Samsung Electronics has started mass producing flash memory chips that hold more data and work at higher speeds than competing chips, it said on Sunday.

The new chips, each of which can hold 2GB of data, will likely increase competition in the already highly competitive flash market and maintain the pressure that has caused chip prices to fall by more than half in the last year.

Flash memory has the ability to retain its contents even when power is disconnected and so it's used in a wide range of consumer electronics devices like music players and cameras for data storage.

Samsung's current highest capacity chip can hold 1GB of data. It's also being made on a more advanced production line, which is capable of producing features as small as 51 nanometres rather than the 60-nanometre line being used for on the current chips. The result is an 80 per cent increase in speed.

The read speed has been increased from 17MBps (bytes per second) to 30MBps for high capacity cards and the write speed is almost doubled from 4.4MBps to 8MBps, said Samsung.

Samsung is one of the world's largest manufacturers of flash memory chips.