* Information concerning affiliation/post/profile of the laureate and guests is current at the time he/she received the prize.
Award Ceremony Highlights: Honda Prize 2018
Mr. Hiroto Ishida / President of Honda Foundation, Dr. Masuoka, Mrs. Masuoka, Mr. Tsutomu Honda / Adivisor of Honda Foundation
This year’s laureate is Dr. Fujio Masuoka, Professor Emeritus, Tohoku University for his invention of the world’s first flash memory technology, enabling large capacity non-volatile semiconductor memories.
Movie of The Laureate
In the 1980s, the market for magnetic disks and tapes was far larger than that for DRAM and other semiconductor integrated circuits. If semiconductor memory could be a substitution for the disks and tapes, that industry could be seen as developing dramatically. Flash memory was conceived, and domestic and overseas patents were obtained.
Flash memory is inexpensive, light, low in power consumption, high in reliability, and easy to use. It is diffusing to cell phones as well as digital cameras, and is also used in aircraft voice recorders, automotive engine controls, robots, computers, household appliances, and almost all other electrical products. By now, the USB memory has completely rendered floppy disks redundant and is replacing magnetic hard disks. The explosive diffusion of cell phones using flash memory derives from its non-volatile property—memory is not lost even when power is cut off—and the fact that electricity consumption is extremely low: magnetic hard disks require battery capacity more than 1,000 times higher than cell phones.
The semiconductor industry’s rise began in 1947 with the invention of the transistor by the U.S.’s Bell Laboratories. Over the more than 60 years since then it has continued to grow, supported by three innovative technologies: substitution of the transistor for the vacuum tube, substitution of the DRAM for magnetic core memory, and substitution of flash memory for magnetic hard disks and floppy disks. For the semiconductor industry to grow further over the coming decades, a fourth innovative technology is necessary. I am convinced that it will be Japan-originating 3 dimensional Surrounding Gate Transistors (SGT).
Flash memory’s multifaceted development and progress has been enabled by the diligence and mutual encouragement of many friends during my time at Toshiba, and by the cooperation of the staff and students of the research unit since I joined Tohoku University. To all of them I express my deepest appreciation.
Congratulatory Addresses by Guests of Honor
- Dr. Yasuo NarukeRepresentative Director, President and CEO, Toshiba Memory Coporation
- Dr. Stefan LaiFormer Vice President, Intel Corporation
- Mr. Takahiro HachigoPresident and Representative Director, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
- Dr. Riichiro HirotaProfessor, National Chiao Tung University