Wednesday, August 6, 2008

2008 Flash Memory Summit and a vacation to boot!

Like many people that I have talked to recently, I have found myself buried under a mountain of work that seems to have no end in sight. Every time I climb my way to the top of one peak, another pops up in its place and taunts me to keep going. This week is especially busy as I am trying to finish things up before going to the 2008 Flash Memory Summit in California, all while maintaining a blooming social life full of bowling, poker and various other late night excursions.

The conference starts next week at the Santa Clara Marriott and runs Tuesday through Thursday. The preview program lists many exciting keynote speakers from great companies such as Micron, Intel, Sandisk, Samsung and Dell, but I guarantee that the best presentation is going to be on Wednesday morning during "Tutorial 1B: Designing Flash-Based Products". That is when I will be presenting an overview of the Hardware Based Flash Memory Failure Characterization Platform that just might solve our current economic crisis and end world hunger! Ok... well maybe those are a bit ambitious goals, but if you are a product engineer and want to see how long flash memory will work under specific use patters or you just have a keen interest in the failure characteristics of NAND Flash then this is definitely going to rock your world.

The presentation is based on work that I helped complete as part of a team of 5 students from the University of Utah Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department for the 2007-2008 senior engineering clinic sponsored by the Micron Foundation. It was built using an FPGA and custom software and is fully open source, so if you are interested in Flash Memory check out the abstract and slides or visit the project website for more information. Needless to say I am very excited about going to my first technical conference and ecstatic about getting the opportunity to showcase the work we have done.

I am even more excited that I was able to talk our faculty advisor into extending the return trip so that I could squeeze in my first real vacation of the year. After the conference ends I will be heading to San Francisco to meet up with a group of friends that I somehow managed to talk in to flying out with me. We currently have plans to visit various tourist attractions, indulge ourselves in the great night life, and even get in a day or two of wine tasting, all while staying at one of the top 50 hotels in the country! I have been to San Fransisco before with family and enjoyed it very much, but this is shaping up to be a spectacular trip!