Samsung planning highest capacity flash memory yet

Samsung Electronics plans to shortly begin mass production of a flash memory chip that could enable memory cards and portable electronic devices to offer greater data storage area, the company said Tuesday.

The chip is a NAND-type flash memory of the type commonly used in memory cards and devices such as cellular telephones and portable digital music players and has a capacity of 8G bits, or 1G byte, Samsung said in a statement. That's double the company's current highest capacity memory chip of the same type.

Samples of the new chip are already in the hands of at least one potential customer. Lexar Media is evaluating the device and said Tuesday it will enable the company to produce higher capacity memory cards and USB (Universal Serial Bus) flash drives.

The company plans to begin mass production in the first quarter of 2004, it said. The chip is produced using an advanced 90-nanometer manufacturing process.