Intel and STMicro are launching joint venture Numonyx today, which will suppose the combination of Intel's NOR flash memory division with STMicroelectronics NAND business. The result, according to Brian Harrison, Numonyx's new CEO and former Intel employee, is the world's largest provider of NOR flash memory and the top flash supplier to the mobile phone market.

The creation of Numonyx suffered a delay after being announced last year. Concerns regarding the U.S. economy and plummeting prices on NAND flash memory pushed the companies to raise more capital before launch. Now Numonyx is set to live up at least partially on the sales target of $3.6 billion forecasted a year ago.

Although NAND flash is being widely used on cell phones, digital cameras and MP3 players, slowing sales on retail shelves could translate into trouble to memory providers. Meanwhile, Numonyx hopes to rely more on the NOR flash part of the business, and continue development of a new type of flash memory called phase-change memory that is still in experimental stages.