Santa Clara (USA) – After using 65 nanometer process technology to improve the performance / power ratio of its latest generation of CPUs, Intel has now used this same technology to produce the first sample of NOR flash memory with a density of 1 Gigabit (128 MB).
The transition from 90nm to 65nm technology, together with Multi Level Cell technology, has allowed Intel to double the storage density of its NOR flash chips, which was previously 512 Mbit. Next year the Santa Clara giant will be able to produce NOR flash chips from 2 Gbit equal to 256 MB, based on 45 nanometer circuits: this opens the way for the integration, in mobile phones, of several hundred megabytes of memory.
Samples of the 1Gbit NOR chips will be available to customers at the end of the second quarter of 2006, while the first devices that will use it they should arrive on the market towards the end of the year.
Flash memories have, as is known, the ability to retain information even in the absence of power, thus making them particularly suitable for use in mobile devices. The chips flash NOR they are primarily used as system memory in cell phones, PDAs and other embedded devices, where they typically have the task of storing personal data, photographs, music and videos. The advantages of the NOR architecture are high reliability over time and fast read access. The NAND memories which typically have higher densities and better write speeds, have instead established themselves as the standard for memory cards and other external storage devices.
At the same time as Intel’s announcement, Samsung announced the start of volume production of the first 1Gbit NAND flash chips built with a 70nm process . The Korean giant claims that its new chips, marketed under the name OneNAND, combine the advantages of NAND memories with those of NOR memories: in other words, they provide balanced read and write performance. OneNAND’s first target will be solid state hard drives and digital cameras.