SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Intel Corp. here today announced its third-generation, flash memory products, including what the company claims is the world's first 256-megabit, NOR-based chip.
Targeted at cellular phones, networking equipment, personal digital assistants (PDAs), set-top boxes, and other products, the new 3-volt Synchronous StrataFlash series from Intel is said to be four times faster than competitive flash memories in the market.
Offered at densities of 64-, 128-, and 256-Mbits, the new nonvolatile memory chips are part of Intel's StrataFlash family of flash devices. Originally introduced in 1997, Intel's StrataFlash parts utilize a multi-bit cell memory architecture that is geared for code-execution and data-storage applications.
The new products are also the latest additions of Intel's wireless product portfolio, dubbed the Intel Personal Internet Client Architecture.
Previously, Intel's StrataFlash chip line were asynchronous-only parts, based on a 0.25-micron technology. These NOR-based parts also ranged in densities from 32-to-128 Mbits.
While Intel will continue to push the older parts for the "value" segment of the market, the company is also gearing up for its new, higher-end products--which are based on 0.18-micron technology.
"The StrataFlash products are designed for many markets," said Greg Matson, strategic marketing manager at Santa Clara-based Intel. "The new synchronous versions are targeted for higher-end applications. These include cell phones, PDAs, set-top boxes, and networking equipment," he said in an interview with SBN.
The new products also have some advantages over traditional asynchronous chips in the market. "Synchronous offers the highest read-mode in the flash market," he said.
The new Synchronous StrataFlash memory line increases fast-read speeds by adding a 66-MHz, burst-mode function on the device. This, in turn, increases memory throughput up to
92-megabytes-per-second--roughly four times faster than asynchronous-based products, according to Intel. The parts are offered with a 1.8- or 3-volt I/O interface.
In 10,000-unit quantities, prices range from $10 for 64-Mbit chips, to $35 for the 256-Mbit version. The 128-Mbit chip is sampling now. The other versions will begin sampling in the second quarter of 2002.