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08/11/2015

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Crucial annonce une nouvelle gamme de SSD, les BX200. A l'instar des BX100 ils font appel à un contrôleur Silicon Motion SM2256EN mais qui est cette fois couplé à de la mémoire NAND TLC 16nm et non plus de la NAND MLC 16nm.

Pour rappel, en TLC ce sont 3 bits qui sont stockés par cellule contre 2 bits en MLC ce qui permet d'augmenter sensiblement la capacité et donc d'abaisser le coût de la Flash. La contrepartie c'est que la cellule doit être programmée plus finement puisqu'il faut 8 intervalles de tension distincts pour pouvoir stocker ces 3 bits, ce qui entraine une écriture plus longue et plus usante pour la cellule, ce qui a un impact négatif sur les performances et l'endurance.

Décliné en versions 240, 480 et 960 Go, le BX200 est annoncé comme ayant des débits de 540 Mo /s en lecture, 490 Mo /s en écriture, pour 66K et 78K IOPS en lecture et écriture aléatoire 4K quelle que soit sa capacité. Quid de l'impact négatif de la performance de la TLC dont nous parlions ? Il est masqué par la technologie SLC Write Acceleration, probablement proche du Dynamic Write Acceleration intégré sur le MX200. Le débit en écriture ne pourra donc pas être soutenu dans tous les cas de figure et Crucial se garde bien d'annoncer un autre chiffre que le maximal…

Côté endurance, à l'instar du BX100 le BX200 est annoncé comme pouvant supporter 72 To d'écritures, soit 40 Go par jour pendant 5 ans. Encore une fois ce chiffre est commun à toutes les capacités alors que l'endurance double quand la capacité double elle-aussi. Sachant que le BX100 débute à 120 Go l'endurance de cette série est probablement au moins deux fois supérieure en pratique, bien que celle du BX200 soit suffisante pour un usage classique. La garantie des BX200 est de 3 années, ils sont livrés avec un adaptateur 9.5mm et une clef Acronis True Image HD.

Selon leur capacité les BX200 devraient être entre 5 et 10% moins chers que les BX100 qui sont déjà parmi les SSD les plus abordables. Cela devrait donc leur permettre de trouver leur place sur le marché, mais il est plus que dommage que comme nombre de ses concurrents Crucial masque leurs performances soutenues à travers des artifices plus motivés par l'aspect marketing que technique...

Le premier promet de la Ultra HD 4K, mais sans doute avec une fluidité limitée en raison de sa configuration modeste. On appréciera la présence de la connectique USB 3.1 et le refroidissement passif pour le silence.

Le second laissera le choix entre refroidissement passif et actif, mais aussi le choix au niveau de certains composants pour adapter la configuration selon ses besoins. Là aussi, le processeur n’est pas des plus véloces et il ne faudra pas s’attendre à des étincelles.

La troisième cible les petits budgets avec son prix de 30 euros. Dommage qu’elle ne soit pas ambidextre, laissant ainsi les gauchers sur le carreau.

Le fondeur précise qu'AMD a "taped out" plusieurs produit chez GF en 14nm LPP et qu'il est actuellement en train de valider les échantillons produit. Il semble donc qu'un premier produit ai été validé, GF parlant de "silicon success". AMD indique au passage qu'il compte utiliser le process 14nm LPP sur des produits CPU, APU mais aussi GPU. Jusqu'alors les GPU AMD étaient comme ceux de Nvidia fabriqués par TSMC, mais sachant qu'AMD a toujours des engagements contractuels sur des volumes avec GF qu'il peine à remplir il est logique qu'il favorise ce dernier si le process est à la hauteur. On devrait donc avoir droit en 2016 à une bataille d'architecture entre AMD et Nvidia combinée à une bataille de fondeurs avec d'un côté le 16nm FinFET de TSMC et de l'autre le 14nm LPP de Samsung/GlobalFoundries !

GlobalFoundries indique que le 14nm LPP a été qualifié au cours du troisième trimestre pour la production, cette dernière va débuter au cours de ce quatrième trimestre et arrivera à plein débit en 2016, sans plus de précision. Difficile pour le moment de savoir quand les premières puces AMD produites en 14nm LPP seront lancées en 2016, mais il serait étonnant que ce soit avant le second trimestre côté GPU et le dernier trimestre côté CPU. Vivement !

When the electron was discovered in the 19th century, there was no practical application for that knowledge. At the time, it was little more than trivia.

More than a century later, we live in a world that is run by electronics, which is certainly not trivial. Companies like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have thrived as consumer electronics have swept the globe and changed the way people work, play and interact.

At one time it may not have been challenging for investors to find bargains in electronic stocks, but it is much more difficult these days to find undervalued companies in the computer hardware division of the technology sector. That is when the All-In-One Screener can be invaluable.

To find the sector’s undervalued predictable companies, I selected the Technology sector in the Screener, then I selected Computer Hardware from the technology groups. I chose not to narrow it down by country.

Three companies – Amphenol Corp. (FRA:XPH) of the German stock exchange, Amphenol Corp. (NYSE:APH) and Gree Electric Appliances Inc. (SZSE:000651) – have predictability ratings of 5 stars.

Amphenol Corp.

Amphenol is a producer of electronic and fiber optic connectors, cable and interconnect systems. Its world headquarters is in Wallingford, Conn.

Late Thursday, the stock available on the German exchange sold for €48.38 (roughly $53.38 in U.S. currency) per share. Its market cap is $14.96 billion, and its enterprise value is $16.83 billion. It has a P/E of 24.2, a forward P/E of 20.1, a P/B of 5.5 and a P/S of 3.1.

The stock that is available on the American exchange sold for $54.05 per share. It has a market cap of $16.71 billion and an enterprise value of $18.11 billion. It has a P/E of 23.4, a forward P/E of 20.5, a P/B of 5.4 and a P/S of 3.1.

Each year companies have to deal with an increasing amount of obsolete hardware. This is equipment that is under-powered or out of warranty, but nonetheless working and still functionally useful. The bulk of this equipment is typically desktop PCs and laptops, but the same also applies to peripherals, such as monitors, USB hard-drives and projectors.

Simply storing these computers means expensive floor space is being taken up. The problem has now reached the point where it is not uncommon to find IT departments inundated with piles of redundant computer hardware. Not only does this pose a potential trip-hazard and a risk of heavy items toppling over, but it also presents a poor impression to any guests visiting the office.

Computers include many components that are made from potentially harmful materials, such as lithium and mercury, which are toxic to the environment, as well as valuable resources including precious metals. As such, current legislation prevents companies from disposing of this hardware in landfill sites.

To comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (Weee) European Union Directive, which is managed by the Environment Agency in the UK, companies must ensure their hardware is recycled responsibly.

Many companies allow staff to take their obsolete hardware for home use, in return for a small fee. These funds can either be used to offset the expense of buying new hardware, or as a donation to a nominated charity. However, this approach is not without some dangers.

There have been several incidents in the past where old computers have been sold, only for their new owners to discover that they can still access files. One example of this, from 2007, was when case notes about vulnerable children were discovered on a computer that had previously been owned by Southend Borough Council and had been sold on eBay's auction site by a third-party recycling firm.

There is a dangerous and commonly held assumption that re-installing the operating system will ensure all files are deleted. This is not true. All this process does is remove the links to the previously saved files, which can be easily found using data recovery software, such as Recuva by Piriform.

All three major indices are trading down today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI) trading down 44 points (-0.2%) at 17,874 as of Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, 11:55 AM ET. The NYSE advances/declines ratio sits at 1,080 issues advancing vs. 1,836 declining with 168 unchanged.
The Computer Hardware industry currently sits up 0.3% versus the SP 500, which is down 0.4%.

TheStreet would like to highlight 3 stocks pushing the industry lower today:
3. Seagate Technology ( STX) is one of the companies pushing the Computer Hardware industry lower today. As of noon trading, Seagate Technology is down $0.62 (-1.6%) to $39.12 on light volume. Thus far, 1.3 million shares of Seagate Technology exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 5.3 million shares. The stock has ranged in price between $39.10-$40.00 after having opened the day at $39.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $39.74.

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Seagate Technology Public Limited Company designs, manufactures, and sells electronic data storage products in the Asia Pacific, the Americas, and EMEA countries. Seagate Technology has a market cap of $11.6 billion and is part of the technology sector. Shares are down 39.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 6 analysts that rate Seagate Technology a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Seagate Technology as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, poor profit margins and generally higher debt management risk. Get the full Seagate Technology Ratings Report now.

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