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 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.

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