Flash memory chips, which retain their state when the power is switched off, are forecast to replace disk storage in handheld devices as prices come down to match disk (although the new generations of fast, light, high-capacity and cheap 1.8 drives keep pushing that date back). Serious chipmakers can’t afford to be out of the market, and Hitachi Ltd has announced that it has developed a new type of AND gate for Flash memory, which achieves the world’s smallest cell surface memory of just 1.28 square microns. This opens the way for low-cost and high-performance 64M-bit Flash memory chips based on a 0.4 micron design rule. The work was done in Hitachi’s Central Laboratory.
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