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SanDisk; What’s the Story?

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SanDisk has been a leader in flash storage for over 20 years. Established in 1988, SanDisk has remained at the forefront of flash storage for over 20 years.

They quickly established themselves as major players and continue to innovate at a rapid pace from the moment they launch (quite literally into outer space), to where are now.

Let’s take a look back at how SanDisk got where they are today. They are the pioneers of flash storage innovation.

SanDisk has been expanding the storage options for over 27 year. They are a three-person startup in Silicon Valley that has grown to over 8,000 employees worldwide. They have a constant commitment to developing technologies and anticipating the needs of their customers.

Eli Harari starts to work from Palo Alto in California on a new idea called “System Flash”, which would replace HDDs and convert portable battery-operated devices into portable storage.

Harari’s young daughter suggested the name SunDisk, which sounds “cheerful & sunny”.

SunDisk has a vision for the future. Flash memory is being developed for “an emerging new category of compact, portable products such as handheld computers, electronic notebooks…and cell phones.” This vision was presented many years before mobile devices are available.

SunDisk releases its first products that are based on SunDisk4Mb Flash chips.

SunDisk works closely alongside Canon, Kodak, other camera manufacturers to standardize the card slots and ultimately build an ecosystem that allows digital cameras take full advantage of growing card performance and capacities.

SunDisk’s Japan office opens in order to grow global demand.

U.S. Space Shuttle takes off with a SunDisk Flash disk code-named Rainbow. Flash storage’s ruggedness makes it perfect for extreme applications.


SanDisk becomes public on November 8, 1995 with a share price of $10.00. SanDisk trades more than 16,000,000 shares under the NASDAQ ticker symbol “SNDK”.

SunDisk officially changed its name from “SanDisk”


SanDisk is proud to offer the 64Mb MLC-NOR Flash chip, the very first of its kind worldwide.

SanDisk’s headquarters are moving to Sunnyvale, California.


SanDisk and Toshiba join forces to create the Flash memory Industry’s first NAND joint venture. This will allow for cutting-edge technology development, high-volume manufacturing, and more.

SanDisk launches the world’s first MLC for high volumes.

The SD card format was created by SanDisk and Toshiba in collaboration with Panasonic and Toshiba. It is a great storage medium because it allows you to store smaller, lighter and more portable electronic devices.

SanDisk gives up its proprietary NOR Flash memory at 512Mb and moves its entire product range to NAND Flash memory cards with high capacities, developed and manufactured in collaboration with Toshiba.

64MB SD(tm), card


SanDisk & Toshiba offer the world’s first NAND MLC 1Gb commercial NAND MLC chip at the lowest cost per bit.

SanDisk’s long-term partnership with Toshiba is based upon the strategic vision to offer the highest quality Flash memory at the lowest price.

Sandisk Pro 128MB SD Card
Memory Stick Cards
CompactFlash Card 1GB


SanDisk moves all NAND Flash wafer production from Toshiba to Toshiba’s Fabs 1 & 2 in Yokkaichi (Japan)

SanDisk has shipped its first USB drives, Cruzer(r), to customers.

USB drives will soon replace spinning, flexible media like Zip drives and Iomega Clik drives.

The opening bell at NASDAQ stock market rang to mark this 15-year anniversary.

SanDisk has a total revenue of $1 billion

SanDisk has introduced high-performance SD cards in Industrial Grade to meet the demands of demanding applications.

SanDisk has introduced the miniSD removable cards for mobile phones.

SanDisk introduces ABL technology in order to increase Flash memory performance, reliability and security. ABL becomes the mainstream architecture for NAND Flash later.

SanDisk’s capacity doubles on average every 18 months. This beats Moore’s Law with 90nm technology.

SanDisk and Motorola both introduce the TransFlash(tm), removable card for mobile phone. Later it was renamed to microSD.

The microSD card is the fastest-growing form factor worldwide. In the first year, 5 million cards have been shipped.

128MB microSD ™ Memory Card
Sansa(r), MP3 player


NAND prices dropped from $167 per 1GB to $46 between 2003 and 2005. This makes Flash memory more accessible for a wider range of end-user applications, at an increasingly affordable price.

SanDisk purchases Matrix Semiconductor. Matrix Semiconductor is a company that develops and supplies 3D-based, once-time programmable silicon chips technology.

1GB SanDisk microSD Memory Card


SanDisk buys msystems(tm), an established company in 1989 that focuses on embedded Flash storage and mobile phone storage and is the inventor of USB Flash drives.

Sanjay Mehrotra is elected President and COO.

Sanjay Mehrotra (Eli Harari), Jack Yuan (Jack Yuan) receive the IEEE Reynold B. Johnson Data Storage Device Technology Award in Recognition of their pioneering work on Flash memory technology which revolutionized data storage and set the industry standard.

SanDisk opens first office in China. The Test and Assembly facility in Shanghai will provide manufacturing and assembly services to customers throughout the region.

SanDisk announces 2.5-inch SSDs and 1.8 inch SSDs to replace HDDs in notebooks. This is the first step in making SSDs economically viable.

IBM chooses SanDisk SSDs as Flash-based storage solution for its blade servers.

32GB SATA 5000 SSD


SanDisk’s Flash Management is improved to increase SSD performance and reliability.

SanDisk launches the “pSSD” Flash memory module for ultra-low-cost mobile PCs.

MLC-based SSDs introduced. The first SSDs are made mainstream by achieving acceptable prices.

32GB SanDisk Extreme III CompactFlash Card Memory Card


SanDisk is proud to offer the world’s first Flash memory card with 64GbX4 (4-bits/cell) NAND Flash technology. The new technology has four bits of data per cell and twice the storage capacity of conventional MLC memory cards.

Harari received the IEEE Robert N. Noyce Award 2009 for his leadership in the commercialization and development of Flash memory technology.

64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash Card Memory Card


Eli Harari will be retiring as chairman and CEO at SanDisk in the last quarter of 2010.

64GB SanDisk iSSDTM Integrated Storage Device


Sanjay Mehrotra has been appointed CEO as of January 1, 2011.

As MLC NAND Flash continues to decline in price, the enterprise SSD market continues its growth.

SanDisk acquires Pliant Technology. This strategic acquisition combines enterprise-level systems expertise and large-scale Flash memory production from SanDisk.

SanDisk’s first SSDs with high performance are now available for purchase through retail channels.

128GB SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash memory Card
64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC(tm)
U100 SSD
Lightning(r) SAS Enterprise SSDs


SanDisk expands its Shanghai assembly and testing facility with a new building.

SanDisk acquires FlashSoft and Schooner Information Technology, enterprise storage software developers for FlashSoft.

IEEE acknowledges Harari’s work with an IEEE Milestone.

SanDisk ships more that 2 million products each day.

128GB Cruzer Glide(tm) USB Flash Drive
X100 SSD
Lightning PCIe Enterprise SSAs
FlashSoft(tm), Software


25th anniversary

Acquisition of SMART Storage Systems by SMART Storage Systems for increased focus on the enterprise storage market.

Ships first products made with 19nm technology.

Thomson Reuters has named me one of the Top 100 Global Innovations in 2012

As a founding Partner, joins US2020 STEM Education Initiative.

World’s First CFast2.0 Memory Card Launched
World’s First High-Capacity CompactFlash Card 256GB with VPG 65
SanDisk Connect(tm), an announcement of a line of wireless flash storage products, is made
SSD line-up extended for consumers and PC makers


Announces 15nm technology – the world’s best NAND flash process node

Fusion-io acquires a leading PCIe storage solution provider.

Patent portfolio exceeds 5000.

Thomson Reuters named him one of the Top 100 Global Innovators

Optimus MAX(tm), World’s First 4TB Enterprise SAS SSD
128GB SanDisk ultra(r) microSDXC®(tm), the World’s Most High-Capacity microSD Card
512GB SanDisk ExtremePRO(r)SDXC(tm), the World’s Most High-Capacity SD Cards
iXpand USB drive is the industry’s original flash drive made for iPhone or iPad


InfiniFlash is an all flash storage system that creates a new category of storage.

A family of high performance SSDs enters the portable SSD market.

Since 2005, we have shipped 2 Billion microSD ™ cards

The First High-Endurance MicroSDXC(tm), Card by the Company
200GB SanDisk Ultra (r) microSDXCTM, World’s Largest Capacity microSD card
iNAND(r), 7232 – Best-in class embedded storage solution
SanDisk Ultra Fit ™ USB is the world’s smallest 128GB USB 3.0 Flash drive


Today, storage products from our company can be found in many top data centers around the world, as well as in your electronic devices and hundreds of thousands more retail stores. We are recognized worldwide as an innovator. More than 5,000 patents have been filed. Every day, the industry is transformed by our ongoing research into 3-D memories and new advancements that increase capacity and make it possible for us to develop new devices.