Intel, Micron develop new high speed flash memory chips

2008-02-01 18:32:36 Xinhua English

BEIJING, Feb. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Intel and Micron Technology have developed technology for a high-speed solid-state drive that's five times faster than current products used in consumer and professional devices, like notebooks and digital cameras, media reported Saturday.

The NAND flash memory chips developed jointly by the two companies can reach speeds of up to 200 MB per second for reading data and 100 MB per second for writing data. Current memory chips have maximum read-write speeds of 40 MB and 20 MB, respectively.

Current technology is fast enough for handling photos and standard video in computers or an Apple iPod, but performance problems become an issue in handling high-definition video, which consumers are expected to start demanding as they become accustomed to watching HD televisions.

With HD video files requiring multiple gigabytes of storage, the need for technology that can move the content in and out of a storage device quickly, so it can be played on a handheld gadget or recorded in a camcorder, becomes critical.

"These are all areas where performance does matter and consumers or users are willing to pay for it," analyst Joe Unsworth said. "These products are going to have a premium associated with it."

"We don't expect this high-performance NAND [flash memory] to be widespread," Unsworth said. "But when you're talking video and professional photography, companies are willing to pay that premium to have that performance [in products]."

Micron's and Intel's latest technology supports ONFI 2.0. In addition, future high-speed SSDs developed by the companies also will support USB 3.0, which is considerably faster than current USB 2.0 ports commonly used in computers today, and PCI express, which is the specification for slots on a motherboard where peripherals, such as graphics cards, is attached.