AMD unveils flash memory based on MirrorBit

Mobile phones should be able to hold twice as many rings, MP3 players twice as many songs, and cameras twice as many photos at the same price, using flash memory chips that Advanced Micro Devices Inc. said on Monday it has begun sampling.

AMD has a new process for making flash memory called MirrorBit technology. The flash memory architecture doubles the amount of memory a chip can hold without increasing cost and improves on manufacturing efficiency, the company said. AMD worked with Fujitsu Ltd. on the technology.

Flash memory stores data without needing a continual power supply like RAM chips require. Cell phones use flash memory to store ring tones and phone numbers, and other consumer electronics use flash memory to store operating system software. More powerful flash chips may drive the price of MP3 players down and make consumer electronics more powerful.

The company expects to ship its first 64M-bit memory products by June and 128M-bit and 256M-bit memory products in the second half of the year. The Sunnyvale, California, chip maker expects 64M-bit products to be priced at US$7.95 in 10,000-piece quantities.

The technology could help AMD in its ongoing battle with Intel Corp. in the chip market. The recession and cyclic oversupply of production capacity crashed prices for flash memory, and financial analysts at Robertson Stephens Inc. say AMD derives about 30 percent of its revenue from the sale of flash-memory products.

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