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Toshiba Corp. said on Tuesday that today NAND flash memory turned 25 years old. The company produced the first NAND flash chips exactly 25 years ago and in two and a half decades the invention managed to revolutionize virtually all high-technology products in many industries.

Flash memory (both NOR and NAND types) was invented by Dr. Fujio Masuoka while working for Toshiba in around 1980, according to Wikipedia. But the first flash memory chips were made by Toshiba and Intel in the late eighties. Toshiba's innovation has carved out a path to a new era in which consumers are able to carry videos, music, books and data with them wherever they go.

Much has changed since 1987 - the NAND flash market has grown rapidly, with flash memory shipping almost 8 times more gigabytes (GB) in 2011 than DRAM. NAND flash has become the high density silicon storage of choice. NAND flash memory is used in a variety of memory cards and USB drives, and is found in many consumer, industrial and enterprise cloud applications. Designed with a very small cell size to enable a low cost-per-bit of stored data, Toshiba's NAND flash technology is unleashing the mobility of content, thus fueling innovation in the development of products for everyone from consumers to enterprise.

"NAND flash has truly permeated our lives -- this technology has been a game changer, making the world a different place and making many of the products we use today possible. The cost/performance of NAND flash continues to stand the test of time. NAND flash is leading the way to thin and light hardware, has made the mobility of content possible, and is enabling 'green' storage in the data centers," noted Scott Nelson, vice president of memory business unit at Toshiba America Electronic Components.

Toshiba's commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the invention of NAND flash will continue throughout 2012. Included in the celebration will be notable industry events and consumer participation - an interactive campaign that embraces industry voices and experiences exploring the impact of NAND flash is forthcoming.

Tags: Toshiba, NAND, Flash, SSD

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