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Flash memory — The great disruptor!

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1 Author(s)
Harari, E. ; SanDisk Corp., Milpitas, CA, USA

In the past two decades Flash memory grew from a novelty technology to a powerful disruptor that has profoundly transformed consumer electronics and mobile computing. This was made possible through relentless cost reductions leveraging technology scaling through 19 generations of Flash memory in just 24 years, outpacing Moore's Law. NAND Flash, System-Flash, and multilevel cells (MLC) were critical elements in establishing the foundations for today's $25 billion Flash industry. Flash enabled, and in turn benefitted from new mega markets in digital consumer electronics, and more recently, from the ascendency of mobile phones and tablets as the ultimate convergence device for billions of consumers worldwide. The author began working in the semiconductor industry in the early 1970s and participated in the growth of the non volatile memory (NVM) industry [1], first as a device physicist, then as an entrepreneur and businessman. Section 2 of this paper provides the author's personal recollections of the key milestones and innovation breakthroughs that made Flash memory such a game changer. Section 3 describes the enormous impact that Flash memory has had on Consumer Electronics and Mobile Computing. Section 4 discusses some of the major challenges and opportunities ahead for the Flash industry.

Published in:

Solid-State Circuits Conference Digest of Technical Papers (ISSCC), 2012 IEEE International

Date of Conference:

19-23 Feb. 2012