Byline: Christa Souza
As average selling prices of NAND flash ICs plunge and NOR flash prices rise, cellular handset makers may be tempted to reconsider the risk of an architectural shift.
However, suppliers of NOR--the dominant flash architecture in cell phones--believe such a move, while beneficial from a density and price standpoint, could prove costly on the technical front for mainstream phone manufacturers.
Even so, NAND flash, which is used mainly as a high-density data storage medium for consumer devices, is becoming a viable alternative to NOR, according to some. In 2002, it represented as much as 30% of total flash IC revenue, a significant increase from 11% in 2001, according to Brian Matas, an analyst at IC Insights Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.
On the strength of NAND, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. last year vaulted from …