What do the MP3 players of the 1990s and today’s smartphones have in common? Neither would exist were it not for NAND flash memory, an innovation whose influence has reverberated throughout the decades. KIOXIA America, Inc. today announced that it has reached a new milestone – 2022 marks the 35th anniversary of the company’s invention of NAND flash memory.
Back in 1987, it would have been hard to imagine all of the ways that this then brand-new technology would impact the world. NAND flash memory has ushered in entire new technological eras, and obsoleted technologies and products that had been in use for years – changing our lives in countless ways. Since starting at zero 35 years ago, the NAND flash market has grown to $70B1. In terms of die density, flash memory has grown from 4Mb to 1.33Tb – a 333,000x increase2. To put this exponential growth in perspective, in the 1990s, the largest available density flash memory could hold 1/8 of a photo. Flash forward to today, where the largest available die density is a whopping 1.33Tb – and capable of storing 39,000 photos.
Some of the first applications that flash made possible all those years ago, including digital cameras, barcode scanners and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), have evolved along with the technology, to the point where they are almost unrecognizable today. Additionally, new applications have been born, many of which would simply not exist, or not exist in the form they are today, were it not for the advances being made to KIOXIA’s invention. Think smartphones, tablets and notebooks, automotive infotainment systems, gaming, wearables, data centers and so much more.
“Flash memory is a game-changer that continues to stand the test of time,” said Scott Nelson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for KIOXIA America, Inc. “Imagine what’s to come – will the vision of smart cities be realized? Will truly autonomous cars take us from place to place? Whatever the future holds, KIOXIA will continue to lead the way forward, investing in and evolving the technology that makes storage densities higher and costs lower. The sky is the limit for flash memory, and the next wave of applications that will further enrich our lives is just around the corner. In some ways, we’re just getting started.”
KIOXIA’s commemoration of the 35th anniversary of the invention of NAND flash will continue throughout 2022. KIOXIA has also created a dedicated 35th anniversary website, where a series of videos that explore what life would be like without flash memory can be viewed, and industry insights, predictions and opinions related to the importance of flash memory will be shared.