Intel and STMicro partner to produce NOR flash

Electronic News reports that Intel and STMicroelectronics have signed a multi-level agreement to produce NOR flash based on common specifications. Although both companies are longtime NOR producers, this marks the first time they've collaborated to create a common memory specification. The joint operation's stated goal is to create a "second source" of flash memory, and to enable drop-in compatibility.

This new partnership isn't exactly good news for Spansion, AMD's flash spinoff. Spansion is already set to report a quarterly loss, and is struggling towards an IPO in a ruthlessly competitive business. AMD has apparently blamed Spansion's problems on testing facility issues, but the company will have an even tougher road to sustainable profitability if flash buyers latch on to the Intel and STMicro's promise of true drop-in compatibility.

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