Samsung releases source code for NAND drivers

Samsung released the driver source code for its OneNAND memory chip, in a boost for consumer devices based on Linux.

Samsung Electronics is releasing the source code for the driver software for one of its post popular memory types, making it easier for electronics companies to use it in portable gadgets running Linux, it announced Wednesday.

The driver source code for Samsung's OneNAND flash memory chips will be released free of charge at the www.LinuxHQ.com Web site and Samsung's own Web site, the company said.

NAND flash is popular for gadgets because it can store vast amounts of data and retain that data when a device is switched off. It is also relative easy for DRAM manufacturers to produce. It is used in a plethora of devices including Apple Computer's popular iPod nano.

Samsung, in Seoul, Korea, is the world's biggest memory chip manufacturer and had more than 50 percent of the global NAND flash memory market in the third quarter last year, according to market researcher iSuppli.

The company said it sees Linux being adopted rapidly in Western Europe, Japan, Korea and China for developing royalty-free software.

The driver code includes the information developers need to incorporate the operational instructions for Samsung's NAND chip in their software. OneNAND offers a data read speed of 108M bytes per second and a write speed of 10M bytes per second. It is used today in about 100 consumer electronics products, Samsung said.

The company also offers driver software for devices based on operating systems from Microsoft and Symbian.

Samsung said the driver code will be available from http://www.linuxhq.com/kernel/v2.6/15/drivers/mtd/onenand/ and from http://www.samsung.com/Products/Semiconductor/FlashSW/lld_download.htm

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James Niccolai

IDG News Service

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