This story is repeated in a number of places. What about flash memory would have reminded him of a camera flash?

The name “flash” was suggested by Dr. Masuoka's colleague, Mr. Shoji Ariizumi, because the erasure process of the memory contents reminded him of the flash of a camera.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Flash - as in 'a very short period of time' e.g. a flash in the pan \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2017 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


Like a flood flash that illuminates an area, the flash memory is erased in a block. From the paper A NEW FLASH E2PROM CELL USING TRIPLE POLYSILICON TECHNOLOGY by MASUOKA et. al (1984) - emphasis by author(s):

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In very early memories, the block size was the entire chip and the erase time was quite long (something like a second). Still much, much faster than UVEPROM erasure times, and compatible with inexpensive packaging (no quartz window required).


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