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Sanjay Mehrotra is one of the University of California’s finest graduates. He cofounded SanDisk and created much if not most of the memory found in cell phones, cameras, PDAs and pocket memory. Without his work of the last twenty years the entire world would be a much poorer place for all of us. We are indebted to him for much of our happiness and productivity. He spoke at the View from the Top Lecture Series at Bechtel Engineering Center.

Sanjay Mehrota founder and COO of SanDisk Corporation

Sanjay Mehrota founder and COO of SanDisk Corporation

Sanjay speaks to the engineering students at his alma mater the University of California Berkeley about the future of NAND Flash Demand Drivers. He sees it as an explosively rapid growth period over the next several years, say four years, and beyond. Digital cameras have been a big consumer of flash memory over the last few years and media players are at present growing rapidly and soon everyone will have a giant USB in their pocket so they can plug into any computer, and have all their favorite stuff readily available. However, the already big thing and soon to be the really big thing is cell phones, or at least a device which we now call a cell phone, but which will have everything in it and we can use it as a cell phone, and a camera, a camcorder, an internet connection, a gaming device and a PC. Also, a lot of memory is going into automobiles, but the big thing was other. He didn’t talk about other, and if I had asked a question it was going to be about “what is this other that seems to be growing so much faster, in your projections, than all of the other uses?”

It appeared that he was expecting something like a ten times growth in memory delivered, in terms of storage capacity delivered per year, in the next four years. But, this other which appeared on his chart of projections to be even larger. What in the world is other? The already existing categories seem to cover almost everything imaginable in a general way, so what is this other? We will have to keep our eyes peeled and our brains alert for these otherworldly others. My interest is piqued, but I don’t know where to look.

NAND is peaking and 3D Memory is taking off.

NAND is peaking and 3D Memory is taking off.

He spoke of NAND as approaching its limit of growth, and that the amount of effort to achieve a continued growth was not worth the gains achieved. The new technology seems to be 3D Memory which is just now taking off. The implication to these students is that that is where they should place their efforts.

Watch for this lecture on Cal Webcast/Events.