Intel Corp., which produces flash memory through a Lehi-based joint venture with Micron Technology Inc., may slow its expansion into the business, Intel's chief executive officer Paul Otellini said Wednesday.

The company, which announced plans to enter the flash market in 2005, faces an oversupply of so-called Nand flash, the type of memory used in digital cameras and devices such as Apple Inc.'s iPod. Intel's main business of microprocessors remains strong, and the company won't be dragged down by the flash market, Otellini said during an analyst conference at the company's headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.

Intel employs 300 workers in Riverton and approximately 1,800 workers in its joint venture with Micron, IM Flash Technologies, which produces the Nand flash memory. Deseret Morning News' attempts to get comments Wednesday from IM Flash and Intel were unsuccessful.

Flash-memory prices will fall 53 percent in the first quarter, about twice as much as officials expected earlier, Otellini said.

The company said this week that lower flash prices had forced it to reduce its gross profit margin forecast to about 54 percent this quarter.