Samsung Electronics unveils new NAND flash memory chip

Monday, September 12th 2005, 10:07 am
By: News On 6

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Samsung Electronics Co. on Monday unveiled a new flash memory chip it says will double storage capacity on portable music players and other mobile devices.

Memory cards containing multiple 16-gigabit NAND chips mean ``you will be able to take your entire music and personal video libraries with you,'' Chang-Gyu Hwang, president of the company's semiconductor operations, told reporters.

For example, the company said that by combining 16 such devices on a memory card with a density of up to 32-gigabytes it would be possible to store 200 years worth of an average-sized daily newspaper, 8,000 MP3 music files or 20 DVD movies.

The company said it plans to begin mass producing the chips in the second half of 2006.

Samsung is the biggest producer of NAND and DRAM flash memory chips in the world. NAND chips, which can save data even when power is switched off, are used in electronic devices such as MP3 players and digital cameras. DRAM chips are most widely used in personal computers.

Separately, Apple Computer Inc.'s launch of a flash memory-based music player will help support prices for NAND chips, Hwang said.

Demand for NAND chips is currently ``explosively strong'' and is expected to remain strong throughout next year, he said.

Apple's new iPod, called the Nano, replaces the iPod Mini. In contrast with the Mini, which is hard drive-based, the Nano relies on flash memory, making it lighter and more energy-efficient.

One-third the size of the Mini, the Nano weighs about 1.5 ounces and will fit into a breast pocket. Apple says it can store up to 1,000 songs or 25,000 photos.