Fujitsu ships high-speed Flash memory

Fujitsu has started shipping samples of its 128Mbyte Flash memory chips, which are targeted at makers of car navigation systems,...

Fujitsu has started shipping samples of its 128Mbyte Flash memory chips, which are targeted at makers of car navigation systems, printers and mobile phones.

The chips include a 32-bit data bus that supports faster data processing speeds and are produced using a 0.17-micron process. The chip was jointly developed with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

The 128Mbyte capacity is the largest available for NOR-type Flash memory, a Flash memory type that stores program data and accelerates a device's processing speed. Flash memory allows data to be rewritten and stored without power.

Car navigation systems and printers now have added communication functions that require high volumes of data; and third-generation service-compatible phones also need to store high volumes of data, said Chiaki Kuwahara, a spokeswoman for Fujitsu. "The company expects high demands in these products' markets," she added.

As well as being able to store large volumes of data, the new Flash memory chips have a wider data bus of up to 32 bits, which allows larger blocks of data to be processed at one time while reducing the time it takes for data to be processed, Kuwahara said. The chips have a read-data speed of 25 nanoseconds in page mode.

The chip's dual operation function allows for simultaneous reading, writing and erasing operations, the company said. The chips also include security functions, such as hidden read-only memory (Hi-ROM), which prevents illegal copying of large files; hardware-based protection of boot-block sectors to prevent inadvertent rewrites; and new sector protection, which protects all sectors and preserves the data already written to them.

Fujitsu is offering the chips at a sample price of 6,000 yen (£34), Kuwahara said, adding that the company expects to produce one million chips per month when mass production begins in March 2002. The 128Mbyte Flash chips will be manufactured by the joint venture, Fujitsu-AMD Semiconductor, in northern Japan.

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