Intel has set a precedent in mobile memory with the launch of a 1.8v wireless chip, just two weeks after rival AMD linked up with Texas Instruments in a multimillion-dollar flash memory deal.
The processor, which has the highest performance of any flash chip available, is based on 0.18 micron technology, the current standard for desktop PCs, and is Intel's second flash product.
It incorporates flexible partition architecture, meaning that a device can read from one partition while writing to, or erasing, another.
AMD announced a similar 1.8v flash memory chip in June, featuring many of the same qualities as Intel's. However, Intel's devices, manufactured at 0.18 micron, are almost half the physical size of AMD's 0.25 micron processors, and consume 40 per cent less power.
Curt Nichols, general manager at the Intel Flash Products Group, said: "We expect this architecture to become the de facto standard for next-generation internet phones and handheld devices." But Nichols also stressed that Intel would be compatible with other cellular handset designs and not just its own initiative.
"Next-generation cellular and wireless devices will incorporate more data features such as internet browsing, voicemail recording and receiving text and fax messages. These types of applications are much more data intensive and will require the higher data throughput rates that we believe this chip achieves," he said.
Intel will sample 32Mb and 64Mb densities this month, with production in the first quarter of 2001. The 128Mb density will follow later in 2001. The 32Mb device is priced at $16 and the 64Mb at $30.
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