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Intel Revs up StrataFlash

Intel took the wraps off its first new Flash memory product in nearly five years. The Intel StrataFlash Embedded Memory P30 announcement was part of its Intel Developers Forum in Japan.

Formerly known as Sixmile, the company's fourth-generation, multi-cell memory component will be marketed to OEMs using embedded applications.

Alan Holmes, director of marketing for Intel's Flash memory products, told internetnews.com the P30 will help Intel broaden its reach into more consumer devices, such as flat-panel televisions, cameras, GPS telematics and other industrial designs.

"We've done well in media center PCs and cellular devices, but were hoping to really make a splash in consumer electronics, industrial and wired communications."

Developed by Intel in 1988, NOR (Not-Or) Flash is a rewritable memory chip that holds its content without power. The company will have to make up for lost ground against Flash memory market leaders like Samsung and Toshiba.

Intel said its new memory chips will start shipping in densities of 64Mb to 512Mb later this quarter. The P30 can also be coupled with royalty-free Intel Flash memory software for improved data and file management, Intel said. A 1Gb density device will be available in the second half of 2005.

Intel said it would make the memory processor available for TSOP, Easy BGA and Quad embedded designs in both lead and lead-free packaging.

The P30 will join Intel's current portfolio, which includes its 1.8-volt L18 StrataFlash, 3-volt J3 StrataFlash, 3-volt C3/B3 Flash memory and its 1.8-volt W18/30 wireless Flash memory.

The P30 was made using 130-nanometer lithography, and the memory chip delivers two bits of information in each memory cell, which Intel said allows for smaller die sizes and higher densities. The memory processor will soon be joined by its 90-nm counterpart, code-named Sibley, later this year.

Already, Intel is infusing the new StrataFlash into its ecosystem. Semiconductor packaging manufacturer Xilinx said it has designed the P30 in its new, next-generation Spartan3E Reference Design Starter Kit.