Please join us as we welcome physicist, inventor and entrepreneur Dr. Eli Harari. He will be interviewed about his life’s journey from Israel to the UK, and then coming to America to study at Princeton and work in Silicon Valley. This journey culminated in the inventions that led to the use of Flash Memory for data storage, an essential component of every significant consumer electronics product on the market today.
Technology developed by Eli at Hughes Microelectronics in the 1970s led to the industry’s first commercial floating gate electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) in 1978. This same technology is essential to NAND Flash, a technology introduced by Toshiba in 1987. In 1989, Eli developed the System Flash architecture, which combined a processor, firmware and Flash Memory to fully emulate a disk drive. System Flash was the genesis of SanDisk, a company Eli co-founded that same year. While a simple-sounding concept, many obstacles had to be overcome before this architecture could made its mark in the marketplace. The System Flash concept is now married to NAND Flash Memory, and it has enabled an inexpensive, low-power and compact data storage medium that is the foundation of an industry expected to exceed $33 billion in sales in 2012.
The dramatic impact of Eli’s inventions was recognized by the IEEE History Committee in the form of an IEEE Milestone that will be dedicated tonight by IEEE President Dr. Gordon Day. The title of the Milestone is The Floating Gate EEPROM, and its citation reads
“From 1976-1978, at Hughes Microelectronics in Newport Beach, California, the practicality, reliability, manufacturability and endurance of the Floating Gate EEPROM -- an electrically erasable device using a thin gate oxide and Fowler-Nordheim tunneling for writing and erasing -- was proven. As a significant foundation of data storage in flash memory, this fostered new classes of portable computing and communication devices which allow ubiquitous personal access to data.”
A special video, funded in part by local IEEE sections and chapters, will be shown which describes the IEEE Milestone program as well as this EEPROM/Flash Memory Milestone.
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043