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Intel Heads Into Consumer Electronics Flash Market
Will Enter Territory Dominated By Samsung

Intel is moving beyond its cellular flash products into flash memory for consumer electronics devices. Intel will also start making flash memory cards, a new market for the chip company.

"Intel is no longer a niche business that plays in cellular only," said Darin Billerbeck, vice president Intel Communications Group, "We realized (our previous approach) wasn't the greatest strategy because we excluded ourselves from a lot of different markets...There is about 50 percent of the cellular market we don't play in."

Currently Intel only makes NOR flash. While this kind of flash is good for storing code it lacks the density of NAND flash which is used in memory cards that store MP3 files and digital photos. "In order to be relevant in the removable-card market, we need a data play," Billerbeck said. "We're looking at a lot of different technologies."

Products coming in 2005 include "Sibley," a flash memory chip that can store 2 bits of data per memory cell. They will arrive in the second half of 2005 and will be able to store 512 megabits. A 1-gigabit version is planned for 2006. The company will also come out with "Sixmile," a chip for consumer electronics that will debut at 256 megabits.

A number of technical hurdles loom on the horizon for flash memory makers. Many analysts believe alternative to flash will need to be created by 2009. While flash memory makers will likely be able to shrink their parts, the basic architecture of flash will make it difficult to shrink it further.

About Security News Desk
SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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