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Kiddies’ media player to use 3D memory

Juice Box in the shopd now

Toy company Mattel are introducing a children’s personal media player, using Matrix Semiconductor's long-delayed 3D memory chips in its content cartridges. The Juice Box will cost around £89.99 and is aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 12.

Mattel is the first company to announce plans to use Matrix's 3D memory chips, according to Matrix. It will use the 64MB write-once chips in its Juiceware content cartridges for the Juice Box. Pricing for the cartridges, which will come loaded with up to 70 minutes of cartoons, was not disclosed.

Measuring 11.5x8.5x1.5in, the Juice Box has a 3in colour display and can play up to six hours of video or music running on three AAA batteries, according to product information on Amazon.com's website. The Juice Box will go on sale in the USA on 15 October, according to Amazon.com.

Matrix's 3D memory chips increase the density of memory cells on the chip by stacking them in layers. In typical memory chip designs, a single layer of circuitry rests on top of a silicon substrate, with additional layers of metal interconnects and insulators. However, the 3D design stacks layers of circuitry one on top of another, separated by layers of polysilicon.

Stacking the cells, or bits, of a memory chip vertically helps to shrink the size of a chip and allows more chips to be manufactured on a single silicon wafer, which should help to reduce manufacturing costs for the chips. Exactly how much savings can be achieved is not clear yet as Matrix has not announced pricing for the chips.

Matrix has been working to perfect its 3D chip design for the last couple of years. It was forced to push back its introduction because of manufacturing problems with the new design. Those problems have since been resolved, according to Matrix.

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