Flash Memory : A Brief History Of Flash
2. Flash Memory History
The Flash memory was invented by Dr. Fujio Masuoka while
working for Toshiba in 1984. According to Toshiba, the name
'Flash' was suggested by Dr. Masuoka's colleague, Mr. Shoji
Ariizumi, because the erasure process of the memory contents
reminded him of a flash of a camera. Dr. Masuoka presented
the invention at the IEEE 1984 Integrated Electronics Devices
Meeting held in San Jose, California. Intel saw the massive
potential of the invention and introduced the first commercial
NOR type flash chip in 1988.
NOR-based flash has long erase and write times, but has
a full address/data (memory) interface that allows random
access to any location. This makes it suitable for storage
of program code that needs to be infrequently updated, such
as a computer's BIOS or the firmware of set-top boxes. Its
endurance is 10,000 to 1,000,000 erase cycles. NOR-based
flash was the basis of early flash-based removable media;
Compact Flash was originally based on it, though later cards
moved to the cheaper NAND flash.
NAND flash from Samsung and Toshiba followed in 1989.
It has faster erase and write times, higher density, and
lower cost per bit than NOR flash, and ten times the endurance.
However its I/O interface allows only sequential access
to data. This makes it suitable for mass-storage devices
such as PC cards and various memory cards, and somewhat
less useful for computer memory.