The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is always an interesting display of technologies, some very consumer-oriented and many more technologies that are more industrial or enterprise in nature. For example, several examples of space technology were also exhibited at this show (including water ion thrusters for cube satellites (cube sats) from a Japanese organization).
Although the show was much busier in attendees and exhibitors than the 2022 show (around 45,000 attendees), it was still down with around 115,000 attendees from CES 2020 (the last pre-pandemic show) which had 171 000 attendees.
I also noted that there were several exhibit areas that were either empty or had fewer exhibits than in pre-pandemic years. In particular, the Westgate exhibition area, which often houses many Chinese and Asian exhibitors, was empty.
Also for attendees and exhibitors who traveled to CES 2023, many exciting developments were on display that will drive demand for consumer devices as well as the storage and memory that stores data on these devices. The 2023 show featured more AI-driven apps, often embedded in wearable and home devices (including smart connected toilet devices that monitor users’ health).
Intelligent electric vehicle (EV) technology with advanced ADAS capabilities was on display from many companies in West Hall. There were the usual household robots for cleaning pools, moving lawns and vacuuming as well as a few drones in various pavilions. The USPO was there with an electric mail delivery vehicle that will be rolled out this year. Let’s look at some of the storage and memory technologies on display at CES that will enable all of these applications.
Micron was showing off their just-announced 9400 enterprise SSD at CES, but they had a suite in the Venetian where they also had many other memory and storage products on display. The image below shows various form factor NAND SSDs, showing a number of M.2 form factor consumer SSDs on the left side. Note that Micron’s customer M.2 SSDs contain their 232-layer NAND flash which was introduced by the company in 2022. Micron SSDs on display included NVMe Gen5 products running on PCIe Gen5.
Micron is also one of the largest DRAM manufacturers. In particular, the company was showing off its DDR5 DRAM memory for next-generation multi-core CPU processing. These devices were used to achieve data rates of 4.3 GB/s and run applications such as Adobe Photoshop and After Effects up to 17% faster. Note that Micron plans to build a semiconductor memory manufacturing facility in New York State that could create 9,000 new jobs at Micron. Construction is expected to begin in 2024.
Kioxia also had a following where they met people Venetian style. Kioxia has joint NAND flash manufacturing operations with Western Digital (and there are many rumors about a possible merger of WDC and Kioxia’s NAND). They had many SSD and NAND devices on display in their suite. These included BGA (ball grid array) chips for UFS and 3-MMC applications. They also included the company’s XL-Flash with 32 to 128 GB capacity for Storage Class Memory (SCM) applications with high performance and low latency, targeted for data center and enterprise applications. business such as AI which are read/write intensive and random applications. The XL-Flash is supposed to be available in the first half of 2023.
Additionally, Kioxia introduced SLC NAND and Serial NAND chips as well as FXMExpress Flash from 128GB to 1TB capacity PCIe Gen4X2, NVM 1.4 cards for laptop computing and gaming applications. They also had industrial TLC NAND devices on display. The image below shows various Kioxia NAND flash devices on display in their exhibit.
Kioxio told me that they will skip their BiCS 7 3D NAND flash and go straight to their BiCS 8 products in 2023 in order to get 200+ layer products. Note that Micron and SK hynix announced 232 or more 3D NAND layer products at FMS 2022.
Kingston Technology also hosted a lively exhibit at The Venetian where they showcased several solid state memory and storage products. Among the products on display were the company’s Fury gaming memory and storage products, which featured high performance and advanced lighting features to fool a gaming computer. These included the high-speed Kingston FURY Renegade DDR5 with performance up to 7200 MT/s, Impact SODIMM for small form factor systems and Renegade SSD with heatsink. Below are some of the company’s DDR5 Fury products displaying oscillating RGB and white light displays. Among the demo with these Kingston suite products was an impressive demo of video editing using an Intel NUC.
Kingston also showcased its workflow station and various card and USB readers, designed for video and photography professionals. They also had an assortment of USB drives, including external SSDs, M.2, and other special interface SSDs (NVMe and SATA) for various industrial and tablet applications. The company was also showcasing an expanded IronKey line of encrypted SSDs.
These included a new Vault Privacy 50C (IKVP50C) reader with FIPS 197 certification and XTS-AES 256-bit hardware encryption. Multi-password option with complex or passphrase modes allows users to choose a numeric PIN, a phrase with spaces or a list of words so their password is easy to remember but harder to break guess for others.
The company had a display of its IronKey USB products (complete with their caps) in an aquarium, to show off their water resistance when properly sealed. This product line also includes the FIPS 140-3 Level 3 (pending) certified KP200 of the VP50 series with an alphanumeric keypad, shown below. They were also showing off their VP80ES OS-independent external SSD with a color touchscreen.
The CES 2023 show showcased many devices and services enabled by memory and storage products such as those showcased by Micron, Kioxia, and Kingston Technologies at the show. These included advanced DDR5 memories and various SSDs, including those offering storage class memory for enterprise applications to many advanced consumer applications.