updated 11:10 am EDT, Tue June 3, 2008
Hynics Small 32GB Flash
Hynix today unveiled a new upgrade to its flash memory that it hopes will dramatically improve the capacity of portable media players and other flash-bound devices. The company's version of three-bits-per-cell technology lets the company stack data to offer as much as 32 gigabytes of data into a tighter space. Despite the capacity jump, the 32GB chip occupies 30 percent less area than a more typical two-bits-per-cell flash chip, the company says. The space would allow a single chip to hold as many as 8,000 average-size MP3 tracks.
Competitors such as SanDisk and Toshiba have already promised three-bit technology of their own but have so far outlined only relatively modest goals, promising 32 gigabit (4 gigabyte) chips in the second half of the year. If translating to reality, Hynix' advancement would allow smaller music players and cellphones to offer 32 gigabytes of storage or larger players to offer 64 gigabytes or more; both the Apple iPod touch and Creative ZEN offer 32 gigabytes but do so by using and stacking multiple chips.
Hynix is scheduling mass production of its chips for October, after which device makers can start using the memory for their own products. No customers have been named as part of the introduction.