25th Anniversary Of NAND

Apparently it’s 25 years since NAND flash was presented to the world and Toshiba is preparing a series of events to celebrate the achievement.

It was around 1980 that Fujio Masuoka invented flash memory – both the NOR and NAND types – while at Toshiba.

In 1984, the flash concept was introduced to the world at that year’s IEDM. Three years later, NAND flash was described in a paper at the 1987 IEDM. It is this paper which is being celebrated this year.

In the Japanese tradition of not entirely trusting its own inventions – a syndrome known in Japan as the ‘Galapagos syndrome’ – Toshiba was slow to market the technology.

The nimbler Intel was much quicker to recognise the technology’s potential and put the world’s first flash chip on the market in 1988 – the 28F256.

After creating a business currently worth about $7 billion a year to Toshiba, Masuoka asked Toshiba for some pecuniary recognition for his achievement.

Toshiba resisted this and Masuoka eventually brought a lawsuit against Toshiba asking for $9.1 million for the work he’d put into the invention.

Eventually, Masuoka settled for $785,000 in 2006.

A derivation of EEPROM, flash had the advantage that, while EEPROM could be erased in bits but was slow, flash could be erased quickly in multi-byte sized chunks.

After bringing a lawsuit against Toshiba  asking for $9.1 million for the work he’d put into the invention, Masuoka eventually settled for $785,000 in 2006.

A derivation of EEPROM, flash had the advantage that, while EEPROM could be erased in bits but was slow, flash could be erased quickly in multi-byte sized chunks.

Tags: nand flash, Toshiba

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1 Comment

  1. Robtronics
    April 11, 2012 11:02

    Flash is a wonderful technology and we use lots of it, but EEPROM is just amazingly tough.
    I was sorry to see development of E2 fade away, especially the Xicor contribution. If you needed to run your gear at 200°C (and some of us do) then E2 was spot on.

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