Buried in Nikkei Electronics is a report covering a briefing given by Toshiba Corporation on its research and development strategies on July 13, 2012. The reasons this item remained unknown to the rest of the world until now remains a mystery.

Suffice to say the announcement contains two blockbuster revelations:

1)Toshiba will begin sampling BiCS 128-Gb and 256 Gb Flash memories in 2013. The devices will use a three-dimensional structure and scaling Flash technology that is near its theoretical limit and will use 16 layer stacking to provide required density. The company will begin Engineering sampling in 2014 with volume production following in 2015. Toshiba intends to further develop the new stacked Flash technology realizing 512-Gb through 1-Tb or higher capacity products.

2)Toshiba showed a picture of a 64-Gbit ReRAM test chip. The company plans to ship samples and start volume production at approximately the same time as the Flash BiCS [same density roadmap]. The company commented that they are planning ReRAM devices with slightly less or equal capacity as that of the Flash BiCS memories. Because ReRAMs enable writing data at high speeds, the company intends to use the ReRAM for performance-oriented storage devices such as cache memories and SSDs.

Toshiba believes that it can achieve two more geometry reductions on the BiCS Flash technology before it is no longer competitive.

BSN* Take

We had heard murmurings about SanDisk suddenly coming alive in the last two weeks activating HR reqs for resistive memory types – paying steep premiums to snare them. It is now obvious that SanDisk sat on the reqs far too long and is now overcompensating. The story now snaps into perfect focus.

Toshiba Corporation becomes the first to take the ReRAM plunge. We expect further announcements in the next several weeks by the other major memory market shareholders following in near lockstep.

The race for the next generation of Storage Class Memory is now official – we predict that it will affect the entire memory structure and that ReRAM will engulf NAND-Flash. It changes everything?,