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Toshiba to ship NAND EEPROM with ID number Supports copyright protection including music file downloads from web sites

22 February, 1999


Tokyo---Toshiba Corporation today announced that it will introduce a NAND flash EEPROM (electrically erasable and programmable read-only memory) that supports copyright protection systems in such applications as downloading music files and electronic books from web sites. Sampling for system verification will start in March.

Toshiba has developed a "hidden block" on its NAND flash memories, allowing recording of a unique identification number on individual chips. Used with a matching encryption key, the number supports configuration of a secure system of copyright protection.

Samples will be made available in 32-, 64- and 128-megabit capacities NAND flash memories at $27, $42 and $65, respectively. The technology will initially be offered in TSOP (thin small outline package) devices, and will also be applied to SmartMedia, the widely used, postage-stamp sized, removable storage medium. Toshiba plans to propose the ID technology to the SSFDC Forum, the association that promotes SmartMedia.

Advances make copyright protection a growing issue

Demand is growing fast for NAND flash, the non-volatile memory developed by Toshiba that is becoming the file-storage device of choice for the digital age. Current applications range from digital cameras to "semiconductor disks", while NAND's versatility and cost-performance position it as the ideal memory for electronic books and digital music players Toshiba continues to develop NAND to meet the high data capacities required by these emerging applications.

Progress in semiconductor technology and modem performance has reached a point where downloading CD-quality music from web sites is set to become a high-growth market. Achieving the full potential of Internet delivery requires establishment of a secure, reliable copyright protection system. Toshiba is supporting this with its new identification number.

Outline

Main features

  • A unique, permanent number is stored on memory chip.
  • The number is recorded on the NAND as one-time programmable data that is completely tamper-proof.
  • The number is recorded on a 128-bit basis, but a bit expansion area is also provided.
  • A special command, not in the public domain, is necessary to read the number.
  • Construction of a copyright protection system requires development of an architecture supporting the entire system, including use of an encryption key in combination with the ID number

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