with a glowing Apple logo on the back.The desktop is popular both because of its price—which undercuts the cheapest MacBook Air by $400—and its design, which is small, sleek, and simple.
Dell s enterprise storage operating system follows introduction of a network OS earlier this yearDell continues to round out its enterprise offerings with the official release of Storage Center Operating System 7 SCOS 7 .Dell claims that SCOS 7 will help lower acquisition costs across flash and hybrid arrays; help lower lifecycle costs elevated simplified management; and enhance support for virtualisation and cloud strategies.This allows sStorage administrators to move volumes quickly and seamlessly between arrays, optimising and re-balancing the environment without interrupting workloads and without purchasing additional virtualisation hardware or software.Dell of course is in the middle of a hugely expensive purchase of storage giant EMC, that will see the PC maker take on about $59.1bn £41bn in debt as a result of the acquisition.Last month EMC revealed its first quarter results that made for uncomfortable reading for new owner Michael Dell.Whilst it managed a modest profit increase, sales were down to $5.5bn £3.8bn from $5.6bn £3.9bn a year earlier.
This IBM TLC PCM occupies the same general space in the memory-storage hierarchy, defined by latency, as Intel/Micron's 3D Point.We can slot this PCM into a latency table we used for XPoint:Unlike its presentation of XPoint, IBM has provided some endurance numbers, saying it lasts for at least 1 million write cycles, which is far better than the 3,000 it quotes for TLC flash.The substance stores bits as differing resistance levels, with eight of them needed for the 3-bit values it stores.It has overcome a resistance drift problem by devising algorithms and signal processing techniques that it enable it to follow the resistance drift, as it were, and still read data.All-in-all it is a convincing demonstration of a storage-class memory technology that could seemingly be productised - except that IBM has no chip manufacturing capability for PCM and no manufacturing partner.Both it and Toshiba have looked into STT-RAM but that doesn't seem promising.
Promo The traditional hard disk array market is declining but the flash storage market is recording huge growth, with All Flash Arrays AFAs sales growing over 75 per cent annually and hybrid flash systems seven per cent year-on-year, according to IDC.This shift is affecting buying decisions in all kinds of businesses with the full impact yet to be realised.FLASH FORWARD is a new one-day conference and expo which intends to plug this information gap.Doors open on 14 June 2016 at Kensington Close Hotel, London and entrance is free to IT professionals in the private and public sector using promo code FFLonPCM , and £50 to members of channel companies.Go here to register for FLASH FORWARD.FLASH FORWARD has four strands:Comparative deployment scenarios for flash and SSD technologies – chaired by Carla Arend, Program Director, European Software, IDC EuropeWhere and when to deploy flash and SSD in both SME and enterprise environments – chaired by Randy Kerns, Senior Strategist, Evaluator GroupThe impact of flash and SSD on application performance/deployment – chaired by Chris Evans, co-founder, Langton blue, and founding blogger, Architecting.ITFuture directions and impacts on datacentres and application time to market – chaired by Chris Mellor, Storage Editor, The RegisterCheck out the complete agenda for FLASH FORWARD.
Sure, we'd find its capabilities pretty limited in 2016, but we'll never not be able to love the Great Unbreakable.In fact the lack of these features is one of the reasons I picked Android over iOS in the past.As a mobile gamer the depth and breadth of titles is fantastic – Limbo, for example is a great little game that you can t get anywhere else.Cameras have become so important on mobiles that there are now some, like the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Samsung Galaxy Zoom, which are more camera than phone.It all depends on your storage needs, but if you don t carry a load of movies or music with you 16GB of which 13.6GB is usable should be adequate, but for many the 32GB model will be optimal and I haven t managed to fill 32GB yet.No pairing is required, each device just needs to be in range.
Azure Premium Storage users can now replicate their workloads onto SSDsMicrosoft is offering some Azure Site Recovery customers the option of using flash storage, rather than traditional hard drives for their backup services.Azure Site Recovery is Microsoft s flagship backup service, and now users of Microsoft s Azure Premium Storage will get access to SSDs, a move the company claims will boost the speed of cloud applications and their backup counterparts in storage.Premium If you are running I/O input/output intensive enterprise workloads on-premises, we recommend that you replicate these workloads to Premium Storage, said Poornima Natarajan, a Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise manager.CEO Satya Nadella At the time of a failover of your on-premises environment to Azure, workloads replicating to Premium storage will come up on Azure virtual machines running on high speed solid state drives SSDs and will continue to achieve high-levels of performance, both in terms of throughout and latency.EncryptionNatarajan also gave customers more information about the upcoming Azure Storage Service Encryption SSE for data at rest.SSE for Data at Rest will help customers protect their data to meet company regulations, according to Natarajan, with Storage Service Encryption encrypting data prior to persisting to storage and decrypting prior to retrieval.
The upgrade from Data ONTAP v8 is called ONTAP 9, and NetApp says it is a simpler system to operate, claiming it can be deployed and serving data in as few as 10 minutes.NetApp has shown us the main picture and know customers will be able to consume ONTAP 9 in three ways:On-premises NetApp-engineered FAS array useONTAP Cloud for public cloud use AWS we understand with Azure following In SW-only form as ONTAP Select, described as cost-effectiveBasic Data Fabric ONTAP 9 schemeONTAP 9 supports 15TB SSDs, which hold half as much data again as the largest disk drives available, the 10TB drives.The data reduction comes with a FlashAdvantage 3-4-5 program, and is based on new and patented inline data compaction, which is better than, NetApp says, existing compression and deduplication.The RAID capability has been upgraded to triple-parity, NetApp saying customers "can achieve up to 100 times greater security against drive failures."We look forward to SolidFire announcing 15TB SSD support and, perhaps, using the same data compaction technology as ONTAP 9.NetApp customers will surely look at ONTAP 9 and all-flash FAS with happy anticipation and NetApp sales reps and channel will have something to make them happy too.
Narbeh Derhacobian is the co-founder and CEO of Adesto Technologies, which provides application-specific, ultra-low-power non-volatile memory products.Cameras, Wi-Fi, batteries, touch sensors, baseband processors and memory chips — in less than a decade, these components have made stunning advances to keep up with consumer demand to have sleeker, more powerful devices every year.These will be used in every corner of the world — from highways to arteries — to gather new insights to help us live and work better.In 1965, Gordon Moore, the founder of Intel, made a famous prediction misleadingly labeled a law : Every 18-24 months, engineers would fit about twice as many transistors on a particular piece of silicon.The consolidated package helped manufacturers like Apple and Samsung produce new generations of lighter, sleeker devices.For example, one process platform may be excellent for processors, but just mediocre for embedded flash memory.
Image Source: AsusThere s no question about it, Samsung s Galaxy S7 is one of the best Android phones money can buy this year.But Asus has come up with a phone that s not only cheaper than Samsung s newest flagship, it also packs crazy hardware and specs that should offer an amazing performance.The new Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe has specs so impressive that it could easily power up an ultraportable laptop.We re looking at 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of built-in storage – and before you ask, yes, it s the same kind of speedy flash memory that s found inside Samsung s Galaxy S7.Better yet, Asus seems to have discovered the secret recipe for fixing the worst thing about the iPhone s design: The company has crafted an all-aluminum design that removes the ugly antenna lines from the equation.The 64GB version will cost you $500, but pricing for the 256GB model is yet to be announced.
The Korean company on Tuesday announced it s begun mass production of its latest solid state flash memory chip, a 512GB component that s smaller than a postage stamp.Samsung is aiming its new PM971-NVMe drive for use in next-generation PCs and ultra-slim laptops.To give you even more of an idea of what Samsung has created here, the volume of the new SSD is about a hundredth of a 2.5 SSD or HDD, while its surface area is about a fifth of an M.2 SSD, allowing much more design flexibility for computing device manufacturers, the tech giant said in a release.Jung-bae Lee, senior VP of Samsung s memory product planning and application engineering team, said the new small-scale SSD will help global PC companies to make timely launches of slimmer, more stylish computing devices, while offering consumers a more satisfactory computing environment.The new component, on the face of it, hits all the right buttons and is set to grab the attention of tech manufacturers looking to build ever-thinner machines for consumers on the hunt for more portable, ever-lighter products.Samsung s new PM971-NVMe SSD line-up comes in 512GB, 256GB, and 128GB flavors, and begins shipping globally in June 2016.