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Toshiba and SanDisk develop 1Gbit flash chip

Toshiba and SanDisk, have developed a flash memory chip that can hold up to 1Gbits, enough for two minutes of moving images.

Toshiba and SanDisk, have developed a flash memory chip that can hold up to 1Gbits, enough for two minutes of moving images.

The NAND-type flash memory chip is aimed at packing high-volume data on to mobile phones and video recorders, said Toshiba spokesman Kenichi Sugiyama.

Toshiba has designed the chip to have faster rewrite characteristics and higher storage volume. It will be used in memory cards such as Smart Media, Compact Flash and secure digital (SD) cards for mobile devices.

Using 0.13-micron manufacturing technology, Toshiba and SanDisk were able to make the chip size smaller, so that its circuitry speed and data reading speed of such high-volume data is improved, Sugiyama said.

In order to increase the storage capacity, engineers linked 32 memory cells in a series, twice as many than in current chips. The chip is capable of writing and reading data at 1Mbyte per second and to replay recorded moving images smoothly, Sugiyama said.

Memory engineers have been trying to develop high-capacity flash memory for moving images for some time. Sharp and Tohoku University, for example, have jointly developed technology that enables flash memory to hold more than 16Gbits of memory, which is expected to be commercialised by 2006.

Toshiba and SanDisk's technology, which was announced at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), will be commercialised in the near future, Sugiyama said.

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