Intel has begun volume shipments of a new, denser NOR flash memory chip that is designed to be used in cell phones, the company said Wednesday.
The new StrataFlash M18 chips, which are made with a 65-nanometer process, offer a capacity of 1 gigabit and are drop-in compatible with their predecessors, M18 chips produced using a 90-nanometer process. The more advanced process technology allows Intel to shrink the size of the memory cells and cram more of them onto a silicon chip.
This reduces unit production costs by allowing more chips to be made on a wafer and offers other benefits, such as lower power consumption and faster speeds.
The 65-nanometer NOR flash chips will find their way into handset designs from Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and Infineon Technologies, Intel said. Because the new chips use the same packaging as the existing 90-nanometer chips, no changes will be necessary to increase the memory capacity in these designs.
Intel plans to introduce more NOR flash chips next year that are produced using the 65-nanometer process. Those chips will include parts with capacities of 512 megabits, 256 megabits and 128 megabits, it said.
The M18 chips are based on a multilevel cell memory design that was jointly developed by Intel and STMIcroelectronics.
-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service (Singapore Bureau)
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