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Intel Thins Memory For Cell Phones

With so many applications popping up on cell phones, Intel Thursday said it will ship a new set of flash memory chips later this year.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip making giant said its new Intel Ultra-Thin Stacked Chip-Scale Packaging (CSP), features 1.8-volt Intel StrataFlash wireless memory with up to five ultra-thin memory chips stacked.

Intel said the memory could improve memory capacity, lower power consumption, and save space savings and advance such features as camera capabilities, games and e-mail in relatively thin cell phones.

"Stacking is quickly going mainstream in the cellular wireless market segment," Intel Flash Products vice president Darin Billerbeck said during his keynote at the company's developer forum in Tokyo. "By combining our highly dense Intel StrataFlash Wireless Memory in an ultra-thin stacked-CSP, our wireless customers receive the flash density needed for their feature-rich phones, while at the same time saving space for small design footprints."

The company said its stacked-CSP products allows up to five stacked die with package heights as low as 1.0 mm. The products feature 16-bit and 32-bit buses as well as SRAM , PSRAM and low-power SDRAM options. Initially, Intel said the products will offer up to 512 Mbits of flash memory and reach 1 Gbit of flash memory by next year. The idea is to accommodate code execution and big data applications.

First introduced by Intel in 1997, multi-level cell flash memory doubles the amount of data that can be stored in a single memory.

The latest configuration is Intel's fourth generation of MLC flash technology built on 0.13 micron process lithography. The chips are currently sampling, with production volumes starting in third quarter of 2003. Intel said pricing would depend on specific flash and RAM memory combinations.

Intel has been making its presence known in the mobile phone market as of late. In February, the company announced plans for a new processor for cell phones using what it calls "wireless-Internet-on-a-chip" technology.

Formerly known as Manitoba, the PXA800F cellular processor with built-in Flash memory for GSM/GPRS networks is currently sampling with production volumes expected in the third quarter of 2003.

In related news, Intel Thursday said it is working with Agilent Technologies to develop the Agilent protocol test card that coincides with the Intel product development solution for the PCI Express market.

The test card is expected to help R&D, quality assurance and design engineers develop next-generation communication platforms, computers, add-in cards and components based on PCI Express technology.

The protocol test card will be an electrical PCI-Express x1 width implementation with a connector to fit host platform slots of any lane width.