Masuoka-san was born in Takasaki, Japan in the late 1940’s. He attended Tohoku University in Sendai where he pursued studies in integrated circuits and obtained a PhD. After graduation in 1971, he joined Toshiba, where his first job was to work on a floating-gate, non-volatile memory. He later pursued research in flash memory, realizing it could provide faster operation and electrical erase. He invented the NAND-type flash memory because he felt it had the best chance vs NOR-flash to compete in price with disk drives. He envisioned that high density flash memory could be used in digital cameras, and many other electronic products. This project was done “under the table” as it was not authorized by Toshiba. As a result of this lack of support and recognition, he left Toshiba and became a university professor for over 11 years.