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Toshiba Boosts Smartphone Storage
Toshiba on Tuesday introduced a 64-GB NAND flash memory module that would significantly increase smartphone storage.
Toshiba claims its latest embedded module is the "highest capacity yet achieved in the industry." The chip is the flagship device of a new lineup of six modules ranging in densities from 2 GB to 64 GB.
The highest capacity chip is aimed at smartphones, netbooks, and digital video cameras. But the biggest impact would be in the smartphone market. Single memory modules, such as the one used in the popular Apple iPhone 3GS, top out at 32 GB. Toshiba's new product would make it possible to double internal storage.
Smartphones' growing popularity makes them a potentially lucrative market for memory suppliers. Unit sales this year will represent 14% of the 1.2 billion mobile devices sold this year, according to Gartner. That percentage represents a 23.6% growth rate from 2008. By 2013, smartphones are expected to account for 38% of total mobile phone sales.
Toshiba's 64-GB device combines 16 32-Gb NAND chips, each 30 micrometers thick. The chip, built using the company's 32-nanometer manufacturing process, includes a dedicated memory controller.
Toshiba is shipping samples of the 64-GB module, with mass production scheduled to begin in the first quarter 2010.
Toshiba is among the leading manufacturers of storage devices. In November, the company introduced a 1.8-inch hard disk drive for netbooks and laptops. Called the MKxx33GSG series, the smaller alternative to 2.5-inch drives comes in storage capacities of 160 GB, 250 GB, and 320 GB.