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Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Samsung debuts top-capacity 8-GB flash memory

Samsung Electronics said Tuesday that it has rolled out an 8-gigabyte NAND-type flash memory chip, the world's largest in capacity.

NAND is a high-density memory chip popular in digital cameras because it writes and erases information quickly. It does not require power to retain information and is used in removable memory for easy printing or downloading. NAND competes with a different flash technology, NOR, which is dominated by Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and is also widely used in mobile phones and handheld computers.

Samsung said the new chip was developed through its unique technology of piling four 2-gigabyte NAND flash memory chips in a single package, said the world's largest maker of memory chips.

The multi-player technology was also applied to produce 4-gigabyte chips through the combination of two 2-gigabyte chips, it said.

The development of NAND-type chips will enable Samsung to more flexibly cope with rising demands for flash memory chips which are used for digital cameras, mobile handsets, USB drives, PDAs and MP3 players, company officials said.

The cutting-edge technology will help Samsung secure price competitiveness in replacing the existing small-capacity hard discs and digital camcorder tapes with NAND flash memories, they said.

Samsung, which developed the world's first 70-nano 4-gigabyte NAND flash memory in September, currently controls over 65 percent of the global NAND flash memory market.

A nano is a unit of measurement equal to one-billionth of a meter. In the chip production process, it refers to the output operation of chips smaller than 100-nanometers.

Digital cameras currently account for 90 percent of flash memory chips used, but demands from cell phones and USB drive makers are expected to surge in the coming years.

The global market for NAND-type flash memory chips is expected to grow from an estimated $7.3 billion this year to $11.6 billion in 2005 and $15.1 billion in 2007.

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