George Perlegos, the “father” of flash memory

George Perlegos is the founder of ATMEL Corporation and the inspired businessman who developed flash memory.

When George was 12, the Perlegos family leaved Tegea and relocated to the district of Lodi in California in 1962.

Back in Greece, his father used to work as a farmer and later continued to grow vines and produce wine in the United States.

“It was always my dream and my parents’ dream that we finish school and go on to do something different , so I left everything behind”, Perlegos remarked in an older interview.

Perlegos received his BSEE degree from San Jose State University after abandoning his childhood dreams of studying medicine.

Before concluding his studies, he started working for American Microsystems and later received his MSEE degree from Stanford University, while working for Intel.

For 10 years, Perlegos had engaged in research on storage devices and eventually built flash memory, currently known and used as memory card.

In 1981, he resigned from his Intel duties and together with four young scientists he founded Seeq Technology.

The results of his research boosted the company’s value and also assisted in the implementation of innovative inventions, like the aircraft black box.

One year later, Perlegos resigned from Seeq Technology, following the company’s stock market listing.

In 1984, he built his own company ATMEL Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of computer microchips, after mortgaging his family fortune.

ATMEL Corporation, a pioneer in building wireless Internet devices, is valued at more than $2 million, with international affiliates and over 10,000 employees.

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