BANGALORE, INDIA (February 7, 2006) – SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) today announced the opening of SanDisk India Device Design Center Pvt. Ltd. in the country’s technology hub of Bangalore, where engineers will work on the core elements of the company’s flash memory products. The announcement was made at a press conference in Bangalore that was attended by Sanjay Mehrotra, SanDisk chief operating officer, and other company officials.
“India is a logical place for us to expand our global network of research and development centers because of the great talent pool here and because of our existing relationships with companies that support us in hardware, firmware and software testing,” said Mehrotra, who is also SanDisk’s co-founder.
India, he added, is expected to become a major market for SanDisk products as a result of booming consumer demand for mobile phones and MP3 audio players. “We need to have a solid presence to promote our brand and to leverage the opportunities for growth in the retail sector,” he said. “As we increase our production of flash memory this year, we intend to focus more attention on India, including the addition of more distributors and storefronts.”
The SanDisk India Design Center will initially concentrate on projects involving NAND memory – the heart of SanDisk’s flash memory cards, USB drives and MP3 players. Later, the team will be expanded to include development work on ASIC controllers, which are the gatekeepers for data in flash memory cells.
Although the India Design Center is SanDisk’s first stand-alone facility in India, the company already has engineers assigned to several projects at two SanDisk technology partners in India, Wipro and RelQ. Wipro is the world’s largest third party R&D services provider, offering design engineering, product lifecycle management and product realization. RelQ is an independent software testing and validation company. Both have major operations in Bangalore. In total, SanDisk currently has approximately 60 engineers among the three facilities.
Mehrotra noted that SanDisk’s rapid growth as the leading supplier of flash memory cards requires global strategies in design and manufacturing. In addition to its extensive R & D activities in Silicon Valley, California, SanDisk has research facilities in Israel, Japan and Scotland. And the company has teams of process/device/design engineers located at the semiconductor fabrication plants that are operated in partnership with Toshiba in Japan.
Ceremonies inaugurating the Design Center were also attended by Yoram Cedar, SanDisk’s executive vice president of handset business and corporate engineering; Tom Baker, vice president of human resources; and Simon Stolero, vice president of Israel operations.
SanDisk is the original inventor of flash storage cards and is the world’s largest supplier of flash data storage card products, using its patented, high-density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA and has operations worldwide, with more than half its sales outside the U.S.