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Toshiba, SanDisk shrinking memory cells

Toshiba and SanDisk announced that they have managed to shrink the cell size, the region that "holds" data, on flash-memory chips, a development that will lead to 2-gigabit and 4-gigabit flash chips by next year. The new memory cell has a physical area of only 0.041 square microns, smaller than existing cells, and can be manufactured on the 90-nanometer manufacturing process, a manufacturing standard coming to market toward the end of the year.

Flash memory, especially the so-called NAND type of flash made by Toshiba and SanDisk, is used inside consumer-electronics devices and cell phones to store data and applications. The Toshiba-SanDisk joint venture, called FlashVision, will come out with 2gb and 4gb chips in the first half of next year, the companies said. The announcement was made at the Very Large Scale Integration conference taking place in Kyoto, Japan this week.