AMD Debuts High-Density Flash Memory

AMD says its new chips double the storage capacity of previous models, but prices remain comparable.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

May 13, 2002

1 Min Read

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. unveiled a new flash memory chip Monday that it says can hold twice as much data as standard flash chips, and will allow for the creation of more powerful cell phones and handheld computers.

The new chips use a technology called MirrorBit, which stores two bits of data in each cell, instead of the standard one bit. "It enables some cool stuff," says Bharath Rangarajan, an AMD product-marketing manager. High-density, instant-on flash memory would let cell phones and other handheld devices store more complicated software, he says, such as Web browsers or multimedia applications. And as storage density increases, it could even be used in desktop computers. "You'll have PCs that will boot up instantly from flash," Rangarajan says.

The first MirrorBit chips, which hold 64 Mbytes of data, are already shipping to manufacturers. Chips with 128-Mbyte and 256-Mbyte density should ship by the end of the year, and the company expects to produce a 1-Gbyte model by 2004. Prices are comparable to standard flash memory, Rangarajan says.

Forward Concepts analyst Will Strauss says the market for flash chips will boom next year as next-generation cell phones and services become available in the United States. "People are now expecting more PDA kind of applications in their cell phones that are going to require them," he says. "And nobody wants to have to reboot their cell phones."

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