The History And Timeline Of Flash Memory

One of the exhibits at the Flash Memory Summit we just attended was a historical timeline. We thought it was super cool, so we are going to recreate it here. The beginning is referencing more fundamental research which are just an awesome read to understand semiconductors. As it gets to more recent times, it brings up more of the business/economic changes. Some highlights are when foundational technology was created versus when it was commercialized. It’s amazing how quickly certain technologies took off after commercialization, but also how long it others took to come to market.

In the coming weeks we will have more detailed posts about developments in flash memory, China’s YMTC, CXL, UCIe, and more in the coming weeks. Those pieces will also include more investment related information as well.


·        MIT’s Dudley Buck creates first semiconductor non-volatile memory from ferroelectric crystals.


·        Bell Labs’ Merz and Anderson create monolithic 256-bit FRAM ferroelectric non-volatile memory, the first monolithic memory chip.


·        C.T. “Tom” Sah of Fairchild envisions floating gate NVM using charge storage on the gate electrode of a MOS tetrode transistor.


·        Dov Frohman-Bentchkowsky writes Berkley PhD thesis “Charge Transport and Trapping in MNOS Structures and its Memory Applications” and builds a 9-bit prototype.


·        Edgar A. Sack, Ting L. Chu and others of Westinghouse use a Metal-Nitride-Oxide-Silicon (MNOS) structure as a charge-trapping element.


·        Dawon Kahng and Simon Sze invent the Non-Volatile Memory Floating Gate at Bell Labs; this is published as “A Floating Gate and Its Application to Memory Devices” (Bell System Technical Journal)

·        John R. Szedon and Ting L. Chu of Westinghouse propose using a charge trap as a non-volatile memory bit at the IEEE Solid State Device Research Conference


·        Stanford R. Ovshinsky announces the Ovonic Memory Switch, the basis for 3D XPoint memory as announced by Intel and Micron in 2015, and as later productized by Intel as Optane.


·        Dov Frohman-Bentchkowsky invents the Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM) at Intel; this is presented at the 1971 IEEE Solid State Device Research Conference (ISSCC), and is published as “Memory Behavior in a Floating-Gate Avalanche-Injection MOS (FAMOS) Structure” in April 1971.

·        After work with Stanford R. Ovshinsky, Intel’s Gordon Moore co-authors article for Electronics Magazine on the first demonstration of Phase Change Memory, the NVM technique used by 3D XPoint as announced by Intel and Micron in 2015, and as productized by Intel as Optane.


·        Toshiba’s Iizuka, Masuoka and others introduce the first double-layered polysilicon memory with Floating Gate electrical erase as Stacked-Gate Avalanche-Injection Type MOS (SAMOS) Memory at International Conferecne on Solid State Devices and Materials.


·        General Instrument ships EAROM, the first commercial EEPROM.


·        Hitachi files for patent on NAND-type MROM.

·        Portable digital camera invented at Eastman Kodak Company with digital image storage on cassette tape.


·        Eli Harari then of Hughes Microelectronics, files for patent on first practical floating gate EEPROM using thin SiO2 and Fowler-Nordheim tunneling for program and erase.


·        Eli Harari, publishes “Conduction and Trapping of Electrons in Highly Stressed Thin Films of Thermal SiO2”

·        P.C.Y Chen of Fairchild introduces SONOS charge trap NVM cell in IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices.

·        Patent granted to TI’s Gerald Rogers for mask ROM configured as a NAND array to reduce chip area and cost.


·        Eli Harari publishes “Dielectric Breakdown in Electrically Stressed Thin Films of Thermal SiO2”.

·        Hughes Microelectronics introduces first CMOS NOVRAM 256-bit chip (non-volatile SRAM) employing Fowler Nordheim floating gate EEPROM at IEEE ISSCC.

·        George Perlegos designs the Intel 2816 which was introduced in 1980 and became the first commercially successfully EEPROM.


·        IEEE Solid State Circuits publishes paper titled “An electrically Alterable Non-Volatiles Memory Cell Using Floating Gate Structure” by Guterman, Rinawi, Chieu, Holvorson and McElroy of Texas Instruments


·        Hughes Microelectronics introduces the 3108, first CMOS EEPROM 8Kb chip employing Fowler Nordheim tunneling

·        Intel introduces the 2816, a 16Kb HMOS EEPROM with a FLOTX (floating gate tunnel oxide) structure employing Fowler-Nordheim tunneling, at IEEE ISSCC

·        Fujitsu files for patent on improvements to Hitachi’s 1975 MROM


·        British scientist and inventor Kane Kramer designs first digital audio player (IXI) based on magnetic bubble memory chips.


·        SEEQ Technology introduces the first 5213, the first EEPROM with an on-chip charge pump for an in-system write and erase, an invention used in all flash memory devices.

·        Ramtron introduces first commercial FRAM non-volatile memory.


·        Intel introduces 2817A 16Kb EEPROM.


·        First paper describing flash EEPROM presented by Toshiba’s Fujio Masuoka at IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco.

·        Intel begins flash process development.

·        George Perlegos founds ATMEL (Advanced Technology for Memory and Logic).


·        Exel files for patent on first NOR FLASH cell

·        NEC’s Kitamura files for first MLC (Multi-Level Cell) EPROM patent


·        Flash card concept introduced with ECC and on-card controller by Intel

·        Intel forms unit focusing on solid state drives.

·        R. Stewart of RCA publishes first paper on a NAND-configured UV-EPROM at IEEE VLSI Symposium.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $1,600,000.

·        Toshiba’s Fujio Masuoka presents IEEE IEDM paper on NAND flash memory.

·        Intel introduces NOR flash chips.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $6,400,000.

·        Sundisk (SanDisk) founded by Eli Harari to develop new “System Flash” architecture combining embedded controller, firmware and flash to emulate disk storage, and files for first MLC (Multi-Level Cell) flash patent.

·        First Flash memory sampled by Intel as 1Mb NOR chips. Intel’s design team of Richard Pashlet, Stefan Lai, Bruce McCormic and Niles Kynett.

·        Intel and Psion design flash-based mobile PC.

·        First flash-based digital camera, Fuji DS-1P, demonstrated.

·        150mm wafer’s used.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $25,600,000.

·        SunDisk (SanDisk) files for patent on “System Flash” which describes on-chip cell management.

·        M-Systems founded by Dov Moran and Aryeh Mergi and introduces Flash Disk concept (precursor to flash SSDs).

·        Intel ships 512Kb and 1Mb NOR flash.

·        Psion flash-based PC introduced.

·        Microsoft introduces Flash Files System in joint effort with Intel.

·        DigiPro introduces 8MB NOR Flashdisk at Comdex.

·        Western Digital and SunDisk pioneer NOR-based SSD fully emulating ATA HDD.

·        Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) founded.

·        Silicon Storage Technology (SST) founded to produce NOR SuperFlash compatible with CMOS logic process.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $100,000,000.

·        Sony introduces EReader using flash memory.

·        Kodak flash-based camera prototypes shown.

·        PCMCIA sets standard on ATA PC Card form factor and pinout, using SunDisk “System Flash” specification for full HDD compatibility.

·        Intel 1MB and 4MB linear flash PCMCIA cards introduced.

·        Intel introduces 2Mb NOR chip.

·        SunDisk introduces 2Mb NOR chip.

·        SunDisk introduces first NOR flash SSD: 20MB 2.5”, fully compatible with conner peripherals 2.5” ATA HDD.

·        Toshiba verifies NAND flash chip operation, and begins 4Mb and 16Mb NAND flash chip development.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $170,000,000.

·        Kodak ships DCS-100, it’s first DCS at $13,000.

·        Zenith, Poqet, and HP palm-sized notebook computers using flash memory cards shown at Spring Comdex.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $295,000,000.

·        Toshiba ships first mass-produced NAND flash chips (4Mb).

·        Information Storage Devices introduces flash-based voice recorder chip.

·        AMD introduces its first NOR product.

·        Fujitsu introduces its first NOR product.

·        M-Systems introduces TrueFSS, the first flash memory card FTL; this was later adopted by the PCMCIA.

·        Intel launches second generation FFS2.

·        Intel introduces 8Mb NOR flash chips and 4MB-20MB linear flash memory cards.

·        Intel introduces 1Mb “boot block” NOR flash with sectors for BIOS applications – first use of internal write state machine to manage flash write algorithm.

·        SunDisk introduces first serial 9Mb NOR Flash chip for SSD applications.

·        PCs begin using flash for BIOS storage

·        The Joint Photographic Experts Group published the JPEG standard, enabling digital cameras to store compressed photos using media such as flash memory.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $505,000,000.

·        Toshiba ships 16Mb NAND flash chips, which enable portable storage with the first PCMCIA cards.

·        Datalight introduces “Card Trick” flash management software.

·        Apple introduces NOR flash-based Newton PDA.

·        Intel introduces 16Mb and 32Mb NOR flash.

·        Intel and Conner Peripherals introduce jointly developed 5MB/10MB ATA flash disk drive.

·        AMD introduces 5-volt-only NOR using negative gate erase.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $864,805,000.

·        SunDisk introduces CompactFlash card.

·        Norris Communications introduces Flashback, the first portable digital voice recorded with flash memory.

·        0.5-micron process announced.

·        SunDisk introduces 18Mb Serial NOR flash chip for SSD applications.

·        M-Systems introduces NOR-based DiskOnChip.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $1,860,089,000.

·        Flash (NOR and NAND) revenues exceeds $1B.

·        Casio introduces the QV-11 digital camera with flash rather than film or floppy.

·        Mitsubishi introduces DiNOR.

·        SunDisk changes name to SanDisk.

·        Compact Flash Association (CFA) founded.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $2,610,603,000.

·        Toshiba introduces SmartMedia Memory Card (also called Solid State Floppy Disk Card).

·        Samsung starts shipping NAND flash.

·        Kodak DC-25 is first DSC with CompactFlash card.

·        Datalight introduces “FlashFX” flash management software supporting NOR and NAND in a single driver.

·        SanDisk introduces world’s first MLC (2 bits/cell) flash chip (80Mb) in Compact Flash (CF) card.

·        Palm introduces flash memory-based PDA.

·        0.35 micron process announced.

·        Lexar Media spins off from Cirrus Logic.

·        USB Association (USBA) founded.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $2,801,678,000.

·        500 million flash chips ship.

·        SaeHan Information Systems introduces flash-based MPMan MP3 player.

·        Sandisk and Siemens introduce MultiMedia Card (MMC and MMCplus)

·        Sony introduces the Memory Stick.

·        First cell phones ship with flash memory.

·        M-Systems introduces NAND-based DiskOnChip.

·        200mm wafers begin production.

·        SanDisk begins using 256Mb MLC flash chips in its CompactFlash (CF) cards

·        Intel introduces 2-bit/cell 64Mb MLC StrataFlash chip.

·        MultiMediaCard (MMC) unveiled by SanDisk and Siemens.

·        SanDisk begins transition from NOR to NAND flash.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $2,492,552,000.

·        NOR revenues exceed $2B.

·        250nm process announced.

·        SaeHan Information Systems and licensee Eiger ship first mass-produced MP3 player (MPMan) with 32MB.

·        Diamond Rio introduces PMP300 MP3 player.

·        MultiMediaCard Association founded by 14 companies.

·        Apple iMac introduced without floppy but with USB, encouraging USB-based external storage.

·        USB Implements Forum first publishes USB Mass Storage Class spec (finalized in 1999) to standardize USB storage.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $4,560,493,000.

·        NOR revenues exceed $4B.

·        Over one billion flash chips ship.

·        Toshiba and SanDisk create flash memory manufacturing joint venture.

·        Micron announces NOR products.

·        Hagiwara Sys-Com begins shipping FlashGate, a USB Smart Media flash memory card drive.

·        Dov Moran is co-inventor on M-Systems patent filing for USB flash drive.

·        Lexar Media introduces CompactFlash-to-USB JumpSHOT.

·        Panasonic (Matsushita), SanDisk and Toshiba introduce SD memory card.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $10,637,231,000.

·        M-Systems (working with IBM) and Trek Technology introduce USB flash drives.

·        Intel ships its one-billionth flash unit.

·        160nm process node announced.

·        Panasonic, Sandisk, and Toshiba establish SD Association to standardize and promote the Secure Digital memory card (SD Card).

·        SLC NAND based SD cards introduced in 8MB to 64MB capacities.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $7,594,502,000.

·        NAND revenues exceed $1B.

·        Toshiba and SanDisk announced 1Gb MLC NAND.

·        SanDisk introduces first NAND “System Flash” product.

·        Hitachi introduces AG-AND.

·        Samsung begins mass production of 512Mb flash memory device.

·        Saifun develops NROM with charge trap flash memory device, the basis for Spansion’s MirrorBit.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $7,766,797,000.

·        Olympus and FujiFilm introduce xD-Picture Card.

·        MMCmobile card introduced by MMCA (MultiMediaCard Association).

·        Sony and SanDisk jointly introduce the Memory Stick PRO and half-size Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

·        M-Systems introduces Mobile DiskOnChip, the first SSD in a chip; this was used in handsets by Nokia, Motorola, and Ericsson.

·        AMD introduces MirrorBit using hot electron injection-based charge trap flash.

·        Cypress introduces Programmable System on Chip (PSoC) with first embedded SONOS using quantum mechanical tunneling based charge trap flash.

·        130nm process announced.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $11,739,282,000.

·        NAND revenues exceed $5B.

·        SanDisk introduces miniSD card.

·        Sony and SanDisk jointly introduce Memory Stick PRO Micro.

·        Spansion spins out of AMD and Fujitsu.

·        Samsung introduces TaNOS structure at IEEE IEDM, a technology later used in 3D NAND.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $15,610,575,000.

·        NAND prices drop below DRAM prices.

·        U3 software system for USB flash drives introduced by SanDisk and M-Systems.

·        SanDisk and Motorola introduce TransFlash card, now the microSD card.

·        Datalight introduces multi-threaded “FlashFX Pro” management software to support multimedia NAND devices.

·        Spansion announces MirrorBit Quad 4-bit NOR.

·        90nm process announced.

·        Hynix and ST Micro form flash joint venture.

·        Hynix NAND product introduced.

·        Infineon NAND product introduced based on Saifun Charge Trap Flash.

·        Panasonic and Sanyo introduce first flash-based camcorders.

·        SanDisk introduces Flash Sansa MP3 players.

·        Freescale (later Everspin) ships first commercial MRAM non-volatile memory.

·        Pankaj Megra and Sam Fineberg of Hewlett Packard present Persistent Memory paper at IEEE Computer Society’s 18th IPDPS.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $18,568,940,000.

·        NAND GB shipments overtake those of DRAM.

·        Apple introduces first two flash-based iPods, iPod shuffle and iPod nano.

·        Microsoft introduces Hybrid Hard Disk Drive concept.

·        MMCmicro card introduced by MMCA.

·        70nm process announced.

·        Micron introduces NAND product.

·        Over three billion flash chips shipped.

·        NAND revenues exceed $10B.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $20,076,313,000.

·        First Flash Memory Summit held in San Jose.

·        Intel introduces Robson Cache Memory (now called Turbo Memory).

·        Microsoft introduces ReadyBoost.

·        SanDisk announces 3-bit TLC NAND technology.

·        M-Systems announces 4-bit QLC technology.

·        SanDisk announces microSDHC card.

·        SanDisk acquires Matrix Semiconductor.

·        SanDisk acquires M-Systems.

·        Samsung and Seagate demonstrate first Hybrid Hard Disk Drives.

·        IMFT formed by Intel and Micron to manufacture NAND flash.

·        STEC acquires Gnutech.

·        Spansion introduces ORNAND flash.

·        56nm process announced.

·        300mm wafers begin production.

·        Micron acquires Lexar Media.

·        Open NAND Flash Interface (ONFi) V1.0 spec published.

·        Numonyx and Samsung introduce phase change NVM


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $22,182,405,000.

·        NAND revenues exceed $14.5B.

·        Non-Volatile Memory Host Controller Interface (NVMHCI) Working Group formed with Intel’s Amber Huffman as chair.

·        Toshiba introduces eMMC NAND.

·        IMFT begins shipping 50nm NAND flash.

·        Toshiba introduces first MLC SATA-based SSD.

·        Apple introduces the iPhone.

·        Fusion-io announces 640GB ioDrive MLC NAND-based PCIe X4 board.

·        BiTMICRO launches 3.5” SSD with capacity of 1.6TB (for military applications).

·        Spansion acquires Saifun.

·        Several laptop MLC SSDs introduced with up to 128GB storage.

·        Dell introduces SSD option for laptop models.

·        Sub-$200 netbook computers introduced with flash memory storage.

·        Microsoft introduces flash-based Zune Player.

·        Seagate announces Hybrid Storage Alliance.

·        Seagate introduces first hybrid HHD, the Momentus PSD.

·        MMCA/JEDEC e.MMC spec published

·        Toshiba presents 3D flash BiCS memory at IEEE VLSI Symposium.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $18,435,970,000.

·        NVMHCI 1.0 Spec released by Intel.

·        SanDisk introduces ABL to enable high speed MLC, TLC and X4 NAND.

·        34nm process announced by Intel and Micron.

·        Toshiba introduces first 512GB MLC SATA-based SSD.

·        Intel and STMicro spin off Numonyx.

·        IBM demos first “Million IOPS” array.

·        EMC announces use of flash-based SSDs for enterprise SAN applications.

·        Apple introduces SSD-based MacBook Air with no HDD option.

·        Micron, Samsung, and Sun Microsystems announce high endurance flash memory.

·        Violin Memory introduces first fully flash-based storage appliance.

·        Samsung announces 150GB 2.5” MLC SSD with SATA II Interface.

·        Several companies announce MLC flash SSDs with up to 256GB for notebook apps.

·        Micron introduces first serial NAND flash.

·        Apple sells one million flash-based iPhones in 3 days.

·        MMCA merges into JEDEC.

·        SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) formed.

·        HGST releases first SSD with a SAS interface.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $19,302,693,000.

·        Intel and Micron introduce 34nm TLC NAND.

·        Samsung introduces first full HD camcorder with 64GB SSD.

·        Seagate enters SSD market.

·        SandForce introduces first compression-based SSD controller.

·        Virident and Schooner introduce first flash-based application appliances for the data center.

·        Pillar Data converts Axiom SANs to SSD.

·        Pliant introduces first SAS SSD.

·        SanDisk and Toshiba present 4-bit/cell flash at IEEE ISSCC.

·        WD acquires SiliconSystems and gets into SSD business.

·        NVELO introduces first PC flash caching software “Dataplex”.

·        SanDisk introduces 100-year flash storage vault.

·        AgigA ships NAND-backed DIMM.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $26,734,247,000.

·        Toshiba introduces 128GB SD card based on 16-chip stack.

·        Intel, Micron introduce 25nm TLC and MLC NAND.

·        Numonyx acquired by Micron.

·        Microchip acquires SST.

·        Samsung Electronics begins producing 64Gb 3-bit NAND.

·        Samsung Electronics introduces high-speed 512GB SSD utilizing toggle-mode DDR NAND memory.

·        Seagate announces first self-managed hybrid HDD, Momentus XT, with 4GB NAND flash and 500GB HDD storage.

·        Universal Flash Storage Association (UFSA) founded.

·        JEDEC publishes two specs for Solid State Drives: “SSD Requirements and Endurance Test Method” and “SSD Endurance Workloads”.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $28,123,615,000.

·        LSI acquires SandForce.

·        SanDisk acquires Pliant.

·        IMFT introduces 20nm NAND flash.

·        Intel announces Smart Response SSD caching for PCs.

·        Seagate announces second generation Momentus XT hybrid HDD with 8GB NAND flash and 750GB HDD storage.

·        Apple acquires signal-processing controller firm Anobit.

·        Fusion-io acquires virtualization-aware flash caching software company, IO Turbine.

·        NVMHCI renamed “NVM Express” (NVMe) and NVM Express Work Group established; NVMe Rev. 1.0 published

·        JEDEC publishes first Universal Flash Storage (UFS) spec.

·        SNIA publishes two Solid State Storage Performance specs: Enterprise and Client.

·        JEDEC publishes Serial Flash Discoverable Parameters (SFDP) spec.

·        Intel’s 1988 NOR Flash Memory Design team of Richard Pashley, Stefan Lai, Bruce McCormick and Niles Kynett receive first FMS Lifetime Achievement Award.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $28,213,759,000.

·        SanDisk and Toshiba announce 19nm process in 128Gb chips at IEEE ISSCC.

·        Ultrabooks begin to ship with Smart Response Technology (SRT) SSD cache.

·        Macronix and Winbond enter NAND business.

·        Seagate introduces SSHD, a Hybrid Hard Drive (HDD) pairing flash with an HDD.

·        Elpida introduces ReRAM.

·        Micron and Intel introduce 20nm 128Gb NAND chip using hi-k planar cell.

·        SK hynix formed upon SK Telecom’s acquisition of controlling interest in Hynix Semiconductor.

·        MOSAID samples 333GB/s HL-NAND.

·        Adesto acquires ATMEL’s Serial NOR business.

·        Spansion introduces 8Gb NOR chip.

·        DensBits Technologies introduces Memory Modem.

·        Proximal Data introduces AutoCache.

·        SanDisk acquires FlashSoft.

·        EMC acquires XtremIO.

·        OCZ acquires Sanrad.

·        Samsung acquires NVELO.

·        Intel acquires Nevex and introduces CacheWorks.

·        LSI introduces Nytro flash with MegaRAID CacheCade caching software.

·        Micron introduces 2.5” PCIe enterprise SSD.

·        IBM acquires Texas Memory Systems.

·        Cypress Semiconductor acquires Ramtron.

·        Western Digital acquires HGST.

·        Skyera launches 44TB flash array.

·        JEDEC and ONFi introduce toggle mode.

·        SanDisk founder Eli Harari receives FMS Lifetime Achievement Award


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $29,797,262,000.

·        Samsung announces availability of 24-layer 3D V-NAND at FMS and demos it in a 1TB SSD.

·        11 companies participate in first NVMe Plugfest.

·        Diablo Technologies announces Memory Channel Storage technology.

·        SMART Storage Systems incorporates Diablo Technologies designs into ULLtraDIMM.

·        SNIA NVDIMM SIG formed; many flash-based NVDIMM products introduced.

·        Western Digital and SanDisk introduce SSHD using iSSD combined with a Hard Disk Drive.

·        Toshiba introduces line of SSHDs.

·        Everspin Technologies announces shipments of STT MRAM.

·        Micron and others sample 16nm flash memory.

·        SanDisk releases CFast 2.0 professional video memory card.

·        M.2 PCIe interface formalized.

·        Western Digital acquires sTec, Virident, Velobit.

·        SanDisk acquires SMART Storage Systems.

·        NVMdurance introduces software to extend flash endurance.

·        Micron acquires Elpida.

·        Intel introduces Intel Cache Acceleration Software.

·        First UFS devices sampled by Toshiba at 8GB.

·        Panasonic ships first commercial embedded ReRAM in an MCU.

·        Adesto ships Mavriq CBRAM: first commercial stand-alone ReRAM.

·        SNIA publishes NVM Programming Model V1.0.

·        Fujio Masuoka, formerly of Toshiba, receives FMS Lifetime Achievement Award


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $30,236,484,000.

·        Samsung, SanDisk and Toshiba announce 3D NAND production facilities.

·        SanDisk introduces 4TB Enterprise SSD.

·        SanDisk announces 128GB microSD card, a 1000x increase in capacity on device’s 10th anniversary.

·        IBM announces eXFlash DIMMs using SanDisk ULLtraDIMM’s implementation of Diablo Memory Channel Storage technology.

·        Samsung rolls out second generation 3D V-NAND with 32 layers.

·        Spansion introduces HyperFlash NOR with 333 MB/s HyperBus.

·        Toshiba acquires OCZ.

·        Everspin introduces and ramps production of ST-MRAM.

·        Samsung introduces 3-bit/cell 3D NAND SSDs.

·        Adesto ships one-millionth CBRAM.

·        SK hynix acquires Violin Memory’s PCIe SSD business.

·        Seagate acquires LSI/Avago storage business.

·        SanDisk acquires Fusion-io.

·        HGST acquires Skyera.

·        Samsung acquires Proximal Data.

·        Simon Sze, formerly of Bell Labs, receives FMS Lifetime Achievement Award


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $31,053,183,000.

·        SanDisk introduces InfiniFlash storage system.

·        Cypress Semiconductor acquires Spansion.

·        Toshiba, Samsung, and SanDisk announce 48-layer 3D NAND.

·        Intel and Micron announce 256Gb 3D NAND.

·        Samsung introduces first NVMe m.2 SSDs.

·        SanDisk introduces 200GB microSDXC UHS-1 card.

·        Cypress introduces 4MB serial FRAM.

·        Intel and Micron announce 3D XPoint Memory.

·        Intel announces 3D XPoint-based “Optane” DIMMs and SSDs.

·        Micron introduces device with CMOS Under 3D NAND Array (CUA).

·        SanDisk introduces 200GB microSD card.

·        Mellanox and partners demonstrate prestandard NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF).

·        Pure Storage has IPO.

·        JEDEC publishes first DDR4 NVDIMM-N Persistent Memory Module spec.

·        LightNVM and OpenChannel SSD support added to Linux kernel.

·        Flash Memory Summit’s 10th Anniversary Bob Norman, formerly of SanDisk and Micron, receives FMS Lifetime Achievement Award.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $33,423,128,000.

·        All major vendors ship 3D NAND products.

·        XMC breaks ground on first China-owned NAND flash lab.

·        Micron introduces 768Gb 3D NAND.

·        Western Digital acquires SanDisk.

·        Everspin announces 256Mb MRAM chips.

·        IBM adapts TLC to PCM.

·        Samsung ships 48-layer 3D NAND.

·        NVMe-oF (NVM Express over Fabrics) Rev. 1.0 published.

·        NVMe-oF products demonstrated by at least 12 vendors.

·        Toshiba introduces Through-Silicon Via (TSV) in 16-die stack NAND.

·        Spin Transfer Technologies delivers fully functional ST-MRAM samples.

·        Micron launches Xccela Consortium.

·        Toshiba ships industry’s first NVMe BGA “SSD on a chip”.

·        Western Digital demonstrates prototype of the world’s first 1TB SDXC card.

·        Adesto launches CBRAM-based Moneta family of ReRAM.

·        SFF Committee becomes SNIA SFF Technology Affiliate.

·        Kinam Kim, President of System LSI / Semiconductor Business at Samsung, receives FMS Lifetime Achievement Award


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $49,727,000,000.

·        Flash Memory market exceeds size of entire 1990 semiconductor market.

·        Microchip ships its 75-billionth SST SuperFlash-based device.

·        SK hynix announces 72-layer 3D NAND.

·        Toshiba migrates all new SSDs to 64-layer BiCS FLASH TLC.

·        Intel ships Optane (3D XPoint) SSD.

·        Intel’s “Ruler standard” donated to Enterprise & Data Center SSD Form Factor (EDSFF) working group.

·        HPE acquires Nimble Storage and Simplivity.

·        Micron ships first string-stacked 3D NAND.

·        Samsung and Toshiba/WD announce 96-layer 3D NAND.

·        NGD Systems ships NVMe 24TB Computational Storage device (CSD).

·        Everspin samples 1Gb STT MRAM chip.

·        Global Foundries introduces embedded eMRAM.

·        WD develops TLC on 64-layer 3D NAND.

·        JEDEC and SNIA win FMS Award for NVDIMM-N Standard.

·        ScaleFlux is first to deploy production qualified Computational Storage.

·        Eli Harari (2012 and 2022 FMS Lifetime Achievement Awardee) inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame.

·        George Perlegos, formerly of Intel, SEEQ and ATMEL, receives FMS Lifetime Achievement Award.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $56,227,000,000.

·        Cypress introduces 16Mb FRAMs.

·        Toshiba completes $18B memory business sale.

·        Samsung launches high-speed Z-SSD.

·        Micron ships Enterprise SSD using QLC and 1Tb 3D NAND die.

·        Hyperstone introduces flash controllers with AI and Machine Learning.

·        Intel samples Optane (3D XPoint) DC Persistent Memory.

·        China’s “Big Fund” Phase 2 targets over $30B for semiconductor investments.

·        NVMe/TCP Transport Binding spec ratified by NVMe WG.

·        SNIA forms Computational Storage Technical Work Group (TWG).

·        Gyrfalcon Technology ships AI accelerator incorporating first use of TSMC’s eMRAM.

·        SNIA publishes Performance specs for Solid State Storage and for Real World Storage Workloads.

·        Dov Moran and Aryeh Mergi, M-Systems co-founders, receive FMS Lifetime Achievement Awards.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $41,141,000,000.

·        All major vendors ship or sample 96-layer NAND; SK Hynix, Samsung, and Micron sample 128-layer NAND.

·        All leading foundries produce embedded MRAM (eMRAM)

·        Lightbits Labs ships first commercial NVMe/TCP software-defined disaggregated storage.

·        YMTC samples 32-layer “Xtacking” NAND.

·        Intel ships Optane (3D XPoint) DIMMs.

·        Micron ships industry’s first QLC enterprise SSDs.

·        Intel ships SSDs with both Optane (3D XPoint) and QLC NAND.

·        Open-Channel SSDs begin transition to NVMe Zoned Namespaces (ZNS).

·        Computer Express Link (CXL) introduced, and Spec V1.1 published.

·        NGD Systems ships industry’s first scalable ASIC-based Computational Storage NVMe SSD.

·        Eideticom ships first NVMe-based Computational Storage Processor.

·        SNIA publishes Key Value Storage API V1.0, and wins FMS Award.

·        Toshiba Memory becomes KIOXIA.

·        Phison and AMD ship first PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD and motherboard solution.

·        Calline Sanchez of IBM receives FMS Superwomen in Flash Award.

·        Sanjay Mehrotra of Micron, and formerly of Intel, SEEQ, IDT, ATMEL, SanDisk and WD, receives FMS Lifetime Achievement Award.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $50,714,000,000.

·        WDC ships 112-layer BiCS 3D NAND as 512 Gbit TLC part.

·        KIOXIA ships first Automotive UFS at 512GB density.

·        Lightbits Labs ships first clustered, redundant, scale-out NVMe/TCP software solution.

·        Infineon acquires Cypress Semiconductor.

·        KIOXIA acquires LiteOn.

·        NVMe ZNS Command Set Spec V1.0 published.

·        NVMe Computational Storage Task Group formed.

·        Open Compute Project (OCP) publishes NVMe Cloud SSD Spec V1.0: first Cloud SSD reqs. spec.

·        JEDEC publishes DDR5 SDRAM standard and Universal Flash Storage (UFS) Card Extension 3.0 standard.

·        JEDEC publishes first DDR4 NVDIMM-P Persistent Memory Module spec.

·        SNIA publishes specs for Native NVMe-oF and Cloud Data Mgmnt. Interface (CDMI).

·        KIXOIA ships first PCIe 4.0 Enterprise NVMe SSD.

·        Dialog Semiconductor acquires Adesto Technologies.

·        DNA Data Storage Alliance launched.

·        Barbara Murphy of WekaIO receives FMS SuperWomen in Flash Award.

·        John R. Szedon, formerly of Westinghouse receives FMS Lifetime Achievement Award.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $60,481,000,000.

·        NOR revenues exceed $3.6B.

·        Kioxia and WDC announced 162-layer 3D NAND.

·        Samsung announces the first DRAM-based memory running on CXL based on DDR5.

·        JEDEC publishes XFM (Crossover Flash Memory) Embedded and Removable Memory Device standard.

·        SK Hynix begins acquisition of Intel’s NAND and SSD business, to be branded as Solidigm.

·        Nvidia launches GPUDirect Storage (GDS), providing a direct NVMe-to-GPU data path.

·        Kioxia and Samsung announced PCIe 5.0 x4 enterprise NVMe SSDs.

·        Renesas acquires Dialog Semiconductor.

·        NVMe 2.0 standard released as a set of 9 specs: base, 3cmd. sets, 4 transports and Management I/F.

·        SK Hynix starts mass production of 176-layer “4D” NAND.


·        Annual flash chip revenue reaches $72,577,000,000.

·        35th anniversary of NAND Flash.

·        Intel winds down their Optane effort.

·        PCI-SIG releases PCIe 6.0 spec.

·        Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) 1.0 Spec released to standardize die-to-die interconnects

·        JEDEC publishes HBM3 update to High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) DRAM standard.

·        Micron ships first 176-layer QLC 3D NAND and announces 232-layer TLC 3D NAND.

·        SK Hynix announces 238-layer TLC 3D NAND.

·        YMTC announces >200-layer TLD 3D NAND.

·        Lightbits Labs ships first clustered NVMe/TCP software-defined public cloud storage solution.

·        Yan Li of Western Digital receives FM SuperWomen in Flash Award.

·        Yoshishige Kitamura (formely of NEC), Sandisk founder Eli Harari, and Greg Atwood (formely of Inte, Numonyx, and Micron) receive FMS Lifetime Achievement Awards

If there are any issues with the timeline, please email suggested additions and changes to

Leave a Reply Cancel reply