The NAND vs NOR Debate

The NAND vs NOR Debate


The overwhelming choice of flash memory types in production today have made cell phone manufacturers face a hard decision, which type of memory should we choose for our future handset needs. Do we need only one? Both? NAND FLASH or NOR? Can new memory like the high speed “μcard” make it’s way in time?

Alan Varghese, ABI Research’s senior director of semiconductors research has suggested the answer may mean a “changing of the guard”, as large NOR players Intel, AMD and Fujitsu feel the heat, and the NAND camp, including Samsung, Toshiba and Renesas, grab market share.

Varghese asks, “What are the disadvantages of NAND when applied to the modem side? Since NAND cannot do random access, we need a significant amount of attached DRAM into which the modem instruction code can be shadowed and run.”

NOR is much more durable in terms of data integrity, NAND would require additional error checking and correction which would increase power consumption and add latency at boot-up time.

The report titled “Memory in Cellular Handsets – FLASH, SRAM, DRAM, and Emerging Technologies” is available from ABI Research and provides detailed discussions, calculations, size of the cellular memory market, and makes forecasts to the year 2009.