Seminar Series: Steffen Hellmold



Date: 2018-11-05
Time: 5:00pm - 6:20pm
Location: Atkinson Hall - Calit2 Auditorium, UC San Diego

Guest Speaker: Steffen Hellmold
Vice President Corporate Strategy, Western Digital

*Registration is Required.


Qualcomm Institute and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department present the first seminar series on communication theory and systems. Speakers will cover topics in diverse areas, including wireless, optical, location, storage and networking. The goal of this series is to promote the development and use of theory informed by the most recent advancements in the field. Industry speakers, prominent in theory and practice, will share their research and insights each week. This series is unique in that each speaker is expected to spend the day at UC San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute and should be available for meetings and discussions with interested faculty, graduate students, and startups.

In the Grips of the Charge Trap
The cylindrically confined charge trap device was commercially introduced in the year 2013. In the ensuing 5 years, it has gone on to become the most popular semiconductor device ever produced, surpassing such venerable players such as the transistor and the DRAM cell. By the end of 2019, over 200 exabytes of this device will be shipped worldwide. The device owes its popularity to its ability to be integrated in a three-dimensional structure and to the insatiable demand for data storage. Even as other semiconductor devices are becoming difficult to scale and are limited by our ability to pattern finer and finer lines, this device shows us a very different scaling path.

Our ability to harness the versatility of the charge trap device will determine our path forward in a world of increasingly customized computing architectures. Products based on this device can effectively trade off density, endurance, read access time, throughput, error rate, access protocol, as well as cost. The vast gap in the access speeds between a conventional and increasingly expensive DRAM and a three bits per cell NAND can be bridged by these choices.

This talk will focus on our best bets to address the size and needs of the data dominated computing industry, going forward in a scaling limited semiconductor component world. It will offer new solutions based on a well-proven fab technology that address the dizzyingly diverging needs of the emerging vertical markets for data storage from the edge to the cloud, mobile and stationary, big and fast.


As the Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Steffen is responsible for overseeing the development and execution of long-range strategic plans and objectives as well as overseeing the analysis of trends and developments in technology markets, formulating strategic courses of action to maximize Western Digital’s capabilities within its markets. He has more than 20 years of industry experience in senior product and technical marketing, business development, and sales roles in volatile and non-volatile semiconductor memory, as well as in storage sub-systems.