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Intel beefs up flash memory capacity

The chipmaker turns up the heat in the growing flash memory market, introducing one of the highest-capacity chips available.

Intel turned up the heat in the growing flash memory market today by introducing one of the highest-capacity chips available.

Flash memory cards are snack-cracker size wafers popular for storing data in digital cameras, handheld devices, and other consumer products. For such devices, these tiny chips essentially serve as hard drives.

The 128MB StrataFlash card announced by Intel today not only can hold more data than its predecessors, it can retrieve information at a faster rate.

Competition is increasing fierce in this space with Simple Technology, Kingston Memory, and others fighting for dominance in the growing market.

Intel's continued move into the flash memory market is symbolic partly of the company's effort to diversify its product line. While Intel's chips still earn the majority of the revenue, the company has moved into other areas, such as graphics chipsets, as well as expanded emphasis on less-well-known product lines.

Digital cameras are one popular user of flash memory cards. The PhotoPC 800 digital camera from Epson stores up to 10 high quality images on a single-capacity 8MB flash memory card. Higher-capacity cards offer more efficient storage.

The StrataFlash won't be available until September with an expected price of $29.90 in lots of 1,000.