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Memory no longer second to processors

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Memory is standing up and refusing to play second string to processors in the new semiconductor era of consumer electronics, according to a Samsung semiconductor VP.

“Memory is now the key element in mobile consumer devices,” says Jon Kang, senior VP of the technical marketing group at Samsung Semiconductor. Kang gave the keynote speech at the 3rd annual International System-on-Chip Conference and Exhibition Tuesday and spoke with Electronic News (US) privately before the show.

According to Kang, NAND is King. The VP has long been a proponent of NAND Flash, touting the memory for about four years as an option to DRAM, other volatile memories and its sister memory NOR Flash.

“We’ve been working with Apple for quite a long time on trying to get a replacement for their iPod Mini, their best selling MP3 player,” explains Kang.

“They had the best selling product in their history and they were willing to go ahead and transform [it] into a solid state NAND Flash based device because they saw the possibility of what that could to for them in terms of storage and power.”

However, NAND Flash, hasn’t got things all its own way. According to Kang, while last month Samsung made most revenue from NAND, mobile SDRAM is the fastest growing portion of the company’s memory portfolio.

“Mobile SDRAM or mobile DRAM is becoming the most important part,” he says “In the first half, for example, we had the fastest growth rate of revenue for mobile DRAM, [with about a] 65 percent increase. That exceeded our incredible increases in Flash revenue.”

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