NOR flash market gets much-needed standardization
Dec 08, 2005
Intel Corp. and STMicroelectronics have announced they will collaborate on the development of NOR-type flash memory products, a move that will bring much-needed standardization to the market, iSuppli Corp. believes.
The two semiconductor suppliers have unveiled a collaborative effort for the development of NOR-type flash memories using presently-available 90nm processes, and of future devices employing upcoming 65nm and 45nm manufacturing technology.
The companies will produce NOR flash devices that are compatible at the datasheet level, so they will have identical metrics in the areas of read, write and erase performance, as well as in power consumption. The parts primarily will be targeted at mobile phones, the main market for NOR-type flash.
With this agreement, Intel and STMicroelectronics have recognized and acted on the need to bring some level of product standardization to the NOR flash market.
"NOR flash is one of the last memory types to truly become commoditized. From the beginning, NOR parts from various suppliers have been different enough that true second-sourcing wasn't possible," said Mark DeVoss, senior analyst for iSuppli.
"Providing devices with identical key parameters makes it easier and less stressful for system designers or procurement managers to make the decision to use a NOR-type flash device from either Intel or STMicroelectronics."
With mobile-phones rapidly becoming commodity items, and with NOR being the memory of choice for such products, the Intel/STMicroelectronics agreement can only be viewed as positive by the mobile-phone makers, iSuppli believes.