No Flash In The Pan

No Flash in the Pan

It's probably in your cell phone, it's definitely in your Palm organizer, and digital cameras are packed with the stuff--flash memory, that is. Once an uncommon cousin of the DRAM memory chips found in PCs, flash is taking off. Because flash chips retain information after the power is turned off, they are going into new gadgets as quickly as they can be made.

Today's MP3 players, for example, typically come with 64 megabytes of flash memory, for about an hour's worth of music. Tomorrow they'll have 512 MB of flash. Mobile phones are becoming memory hogs, too--for storing e-mail, games, and other software. Flashmakers such as AMD, Intel, and Sharp are struggling to keep up with demand.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.