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Toshiba Readies Launch of 256-megabit NAND EEPROM and New High Capacity SmartMedia Cards

19 October, 1998

Tokyo--Toshiba Corporation today announced that it has started sampling 256-megabit NAND EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory), a new generation of flash memory chip that bring the largest commercially available device capacity to the smallest chip size yet realized at this density.

Toshiba used 0.25-micron design rule and shallow trench isolation technologies to shrink the new EEPROM chip to an industry-leading 130mm2. Samples in a TSOP package will be available from today, at a price of $75.

The 256M chip has considerable commercial potential that Toshiba will develop to the full. Application of stacked TSOP technology--mounting one chip on top of another with no increase in chip area--will allow commercialization of small 512-megabit NAND device, and also lead the way to significant increases in the size of flash memory cards.

In the same announcement, Toshiba also said that it will start sampling 32-megabyte SmartMedia devices this month. This latest version of the flash memory card that is fast becoming the non-volatile memory of choice in personal information equipment will offer more than double the capacity of currently available SmartMedia cards.

Fast Growing Demand for NAND EEPROM

Demand for flash memory is increasing at a brisk pace, from a wide variety of sources. The popularity of digital cameras is a major source, creating an important and fast growing market. Cameras such as Toshiba's 1.5 megapixel PDR-M1 now offer higher image quality at a lower price, and SmartMedia incorporating Toshiba's NAND chip provide the means to store numerous high quality images. Depending on the camera, the new 32-megabyte card will be able to store as many as 200 VGA-quality images.

Other devices incorporating Toshiba's NAND EEPROM include voice recorders and printers. The combination of high capacity and small size offered by the new chip will further extend application, opening the way to a wide range of product innovations. For instance:

  • A music recorder and player built around 64- megabytes of memory will hold up to one hour of CD-quality music--and is easily achieved with two of the new 256-megabit chips, each able to store up to 30 minutes of CD quality music.
  • A 1GB memory card to the PCMCIA-ATA standard, achieved with twenty stacked chips.
  • Hard disk replacement. NAND flash realizes high performance, compact, high capacity storage.

With the trend to increased capacity, ever higher levels of performance and advances in chip sizes, NAND EEPROM is poised to find numerous new applications.


Main features

  1. 3.3V single power supply, meeting the low power requirements of portable equipment.

  2. Faster writing and reading: 2.3MBs and 15.7MBs, respectively.

  3. Full compatibility with current products is assured by the same page and block size specifications.

Key specifications

Architecture32 megabit x 8 (528 x 64k x 8)
(page size: 512 + 16 byte; block size: 16k + 512 byte)
Power sourcesingle 3.3V
Program time200 microseconds
Erase time3 milliseconds
Access time10 microseconds (1st), 50 nanoseconds (serial)
Lead current10 mA
Program current10 mA
Erase current10 mA

Information in the press releases, including product prices and specifications, content of services and contact information, is current on the date of the press announcement,but is subject to change without prior notice.

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