What would you do without NAND flash technology?

In 1987, Toshiba innovation brought us flash technology. It has changed how we interact with our devices—and our world. Thanks to flash, our phones, cameras, laptops, MP3 players and more are smaller, more durable, faster, more robust — and much smarter.

Things have really changed since 1987.

Watch and Find Out

Life Without Flash Technology: A Cruel Experiment, Indeed

So Many Advances.

In 1987, Toshiba innovation brought us NAND Flash.

From smartphones to digital cameras to solid state drives and cloud computing, NAND flash has enabled many milestones, and forever altered many of the devices that we use every day. Take a walk through history with us.

  • NOR Flash Memory Invented

    First paper for the flash EEPROM was presented by Toshiba at IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco.

    Both NOR and NAND types of flash memory were invented by Dr. Fujio Masuoka while working for Toshiba in the 1980s. Originally called simultaneously erasable EEPROM, the name flash was suggested because the device could erase a large number of memory.

  • NAND Flash Memory Invented

    First NAND-type flash memory technology was presented by Toshiba at IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM). The NAND-type flash was a new flash configuration that reduced the memory cell area so that a lower bit cost could be achieved. Unlike dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips, flash chips can retain the information they store even when the electric current has been switched off.

  • First 4Mb NAND-type EEPROM Introduced

    Toshiba developed the world's first 4-megabit (Mb) NAND-type Electrically Erasable and Programmable Read-only Memory (EEPROM).

  • First 16Mb NAND-type EEPROM Introduced

    16-megabit (Mb) device which enabled PCMCIA Cards (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) for portable data storage.

  • 40MB Flash Memory Cards Introduced

    First generation standardized memory cards were introduced with a PCMCIA interface for data storage for portable computers and personal digital assistants. These cards were also used in some of the early digital cameras. A 40MB card would have cost several thousands of dollars, and would only have been able to store 9-10 pictures using today's 10-megapixel camera.

    Read Press Release

  • Forum Established to Promote Solid-State Floppy-Disk Cards (SSFDC) Memory Card Format

    Originally named Solid State Floppy Disk Card (SSFDC), SmartMedia was the first NAND-based removable media format. In 1996, it was established as an industry standard, enabling the digital camera market to develop.

    Read Press Release

  • Toshiba and SanDisk agreed to jointly develop and manufacture gigabit scale flash memories.

    Industry's first NAND flash joint venture paved the way to today's megafab constructions. Large-scale production lowered the cost per gigabit, leading to the use of NAND Flash storage in a wider range of products.

    Read Press Release

  • SD Association Formed to Set Industry Standards for Secure Digital (SD) Cards

    The SD card was introduced in 1999 by Matsushita, SanDisk and Toshiba. In 2000, Panasonic, SanDisk Corporation and Toshiba Corporation established the SD Association to develop and promote memory card storage standards. By standardizing the Secure Digital (SD) Card format, the digital camera market was able to develop more rapidly. Also in 2000,Toshiba introduced the world's first product designed to use the SD (Secure Digital) Memory Card, a mobile audio player (MEA110AS).

    Read Press Release

  • First Secure Digital (SD) Cards Offered to OEMs

    8MB to 64MB SLC NAND-based Secure Digital (SD) Memory cards were introduced to OEM customers. A revolutionary universal flash memory storage device, SD Memory cards were developed to meet the converging security, capacity, and performance requirements of the emerging audio, video, data and multimedia consumer electronics markets.

  • World's First Commercial 1Gb MLC NAND Flash Chip Introduced

    Industry's highest density MLC NAND chip became available and paved the way to higher density storage at a lower cost-per-bit.

    Read Press Release

  • Introduced 1GB CompactFlash cards Using MLC NAND Technology

    First memory card form factor to use Multi-level Cell NAND technology, the 1Gigabyte (GB) CompactFlash card met the industry's need for higher-capacity flash cards demanded by the increased popularity of higher-resolution digital cameras.

    Read Press Release

  • First Large Block NAND Flash Device Introduced

    0.13 micron 1Gb monolithic Large Block NAND provided a high-performance embedded memory solution at an attractive cost-per-bit for digital cameras, PDAs and other emerging applications like MP3 players.

    Read Press Release

  • Wider x16 NAND Flash Memory Developed

    This new NAND flash memory configuration doubled the bus width, reducing the time required to transfer data. As a result, the overall system performance of cell phones and mobile devices was increased, and the mobility of content enabled, supporting the emergence of the Smartphone market.

    Read Press Release

  • Complete MCP Solution Offered for Cell Phones with NOR Flash, NAND Flash, SRAM, Pseudo SRAM/LPSDRAM

    Multi-chip (MCP) stacking technology reduced board space for mobile/handheld applications, enabling smaller, more feature-rich phones. Stacking multiple die and technologies in a single package provided a low-cost, high-performance option for a complete cell phone memory subsystem.

    Read Press Release

  • Construction Began on Fab 3 — A State-of-the Art 300mm Wafer Fab For NAND Flash Memory At Yokkaichi Operations

    Fab 3, the first 300-millimeter (mm) NAND flash "megafab" was developed to meet the growing demand for flash memory in digital consumer devices, including digital still cameras, MP3 and music players. High volume production lowered the cost per gigabit, leading to the use of NAND flash storage in a wider range of products.

    Read Press Release

  • 8-Gigabit NAND Flash Memory Chip Developed

    8-gigabit (Gb) NAND flash memory chip ushered in the new era of 1-gigabyte (GB) data storage capacity on a single chip. NAND flash is introduced in MP3 players, providing space, weight and power savings over hard disk based - hardware.

    Read Press Release

  • 1GB microSD and 4GB SDHC Cards Launched

    microSD card is launched to support storage requirements in cell phone applications. Today, microSD cards are the defacto removable storage standard for cell phones. The Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) format was introduced by the SD Association. The SDA 2.00 specification enabled SD cards to reach higher capacities: 4GB - 32GB.

    Read Press Release

  • Toshiba and SanDisk Mark Construction Start of Fab 4, a 300mm Wafer Fab for NAND Flash Memory at Yokkaichi Operations

    Fab 4, Toshiba's 2nd 300-millimeter (mm) NAND flash "megafab" was developed to meet the growing demand for flash memory in a wide range of digital electronic applications, including MP3 music players, mobile phones and memory cards.

    Read Press Release

  • Highest Capacity Embedded NAND Flash Memory (e-MMC) for Mobile Consumer Products Introduced

    16GB e-MMC chip combined eight 2GB NAND chips with a controller chip in a standard single, small size package. The controller function minimized customer development requirements and eased integration into system designs. e-MMC is now the industry standard for embedded memory in Smartphones and mobile products.

    Read Press Release

  • 128GB MLC SATA SSD Introduced

    First Multi-level Cell (MLC) SATA-based and largest capacity solid state drive (SSD) drive is launched. MLC-based SSDs lowered the average price per gigabyte of an SSD and helped achieve more acceptable price points for OEMs, accelerating adoption in the market.

    Read Press Release

  • Industry's First 512GB MLC SATA Solid State Drive Introduced

    Toshiba's second-generation SSDs bring increased capacity and performance enabling an improved computing experience and faster boot and application loading times.

    Read Press Release

  • Toshiba Makes Major Advances in NAND Flash Memory with 3-bit-per-cell 32nm Generation and 4-bit-per-cell 43nm Technology

    Advanced multi-bit per cell technology (3-bit-per cell and 4-bit-per-cell) enabled advances in chip densities and cost savings for next generation devices. In 2009, Toshiba's 3-bit-per-cell 32-gigabit (Gb) chip represented the smallest die-size yet achieved.

    Read Press Release

  • Toshiba Launches Industry's Largest Embedded NAND Flash Memory Modules

    128GB e-MMC uses a stack of sixteen 64Gb (64 gigabit, or 8 gigabyte) NAND chips, demonstrating Toshiba's advanced stacking capabilities.

    Read Press Release

  • Toshiba and Samsung Support (DDR) NAND Flash Memory with a 400 megabit-per-second (Mbps) Interface

    Commitment to support the toggle DDR 2.0 specification enabled broad-scale acceptance of this new high-speed technology, and accelerated its use in SSD applications and enterprise storage.

    Read Press Release

  • Toshiba and SanDisk Celebrate the Opening of Fab 5 NAND Flash Memory Fabrication Facility in Japan

    Fab 5, Toshiba's 3rd 300-millimeter (mm) NAND flash "megafab" was developed to support strong global demand for NAND flash memory fueled by the growth of Smartphones, tablets,enterprise and other electronic devices.

    Read Press Release

  • Toshiba launches 19nm process NAND flash memory

    The world's finest process yet achieved yields single chips with a 64 Gb capacity.

    Read Press Release

  • Toshiba develops, manufactures 19nm generation NAND Flash Memory with world's largest density and smallest die size

    128 Gb capacity in a 3-bit-per-cell chip on a 170mm2 die

    Read Press Release

Just Look How Integrated Flash Is In Your Life — You May be Surprised

So many devices today rely on NAND flash memory. See for yourself—without a doubt you'll find some things you use every day.

1 of 20

Tablets

No keyboard, no problem! The ultimate in mobility — thin, light and rugged - tablet computing as we know it would not be possible were it not for flash memory.

2 of 20

Smartphones

Using your phone just to make calls? So old fashioned. Flash makes it possible for the simple cell phone to now do things on the go like stream video, take pictures, tackle emails and find yourself with GPS - and it still makes a phone call!

3 of 20

eReaders

Can"t decide which book to bring? Bring them all! Long road trips and airplane rides have been made more tolerable with the invention of eReaders. Flash technology makes stacks and stacks of digital ebooks and periodicals entirely portable — a virtual library right at your fingertips.

4 of 20

GPS

Now we travel worry free with previous destinations and new treks at our fingertips. Thanks to flash with its solid memory — we may never get lost again.

5 of 20

Music (MP3) Players

Now super slim and light as air, gone are the days when a fanny pack was required to hold your Walkman in order to take your tunes on the go. Flash memory has given us access to thousands of songs - anywhere, any time.

6 of 20

Digital Still Cameras

Camera film is a thing of the past. Thanks to flash, we no longer have to worry about running out of film, missing that perfect shot or accidentally exposing and ruining it — along with our precious memories.

7 of 20

Digital Video Cameras

Flash means no more lugging the big "guy" to the kids sports events. Today, digital video cameras store more and do more — including letting you share viral videos on the Web and even strap a camera to a helmet that puts you right in the action — all sized small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

8 of 20

Ultrabooks

We love them for their instant-on capability, reduced size and weight and extended battery life — but ultrabooks would be a figment of our imaginations if not for flash memory.

9 of 20

USB Memory Sticks

Sayonara floppy disks and CD ROMS! Flash memory spawned the USB drive — smaller, faster, more durable and reliable...with thousands of times more capacity.

10 of 20

SD cards

Smaller than a book of matches, flash technology has made these little wonders possible. Most portable consumer electronic devices rely on SD cards as a means of storing several gigabytes of data in a very small size. Plug it in anywhere!

11 of 20

Solid State Drives

Move over hard drives — flash based SSDs are the secret sauce that makes devices more mobile and portable — smaller, slimmer and faster- with an added dose of increased ruggedness

12 of 20

Game Consoles

Flash is changing the field of gaming. Fast, vivid, interactive game play takes flash. Bring on the excitement!

13 of 20

Digital Voice Recorders

Note to self — no more flipping tiny tapes. With flash-enabled voice recorders, capturing your ideas, recording lectures, conversations or virtually anything is easy and hassle free.

14 of 20

Enterprise - Server

It pays to be green - enterprise data centers are becoming more eco-friendly and cost-effective thanks to solid state drives — they now require less cooling and use less energy. Added bonus: flash also gives lightning-fast access to all of this data.

15 of 20

Vending Machines

With flash, vending machines are getting smarter. Having a memory, means they can store vital inventory and aging information to ensure all goods are stocked and freshly at hand. No more stale snacks!

16 of 20

Exercise Equipment

Staying fit with flash-enabled equipment makes it easy to track your progress - time/distance, calories burned, heart rate and more. Bring on the skinny jeans!

17 of 20

Digital TV

Not your father's TV, today with flash our TVs store user settings including resolution and closed captioning. And, as they become the center of today"s Smart Home, they are ready to let you do even more — including view photos and videos and browse the Web.

18 of 20

Printers

Flash technology has shaped the evolution of the unassuming printer — these days, printers function almost as computers, truly "all in one" devices that combine printing, scanning, copying and faxing functionalities.

19 of 20

Set Top Boxes

Higher-end set top boxes, such as DVRs, are in living rooms all over the world — thanks to flash, you can view movies on demand — and you may never watch another commercial!

20 of 20

Cloud Computing

No, it has nothing to do with the weather forecast — cloud computing is a remote database that your computer connects to through the Internet. Thanks to flash Memory Arrays, you'll be able to get quick access to your files, music, etc. no matter where you are - as long as you have Internet access.

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For more, contact: Kevin Mayberry, Lages & Associates: (949) 453-8080, kevin@lages.com.


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NAND Flash means so much to so many.

Check out what our industry colleagues have to say about NAND flash and the impact it has made on the world.

Download "Industry Voices on NAND Flash's 25TH Anniversary" PDF (7.4MB) Here »

In the future, our devices will interact with us. We will not need to be proactive, but instead...

—Dave Reinsel, Group VP, IDC

Read More

In the future, our devices will interact with us. We will not need to be proactive, but instead, embedded smart technology will allow device-to-device communication as well as device-to-me communication automatically, or as needed. Sensors that track everything imaginable will collide with big data analytics to understand the past and consider the future in order to give us context and direction for the present.

— Dave Reinsel, Group VP, IDCX Close

There is certainly reason to celebrate. This technology has grown faster than...

— Jim Handy, Director, Objective Analysis

Read More

There is certainly reason to celebrate. This technology has grown faster than any semiconductor market in history, displacing other technologies as well as camera film, floppy disks, CDs, videotapes, and maps. In the future it promises to cannibalize other markets - including enterprise HDDs and even DRAM.

— Jim Handy, Director, Objective AnalysisX Close

As the usage of NAND evolves along with the NAND technology, we will see more intelligent NAND being used as our assistant...

— Alan Niebel, CEO, Web-Feet Research

Read More

As the usage of NAND evolves along with the NAND technology, we will see more intelligent NAND being used as our assistant similar to the Siri on the Apple iPhone 4S. This concept will evolve where we will see intelligent robots doing many of our mundane chores like cleaning, filing, sorting as well as scheduling, but they will be able to perceive, analyze and summarize our other tasks - especially as they learn how each of us operates. These robots will drive our cars, shop for us, summarize our messages and news and alleviate many of our daily tasks, all when storage is combined with logic along with sensors.

— Alan Niebel, CEO, Web-Feet ResearchX Close

NAND flash memory is the great enabler. Its form factor advantage over HDDs has enabled...

— Greg Wong, Founder and Principal Analyst, Forward Insights

Read More

NAND flash memory is the great enabler. Its form factor advantage over HDDs has enabled the era of portable digital storage – allowing consumers to carry their content with them anywhere - possible. Its performance advantage has facilitated the convergence of multiple functions – voice, e-mail, video, imaging, gaming, navigation - into one personal mobile device. And now, its cost advantage over DRAM is enabling the instantaneous accessing and sharing of content through the cloud.

— Greg Wong, Founder and Principal Analyst, Forward InsightsX Close

Over the last few years NAND has become the de facto standard...

— Jeff Janukowicz, Research Director, IDC

Read More

Over the last few years NAND has become the de facto standard for storage in many consumer devices. Now, NAND is on the cusp of making significant inroads into another market segment - the computing market. NAND technology is poised to change the PC experience and become a key building block for the enterprise.

— Jeff Janukowicz, Research Director, IDCX Close

Flash memory has mobilized...

— Michael Yang, Principal Analyst, iSuppli Corporation

Read More

Flash memory has mobilized consumer electronics and enabled data access on a personal level, but the influence of NAND will expand to commercial applications. With the confluence of display, connectivity and NAND flash memory, content can now be managed and delivered in more ways and in more places. NAND flash will underpin a content delivery system that's infinitely flexible in meeting the demands of business and its intended audiences.

— Michael Yang, Principal Analyst, iSuppli CorporationX Close

Flash memory has had profound impli...

— Joseph Unsworth, Research Vice President, Gartner

Read More

Flash memory has had profound implications across the entire IT sector. Its reach is most evident when you look at its three waves of innovation that drove the development of key applications that have fueled more than 30% of NAND sales. These application waves include flash cards and USB flash drives from 2001-2006, mobile phones from 2007 -2013 and future sales of solid state drives from 2014 to 2020. Certainly, there have been countless beneficiaries of the rise of NAND flash technology, however, the biggest beneficiary in the past and future will remain us as consumers.
— Joseph Unsworth, Research Vice President, GartnerX Close

In the future, our devices will interact...

— Dave Reinsel, Group VP, IDC

Read More

In the future, our devices will interact with us. We will not need to be proactive, but instead, embedded smart technology will allow device-to-device communication as well as device-to-me communication automatically, or as needed. Sensors that track everything imaginable will collide with big data analytics to understand the past and consider the future in order to give us context and direction for the present.

— Dave Reinsel, Group VP, IDCX Close

There is certainly reason to celebrate...

— Jim Handy, Director, Objective Analysis

Read More

There is certainly reason to celebrate. This technology has grown faster than any semiconductor market in history, displacing other technologies as well as camera film, floppy disks, CDs, videotapes, and maps. In the future it promises to cannibalize other markets - including enterprise HDDs and even DRAM.

— Jim Handy, Director, Objective AnalysisX Close

As the usage of NAND evolves along with the NAND technology...

— Alan Niebel, CEO, Web-Feet Research

Read More

As the usage of NAND evolves along with the NAND technology, we will see more intelligent NAND being used as our assistant similar to the Siri on the Apple iPhone 4S. This concept will evolve where we will see intelligent robots doing many of our mundane chores like cleaning, filing, sorting as well as scheduling, but they will be able to perceive, analyze and summarize our other tasks - especially as they learn how each of us operates. These robots will drive our cars, shop for us, summarize our messages and news and alleviate muany of our daily tasks, all when storage is combined with logic along with sensors.

— Alan Niebel, CEO, Web-Feet ResearchX Close