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  • Post published:05/05/2021
  • Post last modified:05/05/2021

Acer has decided to chuck its hat into the branded SSD and DRAM business as part of a deal with Chinese manufacturer Biwin Storage Technology Limited. Hardware will reportedly be released in the US, UK, China, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Founded in 1995, Biwin Storage Technology Limited initially made its name in USB drive production before expanding and handling some manufacturing for HP in the last few years. The company has recently been building facilities in Huizhou, China. Biwin does not appear to fab its own NAND but offers its own packaged designs and custom firmware. It also offers a chip packaging and test service.

Acer is planning to launch new products based on the Predator brand, as well as its own, mainstream Acer storage brand. The company is planning a range of 2.5-inch SSDs, M.2 drives, and NVMe products, as well as laptop and desktop memory modules at clock speeds ranging from DDR4-2666 to DDR4-3200. The company is flashing its Acer FA100 M.2 PCIe NVMe drives as the new hotness of storage solutions, provided that “new hotness” refers to an M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 drive. There is, in fairness, absolutely nothing wrong with such a drive. I literally bought an NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD for my own machine a few months back. But it’s a little funny to see Acer advertising such drives as “chock-full of the latest technology for serious performance” when AMD introduced PCIe 4.0 in 2019 and Intel just launched support for the standard with Rocket Lake.

Image by Acer.

The Predator brand looks to be made of slightly stronger stuff, at least on the DRAM side. We’re promised Apollo-branded DRAM at clocks of up to DDR4-5000 supposedly built with Samsung B-die — which might be a surprise to overclockers because Samsung supposedly stopped production on that RAM two years ago. It also wasn’t widely sold at such high clocks. “Talos” memory supposedly features ultra-low timings and will only be available at up to DDR4-4400. Storage-wise, the Predator GM3500 SSD M.2 family will top out at PCIe 3.0 with an x4 connection.

Performance on this hardware isn’t all that impressive, but Acer has been known to offer solid performance at reasonable prices in other hardware categories before, so the company might aim for a similar position on these parts as well. The company recently reported preliminary revenue for Q1, with robust growth in gaming (87.6 percent), Chromebooks (141.1 percent), commercial notebooks (87.6 percent). Overall, the market is going about as swimmingly for Acer as everyone else in PCs these days.

Feature Image by Acer

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