Intel has started shipping a new, denser NOR flash memory chip for mobile phones.

The StrataFlash M18 chip has 1Gbit space, and is compatible with its predecessors, despite being made using the latest 65-nanometer process which shrinks the size of the memory cells and so allows more on one chip.

The result is lower production costs, lower power consumption and faster speeds, the company said.

The NOR flash chips will appear in handsets from Sony Ericsson and Infineon, Intel said. Because the new chips use the same packaging as the existing 90nm chips, no changes will be necessary to increase the memory capacity in these designs.

Intel plans to introduce more NOR flash chips next year. The M18 chips are based on a multi-level cell memory design that was jointly developed by Intel and STMicroelectronics.

Original reporting by Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service