November 8, 2004 5:05 PM PST

AMD fleshes out flash plans

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Spansion, the flash memory division of Advanced Micro Devices, will come out with new chips next year that could allow it to expand into wider markets.

The company announced Monday that in the first quarter of next year it will come out with the Ornand family of flash memory chips. These chips will be capable of being inserted into cell phones, which typically use NOR flash memory, the kind made by Intel and AMD, and camera flash cards, which usually use NAND flash, made by Samsung and Toshiba.

AMD's plans, which it disclosed earlier this year, rely on its MirrorBit flash technology. NOR flash is more reliable than NAND, but holds far less data. Hence, device manufacturers use NOR to store applications and other crucial data that can't be corrupted, while cheaper NAND is used for storing pictures and songs.

MirrorBit chips hold two bits of information per cell, similar to Intel's StrataFlash chip. AMD has also said it will expand this to four bits of information, a move Intel said it likely won't pursue.

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