Apple's main flash memory supplier Samsung will produce 16 giga bit (Gb) capacity units next year. The 16Gb NAND flash memory chip is equivalent to 2GB of storage.

Samsung, which controls nearly 60 per cent of the world's NAND flash memory market, said on Monday the new chip should "entrench its dominance in a market enjoying strong growth", said UBS News.

Samsung has doubled the maximum capacities of its flash memory devices every year since 1999, when it entered the market.

Apple has secured 40 per cent of Samsung's flash memory production for use in its iPod shuffle and iPod nano, causing local music player makers to complain that they can no longer compete with Apple on price.

The new flash memory will be manufactured using a 50-nanometre production process, the company said. The technology will allow memory-card makers to design cards with a capacity of 32GB by putting 16 of the new 16Gb chips onto a single card.

Given this potential, analysts expect to see some manufacturers begin to use such chips inside notebooks. This would reduce power cinsumption, weight and start-up/seek times in comparison to conventional hard drives.