SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today announced that Dr. Eli Harari, co-founder, and retired chairman and chief executive officer of SanDisk, was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by the National Science Foundation for his significant contributions towards the development and proliferation of flash memory.
The award represents the nation’s highest honor for advancing science and technology by recognizing those who have made lasting contributions that have created a greater understanding of the world and improved the lives of many. U.S. President Barack Obama conferred the medal at a ceremony held today at the White House, which was attended by leading dignitaries and other medal laureates.
Dr. Harari co-founded SanDisk more than 25 years ago with the vision of using flash memory to store data in mobile products. Flash memory – an ideal storage medium due to its small size, ruggedness and low power consumption – has since become ubiquitous in mobile devices, and is now found in digital cameras, smartphones, tablets, thin-and-light laptops and other portable products. Flash memory is also increasingly transforming datacenters, enabling them to accelerate the processing and analysis of vast and growing amounts of data, thereby helping to make social media, online media-streaming, real-time business analytics and other industries both possible and feasible.
“I am proud to congratulate my fellow SanDisk co-founder and friend, Eli, on this tremendous achievement,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder, president and chief executive officer of SanDisk. “The flash memory technologies he helped to pioneer have had a profound impact on the entire technology landscape, firmly establishing SanDisk as a global leader and connecting us in ways we never thought possible. His lifelong intellectual and technical achievements are well-deserving of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.”
“Dr. Harari’s pioneering work both as engineer and co-founder of SanDisk was fundamental to establishing the practicality, reliability, manufacturability and endurance of flash memory, which today is widely considered to be one of the most important core technologies in the technology industry,” said Tim Bajarin, founder and president, Creative Strategies. “Flash memory has enabled many companies such as Apple and others to offer breakthrough products that have changed the lives of people around the world. For many enterprise companies, their data is their business and flash memory can help companies such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Amazon and many others to access and analyze this massive amount of data.”
Throughout the years, SanDisk has garnered the reputation as one of the most trusted brands for its innovations such as:
- Shipping the world’s first flash-based SSD in 1991;
- Revolutionizing the flash memory market in 1997 with multi-level cell (MLC) technology, doubling the density of each memory die to dramatically reduce cost;
- Introducing the SD™ card format in 1998 in partnership with Toshiba and Panasonic; and
- Developing the world’s smallest NAND flash chip in 2012, which can store 128 billion individual bits of information on an area the size of a U.S. penny.
Fueled by the company’s vertical integration and strategic acquisitions of companies like FlashSoft, Schooner Information Technology, Pliant Technology, SMART Technologies, and Fusion-io, SanDisk has in recent years focused on transforming the enterprise market with flash memory technology. SanDisk, which today offers the broadest flash memory solution portfolio for the enterprise, is paving the way for faster data processing, enabling better business intelligence, reducing the datacenter footprint, and continuing to bring their customers high-quality reliable solutions.