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AMD's New Chip Not A Flash In The Pan

Advanced Micro Devices Monday said it has been sampling the its first MirrorBit Flash memory device, which would become generally available at the end of June.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said its 64 Megabit product is a breakthrough that allows a Flash memory device to hold twice as much data as standard Flash. AMD said it is on track to deliver both a 128 Megabit (Am29LV640M) and a 256 Megabit (Am29LV641M) version for devices such as cell phones, personal digital assistants, car PCs, telecommunications equipment, and TV set-top boxes.

The company said its MirrorBit architecture uses a true multi-bit Flash memory cell that works just as hard as the standard NOR Flash. NOR Flash is commonly used to store and execute operating system software for many of the world's electronic devices.

"The commercialization of MirrorBit technology is a defining moment for AMD's memory group," said AMD Mempory Group vice president Bertrand Cambou. "By delivering a cost structure that is two generations ahead of comparable standard Flash technologies, MirrorBit Flash serves the needs of both the code and data storage markets."

In AMD's MirrorBit cell, code or data is stored in two discrete and independent locations. By physically separating each bit and maintaining its individual integrity, the company said its MirrorBit devices are inherently more stable and reliable than competing multi-level cell (MLC) devices. MLC devices store fractional levels of charge in one location making them inherently less reliable, and slower to program, read or erase.

The company said its MirrorBit Flash memory devices are designed to deliver endurance of at least 100,000 program/erase cycles and 20 years of data retention at 125 degrees C.

AMD said its pin-compatibility with existing AMD Flash families make it easy for customers ot replace their current AMD Flash device with a MirrorBit device without having to change their system design.

"MirrorBit technology represents a paradigm change in the world of Flash memory," said AMD Memory Group vice president of technical marketing and business development Kevin Plouse. "With its unique combination of high-density, high-performance and low cost, MirrorBit Flash will offer our customers a strategic competitive advantage and spur the creation of a new set of highly innovative products."

The packages and pinouts also will maker it easy for customers to eventually migrate all the way to a 1Gigabit Flash technology.

The chipmaker said its Am29LV640M MirrorBit product is priced at $7.95 in 10,000 piece quantities.