Intel intros flash memory for wireless devices

Designed to speed up the performance of data-centric wireless devices, the new 1.8-volt chips increase the speed of several key functions by up to four times as compared to the flash memory chips Intel currently offers, the chip maker said in a statement.

The performance increase will result in higher data throughput rates, faster browsing, data streaming and text messaging applications, and the low-voltage will also result in longer stand-by and talk times as well as extending battery life, Intel said.

Sample quantities of the new wireless flash memory chips will be available in 32Mb and 64Mb densities this month, with volume availability scheduled for the first quarter of 2001. In 10,000-unit quantities, the chips will be priced at $US16 and $US30 each.

A 128Mb version is scheduled for release later next year, Intel said.

Flash memory chips, which are able to store information even when the power is turned off, are increasingly used in mobile devices such as phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants), as well as other devices such as digital cameras and MP3 players.

In February, for example, Intel and Stockholm-based mobile phone maker Ericsson signed an agreement to cooperate on the development of flash memory chips for use in Internet-enabled handsets. At the same time, Ericsson also committed to buying flash memory chips from Intel under a multi-year agreement carrying a value of at least $US1 billion.

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