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Toshiba 16GB flash chips are world's biggest

Toshiba's 16GB Nand flash memory chips are sure to end up in next year's gadgets.

Products, such as digital music players, that rely on flash memory have until now typically peaked at 8GB of storage simply because memory manufacturers have been producing 'packages' of memory chips only up to that size. As of the end of this year, that's set to double when Toshiba 's new NAND flash memory becomes available.

The 16GB flash chip uses eight of Toshiba's 2GB NAND chips to give the highest-capacity standard-size unit commercially produced to date. Samples will ship to potential customers in June, with mass production beginning in December.

The upshot of this slightly prosaic news is reasonably substantial for end users in that players like the iPod nano and its rivals are now assured of a path to far higher capacities some time around next spring, should their makers choose Toshiba's chips.