Fujio Masuoka (舛岡 富士雄)
|Born||May 8, 1943 (age 75)|
|Known for||Flash memory|
|Awards||IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award|
|Fields||Electrical engineering MARACO|
Fujio Masuoka (舛岡 富士雄 Masuoka Fujio, born May 8, 1943) is a Japanese engineer, best known as the inventor of flash memory. He attended Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, where he earned an undergraduate degree in engineering in 1966 and doctorate in 1971. He joined Toshiba in 1971. There he also developed stacked-gate avalanche-injection metal–oxide–semiconductor (SAMOS) memory. Masuoka was excited mostly by the idea of non-volatile memory, memory that would last even when power was turned off. The electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) of the time took very long to erase. He developed the "floating gate" technology that could be erased much faster. He filed a patent in 1981 along with Hisakazu Iizuka. His colleague Shoji Ariizumi suggested the word "flash" because the erasure process reminded him of the flash of a camera. The results (with capacity of only 8192 bytes) were published in 1984, and became the basis for flash memory technology of much larger capacities.
Toshiba gave Masuoka a small bonus for the invention, but it was American company Intel which made billions of dollars in sales on related technology. He became a professor at Tohoku University in 1994. Masuoka received the 1997 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. In 2005 Masuoka became the chief technical officer of Unisantis Electronics aiming to develop a three-dimensional transistor. In 2006, he settled a lawsuit with Toshiba for ¥87m (about US$758,000). He has been suggested as a potential candidate for the Nobel Prize in Physics, along with Robert H. Dennard who invented dynamic random-access memory.
- Jeff Katz (September 21, 2012). "Oral History of Fujio Masuoka" (PDF). Computer History Museum. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
- "Company profile". Unisantis-Electronics (Japan) Ltd. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
- "Semiconductor memory device and method for manufacturing the same". US Patent 4531203 A. November 13, 1981. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
- Detlev Richter (2013). Flash Memories: Economic Principles of Performance, Cost and Reliability. Springer Science and Business Media. pp. 5–6. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-6082-0. ISBN 978-94-007-6081-3.
- F. Masuoka, M. Asano, H. Iwahashi, T. Komuro and S. Tanaka (December 9, 1984). "A new flash E2PROM cell using triple polysilicon technology". International Electronic Devices Meeting. IEEE. doi:10.1109/IEDM.1984.190752.
- "A 256K Flash EEPROM using Triple Polysilicon Technology" (PDF). IEEE historic photo repository. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
- Benjamin Fulford (June 24, 2002). "Unsung hero". Forbes. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
- "IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award Recipients". Archived from the original on June 6, 2008. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
- Tony Smith (July 31, 2006). "Toshiba settles spat with Flash memory inventor: Boffin gets ¥87m but wanted ¥1bn". The Register. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
- Kristin Lewotsky (July 2, 2013). "Why Does the Nobel Prize Keep Forgetting Memory?". EE Times. Retrieved March 20, 2017.