Eliyahou Harari was the visionary, Sanjay Mehrotra was the memory system designer, and Jack Yuan was the device process leader. Collectively, they recognized that properly improved flash memory in combination with a controller could be erased and reprogrammed in blocks, allowing large amounts of data to be stored reliably in a compact, removable format at a low cost.
The trio founded SunDisk in Sunnyvale, California in 1988, which later changed its name to SanDisk. The flash memory technology that they pioneered has revolutionized data storage and become the industry standard. Their work has profoundly impacted such devices as mobile computers, cellular phones, digital cameras and digital music players. Today, SanDisk is the world’s largest supplier of flash memory data storage products.
In 1990, they designed a 20 MB, 2½-inch memory and controller module based on flash memory technology that emulated a hard disk drive for one of the earliest notebook computers, the IBM Think PAD. In 2005, the SanDisk team introduced the first one-memory chip and one-controller chip-based 1 GB microSD flash memory card, which brought affordable mass storage to the cell phone industry. They also pioneered Multilevel cell (MLC) NAND flash devices with up to 8gigabit storage, as well as faster erase, write and read capabilities than previous architectures.