Intel Corporation today introduced a new flash memory chip designed to enhance the performance of cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and other wireless devices. The 3 Volt Synchronous Intel StrataFlash® Memory is up to four times faster than traditional flash memory, making it the best value for executing code and storing data in handheld devices.
Manufactured on the cost-effective 0.18-micron process technology, the new chip represents the third generation of Intel’s multi-level cell (MLC) technology that allows twice the amount of data to be stored in a single memory cell. Introduced by Intel in 1997, Intel StrataFlash memory offers a cost-effective, single-chip solution for code execution and data storage, and is the most widely used and proven MLC product on the market.
“Intel StrataFlash has set a new benchmark in the industry for value, performance and reliability, and now we’re raising the bar on value by introducing the highest-performing Intel StrataFlash memory for wireless applications,” said Darin Billerbeck, vice president of Intel’s Flash Products Group. “We’ve shipped more than 2 billion megabits of Intel StrataFlash memory since 1997, and we expect that number to increase significantly in the next year as more cell phones, PDAs and other devices use our technology.”
The flash product is the newest addition to Intel’s growing wireless product portfolio and complements the Intel® Personal Internet Client Architecture – a development blueprint for building wireless handheld communications devices that combine voice communications and Internet access capabilities.
High-Performance Burst and Page Mode
The fast-read feature allows a software application to execute code directly out of flash, rather than downloading to a device’s random access memory for execution, saving the costs of redundant system memory and board space. Synchronous Intel StrataFlash memory increases fast-read speeds by adding a 66-MHz burst mode. Burst mode increases memory throughput up to 92 MB/s, effectively four times faster than asynchronous reads on standard flash memory products. For devices not capable of synchronous burst mode, the new chip also features an eight-word page mode that reads data more than twice as fast as traditional asynchronous flash memory products. Synchronous Intel StrataFlash memory uses three volts for the core device, and is available in either 3- or 1.8-volt I/O versions.
Synchronous Intel StrataFlash can be used in conjunction with Intel flash memory software to improve both the performance and time to market of a device. Intel® Persistent Storage Manager simplifies design for handheld devices running the Windows* CE operating system by combining code, file and data storage in a single flash chip, while Intel® Flash Data Integrator provides similar storage capabilities in cell phones.
The 3 Volt Synchronous Intel StrataFlash Memory is available in densities from 64 Mbit to 256 Mbit. The 128 Mbit memory is sampling now, with production for all densities starting in April 2002. In 10,000-unit quantities, prices range from $10 for 64 Mbit chips to $35 for 256 Mbit chips.