Samsung Electronics has begun shipping samples of an 8GB flash memory chip, enough to store up to 2,000 songs on a mobile phone.

It expects to begin mass producing the moviNAND chip, which it called the highest-capacity embedded flash memory device developed so far, by the end of the year.

Samsung's moviNAND line combines flash memory and firmware in an embedded chip for mobile phones and other portable devices. The chips use the widely used MMC (multimedia card) interface, allowing manufacturers to integrate them into devices faster and more cheaply, Samsung said.

The MMC also allows for fast data transfers. The new chip can process 52MB of data per second, double the performance of Samsung's 4GB chip, the company said.

Samsung started producing 1GB and 2GB moviNAND chips last September. It expects worldwide sales of the chips to reach $4bn by 2010, it said.

NAND flash memory chips are small, fast and use low power. They are also used in memory sticks, multimedia players and other devices.