Through their joint venture IM Flash Technologies (IMFT), Intel and Micron have produced what they claim to be the industry's first samples of NAND flash memory built on 50nm process technology. The samples currently being tested weigh in at 4Gb, or 500MB. Mass-production will follow in 2007 and be sourced from Micron's Boise, Idaho-based fabs as well as a new facility in Manassas, Virginia. The NAND flash market may as much as double between 2006 and 2010, the two companies say, and IMFT has been "aggressively ramping its manufacturing facilities" as a result.
IMFT's growth in the NAND sector comes just three and a half months after Intel announced that it would streamline its NOR flash group. NAND is commonly used for mass storage in devices like MP3 players and flash memory cards due to its fast write speed and low cost. NOR, meanwhile, has faster read speeds and is typically used to store firmware and executable code in devices like cell phones.
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