Samsung starts production of 1G-bit flash memory

Samsung Semiconductor Inc. has started mass producing 1G-bit flash memory chips using a manufacturing process that allows for cheaper and smaller chips, the company said Wednesday.

Samsung is using 0.12 micron technology instead of the older 0.15 micron technology it used before. Chips made using the new technology are smaller, which improves read speed, and can be produced at a lower cost, Samsung said in a statement.

The NAND-type flash memory is used in devices such as digital cameras, handheld computers and digital music players as well as in memory cards such as Smart Media, Compact Flash and SD (secure digital) cards. The chip is designed to have faster rewrite characteristics and higher storage volume.

Samsung, which is also working on 2G-bit flash memory, claims it is the first to mass produce 1G-bit flash memory using 0.12 micron technology. Its rival Toshiba Corp. is using 0.13 micron technology to manufacture 1G-bit flash memory, while Sharp Corp. last year said it expects to release flash chips that can hold 16G bits of data manufactured using 0.1 micron technology by 2006.

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