Chip giant Intel has announced a new type of Flash memory that could speed up mobile phones, and eventually extend the life of all battery-powered computers by as much as 60 percent.

Wireless Flash Memory, so called because Intel’s initial target is mobile phones, is different from current Flash memory technology not only because it draws less power, but also because computers will be able to write to and read from it at the same time.

“Writing data [to Flash memory] takes 100-500 times longer than reading," explained Clifford Smith, Wireless Communications and Comuputing Group marketing manager for Intel. "We haven’t solved that, but now you can read from one part and write to another.” This should still speed up processors using Flash memory considerably.

Jonathan Heasman, product manager for Flash maker Dane-Elec, agreed that battery life could be extended.

“Battery life would definitely be extended. [Memory] cards are getting smaller and the battery life is getting better. Resolution is going up and up so [we’re] getting more memory on cards,” he said.

Wireless Flash Memory is based on the company’s 0.18 micron technology, which makes for very compact processors that draw far less power than the 0.25 micron technology of the chips used now.