AMD talks up hybrid flash memory design

AMD talks up hybrid flash memory design

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) plans to develop flash memory chips that blend the best characteristics of the two dominant flash memory architectures.

AMD's Ornand chips are a combination of the speed provided by NAND chips and the reliability of NOR chips, according to AMD.

NAND stands for "not and", while NOR stands for "not or". The terms describe the Boolean logic function used by the chips to store data.

Flash memory chips are used in mobile phones, personal digital assistants and expansion memory cards to store data without having to constantly supply the chip with electricity.

AMD and Intel make NOR flash memory, which has been predominantly used in cell phones because of its reliability. But NAND flash memory is attractive to the growing mobile phone market because of the speed at which it can write data to memory and its low costs.

Ornand was a completely new design that did not follow the same approaches as NOR or NAND flash memory, AMD spokesperson, Eric DeRitis, said.

The first Ornand products were expected in 2005, with a complete family of products scheduled to arrive in 2007, he said.

AMD builds flash memory chips through its controlling interest in Spansion, a joint venture with Fujitsu. Flash memory has grown to become a vital source of revenue for AMD, accounting for almost half of its revenue in the third quarter.

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