Just how hot are NAND flash memory chips? Well, Korean flash memory manufacturers HynixSemiconductor and Samsung Electronics both recently reported seeing an "infinite" demand for NAND flash. As of June, flash fans have another IPO to fawn over, Taiwan's Silicon Motion
Why all the excitement? As chip capacities expand beyond one gigabyte, flash memory is appearing in an ever-increasing number of devices. Apple's new iPod nano stores music on NAND flash memory from Samsung, rather than one-inch hard drives from Seagate Technology
Historically, USB flash drives and removable memory cards for digital cameras have been the two biggest uses for NAND flash memory. Camera memory cards consume more than 50% of NAND flash memory manufacturing, according to industry tracking firm iSuppli Corp; digital music players like the new iPod are soon expected to leapfrog flash drives into second place.
Hard drives aren't the only storage technology getting squeezed out by NAND flash. The NOR variety of flash memory, made by companies like Intel
Investors have certainly noticed NAND flash's strong growth; manufacturer SanDisk's
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Fool contributor Dan Bloom does not have any financial interest in any stock mentioned in this column.