Toshiba and Sandisk develop 4Gbit flash memory

Toshiba and SanDisk have developed a flash memory chip capable of storing twice as much data as their existing largest-capacity...

Toshiba and SanDisk have developed a flash memory chip capable of storing twice as much data as their existing largest-capacity flash memory product.

The latest chip can store 4Gbits of data, and the companies are also working on a second chip that contains two of the 4Gbit chips inside a single case for what is effectively an 8G-bit flash memory chip.

For users, this means that devices employing flash memory can either be made smaller while carrying the same amount of memory or kept the same size with the internal memory capacity increasing. Such devices include digital still cameras, mobile phones, MP3 players and memory cards such as Secure Digital or Memory Stick.

The companies intend to begin mass production of 300,000 chips a month of both the 4Gbit and 8Gbit chips from the third quarter of this year. Production will be handled by Flash Vision Japan, a joint venture between Toshiba and Sandisk, using a 90-nanometer production process.

Samples of the 4Gbit chip will be available from this month for $114 and of the 8Gbit chip from May at $123, said Toshiba. Estimate prices for the chips at the time of mass production were not announced.

A third new chip, containing a stack of four of the new chips to produce an effective 16Gbit flash memory chip, is also expected to be available in sample quantities from the third quarter.

Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service

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