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This article is about SanDisk Corporation. For Computer Storage Device (SD) in Storage Area Network (SAN), see Storage Area Network.
SanDisk Corporation
Industry Storage devices
Founded 1988; 28 years ago (1988)
Founders Eli Harari, Sanjay Mehrotra and Jack Yuan
Headquarters Milpitas, California, United States
Products Flash memory cards
USB flash drives
Digital Audio Players
SIM cards
Solid-state drives
Parent Western Digital

SanDisk Corporation is an American global company that designs, develops and manufactures flash memory storage devices and software and the third-largest manufacturer of flash memory in the world.[1] The company is based in Milpitas, California. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of American technology company Western Digital.

In October 2015, Western Digital agreed to buy SanDisk Corp in a $19 billion deal.[2] The proposed acquisition was cleared by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) on 20 January 2016, and the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) on 10 May 2016.[3][4]

On May 12, 2016, Western Digital Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Western Digital Technologies, Inc. completed the acquisition of SanDisk Corporation.


SanDisk USB

SanDisk manufactures storage products used in data centers and embedded in smartphones, tablets and PCs. SanDisk’s consumer products are available at 300,000 retail stores in more than 100 countries.[5]

SanDisk is led by Sanjay Mehrotra, co-founder, president, and chief executive officer. The Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company is headquartered in Silicon Valley and has offices, design centers, test and assembly plants and NAND flash memory fabs located around the world. The company has manufacturing facilities in China, Japan and Malaysia. SanDisk has sales, operations, research and development, and administration in the United States, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. More than half the company’s sales are outside the United States.[6]

The company has more than 8,600 employees worldwide and is publicly traded on NASDAQ. As of June 2015, its market capitalization was over US$13.3 billion.

Business focus and products[edit]

SanDisk market a variety of storage-focused product offerings. The company develop and manufacture solid state drives, USB flash drives, mobile storage devices, MP3 music players and a range of memory cards.

SanDisk market these flash memory products directly to businesses, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), value-added resellers, system integrators, and consumers.

Corporate acquisitions[edit]

  • SanDisk acquired Fusion-io Inc., a leading developer of flash-based PCIe hardware and software solutions that enhance application performance in enterprise and hyper scale datacenters, in July 2014.[7]
  • SanDisk acquired SMART Storage Systems, a developer of enterprise solid state drives based on the SATA and SAS storage protocols, in 2013.[8]
  • SanDisk acquired Schooner Information Technology, Inc., an enterprise software company that develops flash-optimized database and data store solution in 2012.[9]
  • SanDisk acquired FlashSoft Corporation, a provider of caching software products in 2012.[10]
  • SanDisk acquired Pliant Technology, Inc., a developer of enterprise solid state drives in 2011.[11]
  • SanDisk acquired M-Systems Ltd., a developer of flash memory storage products in 2006.[12]
  • SanDisk acquired Matrix Semiconductor, Inc., a company that pioneers and supplied 3D-based one-time programmable chip technology in 2006.[13]


SanDisk holds more than 5,800 patents worldwide. The company’s patent portfolio is consistently recognized as one of the strongest in the technology industry.[14]

SanDisk's intellectual property portfolio includes patents in flash memory device and design, process technology, packaging, test, applications, and system-level technologies that have helped drive the wide adoption and proliferation of flash memory and expand the possibilities of storage.

SanDisk’s sole focus on flash memory has led the company to achieve notable “firsts,” from launching the world’s first solid state drive in 1991 to introducing the industry’s Multi-Level Cell (MLC) flash technologies using two bits (X2) and three bits (X3) per cell.[15] In 2014, SanDisk introduced the world’s highest capacity enterprise solid-state SAS drive,[16] the highest capacity SD cards,[17] the fastest microSD UHS-I cards,[18] the first small memory card and the first memory card that used in capacitive touchscreen mobile phone(LG KE850) the microSD and 1Z-nanometer (nm) technology, the world’s smallest and most advanced NAND flash process node.[19]

Multi-Level Cell stores two bits of data in each flash memory cell to double the “density” of each memory chip. SanDisk pioneered MLC technology to increase capacity and dramatically reduce costs. Both MLC and System Flash were universally adopted by the flash memory industry in 2000.[citation needed]

Three-bits-per-cell technology

X3 NAND uses three bits per cell technology to provide 20 percent more memory chips-per-wafer3 for greater manufacturing efficiency and lower chip cost for the same capital investment. When combined with SanDisk’s All Bit Line (ABL) architecture with advanced programming algorithms and multi-level storage management schemes, X3 NAND flash memory chips offer performance and reliability similar to MLC on the same technology but at a significantly lower cost.

SanDisk’s 3D NAND technology development remains on track to begin pilot production in the second half of 2015 with volume production targeted in 2016.[20]

Gleaning from an IP report on 3D memory which a technology consulting firm LexInnova has released in May 2015, SanDisk is one of the top three patent assignees (with Samsung and Micron) of 3D technology domain with 829 patent applications. The number of patents/patent applications owned by these top assignees comprise around 54 percent of the total patents/patent applications (around 2,300) filed in this domain.[21]

Thomson Reuters named SanDisk as one of the “Top 100 Global Innovators” in 2014,[14] 2013,[22] and 2012.[23] IEEE Spectrum ranked SanDisk as having one of the strongest patent portfolios out of 5,000 companies and organizations.[24]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • In 2014, SanDisk co-founder Dr. Eli Harari won the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama for his innovations and contributions to flash memory storage solutions.[25]
  • In 2012, the Enough Project ranked SanDisk the third highest of 24 consumer electronics companies on "progress on conflict minerals".[26]


SanDisk founders: Jack Yuan, Eli Harari, and Sanjay Mehrotra (2010).

SanDisk was founded in 1988 by Dr. Eli Harari, Sanjay Mehrotra and Jack Yuan, non-volatile memory technology experts.[27]

SanDisk co-founder Dr. Eli Harari developed the Floating Gate EEPROM which proved the practicality, reliability and endurance of semiconductor-based data storage. This pioneering work laid the foundation for the flash memory market that significantly impacted the consumer electronics industry, enabling new products across multiple categories. Early on, SanDisk (then known as SunDisk) recognized that digital cameras would need removable flash memory storage, and computers could become ever more mobile and light and would require a similar storage technology.[28]

Dr. Harari offered the removable flash memory card technology to Kodak for inclusion in their cameras in 1988. Kodak offered to fund the development on condition that SanDisk offer a three-year exclusive contract for the “digital film” under the Kodak brand. Dr. Harari rejected the offer because he wanted competition in the marketplace to encourage growth of the flash memory industry and the opportunity to build the SanDisk brand. Today, SanDisk is a global brand and its products are sold in more than 100 countries around the world.

Other products and technologies[edit]


  1. ^ "Market View: NAND Flash Brand Supplier Revenue Falls 6.6% in First Quarter". DRAMeXchange. 2015-02-05. Retrieved 2015-07-23. 
  2. ^ "Western Digital to acquire SanDisk for $19B". 2015-10-21. Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  3. ^ "Singapore competition watchdog clears Western Digital's acquisition of SanDisk". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "SanDisk Announces Final Regulatory Approval for Acquisition by Western Digital" (Press release). Milpitas, California: SanDisk. May 10, 2016. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  5. ^ "SanDisk SSD website". SanDisk. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  6. ^ "SanDisk website". SanDisk. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  7. ^ "SanDisk Completes Acquisition of Fusion-io". 2014-07-23. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  8. ^ "Sandisk Completes Acquisition of SMART Storage Systems" (Press release). 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-08-22. 
  9. ^ "SanDisk Acquires Enterprise Storage Software Maker Schooner Information Technology" (Press release). 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  10. ^ "SanDisk Acquires FlashSoft" (Press release). 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  11. ^ "SanDisk Announces An Agreement To Acquire Pliant Technology" (Press release). 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  12. ^ "SanDisk To Buy msystems". The Street. 2006-07-31. Retrieved 2006-08-21. 
  13. ^ "Matrix Agrees To Acquisition By SanDisk". 2005-10-20. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  14. ^ a b "SanDisk Celebrates Receipt of its 5,000th Patent; Named a ‘Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovator’ for the Fourth Consecutive Year". SanDisk. 2014-11-12. Retrieved 2014-11-12. 
  15. ^ "SanDisk Announces Major Advancement in Flash Storage with New 3-bit-per-cell (x3) Nand Flash Memory Technology" (Press release). 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  16. ^ "SanDisk Unveils World’s First 4 Terabyte Enterprise SAS SSD" (Press release). 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  17. ^ "SanDisk Premieres World’s Highest Capacity SD Card for High Performance Video and Photo Capture" (Press release). 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  18. ^ "SanDisk Expands Portfolio of 4K Enabled Products with the Introduction of the World’s Fastest, High-Capacity microSD UHS-I Memory Card" (Press release). 2014-09-16. Retrieved 2014-09-16. 
  19. ^ "SanDisk Announces 15 Nanometer Technology, World’s Most Advanced NAND Flash Manufacturing Node" (Press release). 2014-04-22. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  20. ^ "Prepared Remarks on Fourth Fiscal Quarter and Fiscal 2014 Results". SanDisk. 2015-01-21. Retrieved 2015-01-21. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Top 100 Global innovators 2013". Thompson Reuters. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  23. ^ "Top 100 Global innovators 2012". Thompson Reuters. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  24. ^ "The 10 Companies with the Most Patent Power". IEEE Spectrum. 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  25. ^ Fairsmith, Christine (Oct 24, 2014). "ELI HARARI '73 RECEIVES HONOR FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA". Princeton. Retrieved 2014-10-24. 
  26. ^ Lezhnev, Sasha; Alex Hellmuth (Aug 2012). "Taking Conflict Out of Consumer Gadgets: Company Rankings on Conflict Minerals 2012" (PDF). Enough Project. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  27. ^ Harris, Scott Duke (2008-07-13). "Mercury News interview: SanDisk CEO helped launch digital revolution". The San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  28. ^ "Santa Clara Valley Chapter Meeting: 'Future Directions for Semiconductor Non-Volatile Memory". Santa Clara University: IEEE Electron Devices Society. January 16, 1990. 

External links[edit]