Intel and Micron prep for 128GB storage

Are you ready for 128 GB memory cards and solid state drives art more reasonable prices? Intel and Micron have teamed up to deliver a 128 GB multicell flash memory chip that will make incredibly dense memory a reality for tablets, cell phones and yes, servers.

Better Battery Life Motivates Mobile Chipmakers

By all accounts, mobility is the name of the game in 2010. Smartphone shipments shot skyward last quarter and major handset makers, particularly LG and Samsung, are ramping up production this year. The same bullish sentiment is expanding into tablets in general and Apple’s iPad in particular. But how do electronics makers plan to bring mobile gadgets to market that balance performance, feature-richness and long battery life that consumers expect? What about the environment? Recent stirrings from chipmakers offer some clues.

Why Chipmakers Will Love Windows 7

[qi:gigaom_icon_chip] As Microsoft (s msft) prepares its upcoming Oct. 22 launch of Windows 7, it looks like the chip industry has several reasons to love the new operating system. Everything from its smaller footprint to better performance while running it from a solid-state hard drive could change the dynamics of the memory business, while the integrated touch will help boost the sales of semiconductors and components for touchscreens. Let’s hit the highlights: Read More about Why Chipmakers Will Love Windows 7

Bailouts Aren’t the Answer to Memory Chipmakers’ Problems

Sales of dynamic random access memory — the chips that store information in personal computers — have plunged 20 percent in the last year, prompting calls for government-led bailouts in Taiwan, consolidation efforts, and doubts about the ability of Micron Technology (s MU), the last DRAM maker in the U.S., to function without raising more cash. But bailouts and throwing more cash at DRAM players isn’t going to work. The only viable solution is to reduce the number of industry players. Read More about Bailouts Aren’t the Answer to Memory Chipmakers’ Problems

Crucial Introduces Memory/System Scanner For Macs

PC users have long been able to avoid retail prices and save some money on RAM by hitting Crucial’s PC System Scanner site to analyze their current configuration and have the program give upgrade options (then go to deal sites and really save some $$). Mac users can now do the same thanks to the Crucial Mac System Scanner. After acknowledging the terms & conditions (you *do* read those, right?) the download begins. When finished, you have to mount the disk image and you’ll notice pretty quickly that the developers actually bothered to make a nice dmg background (a detail that is increasingly being left out of many packages).

I don’t recommend moving the app to your Applications or Utilities folders since it’s a one-shot deal for most folks and you can always re-download it the next time you need it.

Double-clicking the app icon runs a program which dumps an html file on your system (it put mine in file:///var/folders/NZ/NZ2aeHCxEy4bRcChWavt0++++TI/-Tmp-/sysoutput_utf8.html) and opens that up in your browser – you may want to make a note of where it stored yours and make an effort to remove it once you’re done with the tool.

It turns out that the all the utility does is put the contents of the output of system_profiler -xml (you can run that yourself from a Terminal.app session) into a hidden text area and submits it all to Crucial. As a result, the fine marketers at Crucial now know the details of your whole system, including printers, drive layout, etc. This is great marketing info for them and their partners, so you may want to think twice about using the tool if you are at all concerned about potential privacy issues.

The report is similar to what they provide from a PC scan and includes details of your current configuration and upgrade paths.

The utility is a Universal Binary so it should work fine on older systems. (I may be setting up an older PowerBook for my son in the near future, so I am in the market for an upgrade on that system unlike the result you just saw for my MB Pro, but I’ll probably be skipping the Scanner for that one).

If you don’t mind Crucial knowing all your system secrets, give the utility a try and drop a note in the comments to let us know if they identified your configuration properly. Also drop a note if you have suggestions on alternate ways you use to find the information required to upgrade your Macs memory. I may do a compilation post with the results (full credit if you leave that in the comment) if we receive enough good entries.