Global Sources
EE Times-Asia
Stay in touch with EE Times Asia
EE Times-Asia > Memory/Storage

Flash Memory Summit paints SSD, flash future

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SanDisk? SSD? flash? FTL? EEPROM?

In one of its first big deals, SanDisk sold 10,000 of the 10MB drives to IBM for an early pen-based ThinkPad computer.

"Half way through manufacturing I got a message they were killing the ThinkPad and were cancelling the orders," Harari recalled. "I went to Yorktown Heights and said if you shut this down you will kill my company ultimately, they took 5,000 drives and we bought the rest back for about 10 cents on the dollar," he said.

In those early days of flash drives, Kodak was another sceptic until executives got a call from AT&T that served as a foundry for both Kodak and SanDisk. Then they demanded a three-year exclusive on the cards, but Harari rejected the offer.

Later Kodak Japan became a partner. With no exclusivity, they agreed to help develop the CompactFlash standard and became its first user.

Even though hard drive makers were often seen as archrivals, they actually supported SanDisk. "Western Digital and Seagate were early to understand the power of SSDs," he said.

WD was a first-round investor in SanDisk, kicking in about two of a total $8 million. Later Seagate invested $30 million and its colourful CEO Al Shugart remained a SanDisk board member even after he was fired from Seagate.

"We kept him on the board until he died, he was a wonderful man and we defined with him the first hybrid hard and SSD," said Harari. The hard drive makers thought flash "would overtake hard drives much earlier" than it did, he added.

More recently, Harari was honoured for his work at the White House with a medal from President Obama. At the event, Harari gave Obama a 512GB SD card, the densest device made at the time, telling him it could hold all the documents of his future presidential library.

Later in a speech at the event, Obama took the drive out of his pocket and held it up as an example of innovation. "He said, my two daughters can't live without out it, what better PR can you get," said Harari laughing.

Eli Harari

...and laughs recalling a plug his product got from President Obama.

First SSDs ride pen computers

First design win for an SSD

Celebrating the first design win for an SSD in 1991 are Harari (second from left), system architect Robert Norman (centre with glasses) and Jeff Hawkins (far right) who designed the SSD into his GridPad, an early pen computer.

In 1991, the GridPad designed by Jeff Hawkins became the first system to use the SanDisk SSD. At the Flash Memory Summit, the developer of the key firmware for the first drive was honoured, Robert Norman.

?First Page?Previous Page 1???2???3???4?Next Page?Last Page

Article Comments - Flash Memory Summit paints SSD, flas...
*? You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.

Back to Top