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Hynix speeds down NAND Flash roadmap

16Gb samples of iPod Nano-type RAM next month

Hynix last week disclosed an aggressive plan to grow its sales of NAND Flash, the type of memory used in digital music players like the iPod Nano.

The South Korean memory giant said it will begin sampling a 70nm 16Gb part, along with 4Gb and 8Gb versions. The company is already shipping 1, 2, 4 and 8Gb chips, all fabbed using a 90nm process.

Apple's decision to ditch its hugely popular hard drive-based iPod Mini to make way for the NAND Flash-based Nano has caused a swelling of interest in the memory technology, inflated further by claims Apple acquired big volume discounts from its Flash supplier, Samsung. It is believed to have committed itself to up to 40 per cent of Samsung's NAND Flash output.

Last month, Samsung said it would ship a 16Gb device fabbed at 50nm - the part will provide 2GB of storage on a single chip - during H2 2006. Flash chips of this size and process type were not previously expected until 2007.

Last week, US memory maker Micron highlighted growing demand for NAND Flash as one of the factors for its Q4 FY2005 return to profitability. ®

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