mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

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: 1 million, iedm, japanese tradition, 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.