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She Wore A Teeny-weenie, Itsy-bitsy, Flash Memory Cell

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-05-31

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After the recent stem-cell cloning bombshell, another group of South Koreans has proven their dexterity with all things tiny-really tiny. Samsung Electronics is set to begin mass production of its 4 gigabit NAND flash memory cell, a device that is 1/314,000 the width of a single hair.

She Wore a Teeny-weenie, Itsy-bitsy, Flash Memory Cell
The cells are a record breaking 0.025 micrometers, etched into the circuitry using Argon fluoride photo-lithography. Gesundheit.

The 70-nanometer process technology produces a flash device that is 50% faster than current flash drives, writing data at 16 megabytes per second-a capability useful in real-time, high definition video storage.

All that translates to smaller stuff with more storage. It means key-chain size 1 gigabyte USB drives are now able to hold 4 gigabytes. It means that future portable phones may be able to hold as many songs as your iPod.

It means that all the gadgetry that takes up residence on your ever-evolving Batman utility belt will be faster, more utilitarian, and easier to hide in your sock should you be captured by the Riddler and put into a tight spot.

Wait, Batman's tights don't come with socks…

It's quite clear to some that it is not pure science that drives the production of the microscopic chips, it's consumer demand and the high-tech competitive edge.

"Samsung wants to get its parts on the market because there is demand," Brian Matus, vice president of market research for IC Insights said. "The high density , smaller process geometry is allowing Samsung to produce in mass quantities. That puts a lot of pressure on others to step up to the plate produce similar devices or offer similar pricing."

It might be said that this is a serious challenge to semiconductor companies the world over Samsung plans to produce the NAND flash chips to the tune of 290,000 wafers a month.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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