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Intel StrataFlash ‘surpasses’ Moore's Law

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Intel Corporation today announced a 3V 'StrataFlash' memory chip with threefold performance boost over its previous version. Using 0.25 micron lithography, the memory enables both code execution and data storage on a single high-density 128Mb chip. "We surpassed Moore's law with our 2-bit-per-cell multi-level cell technology," boasted Hans Geyer, Intel VP, Flash Products Division. Intel says its 3V StrataFlash memory can be used in smart phones, PC Companions, high-end set-top boxes, networking switches and routers, telecom infrastructure equipment, such as cellular base stations, and other applications. Portable devices will benefit from the lower 3V implementation, which operates within a range of 2.7-3.6 volts, for longer battery life. The new Page Mode feature allows for 44 ns effective read times, which Intel reckons is up to three times faster than with asynchronous reads. The Page Mode interface uses a separate buffer outside the Flash array for improved performance. Flash code execution and data storage capabilities will allow manufacturers to replace E2PROM, DRAM, ROM or flash cards with fast and reliable single chip flash. "Internet devices benefit from this combination of high-storage capability, fast access times, small space requirements and long battery life," said Geyer. "Code and data execution out of flash memory brings OEMs a new cost-effective design alternative." The chip offers manufacturers a 128-bit One-Time-Programmable (OTP) protection register to address industry concerns for system maintenance and security. Sixty-four bits are factory pre-programmed for system authentication and 64 bits are available for OEM programming. The product will be available in three densities. The 128Mb 3V StrataFlash devices are currently sampling, with high-volume availability planned for September at a price of US $29.90 each in 1000-unit quantities, the company said. ®

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