UPDATED 19:30 EDT / OCTOBER 12 2018


Micron Technology bets $100 million on the future of AI

Artificial intelligence algorithms rely on high-level compute, memory, and storage capabilities to support real-time data analysis and insight. So, while the spotlight often falls on the software that brings the magic, wise investors remember that hardware is the cornerstone that makes advances in artificial intelligence possible.

“Micron plays a pivotal role here because our memory, our storage is where all this data resides, where all this data is processed,” said Sanjay Mehrotra (pictured), president and chief executive officer of Micron Technology Inc.

Mehrotra spoke with Dave Vellante (@dvellante) and David Floyer (@dfloyer), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Micron Insight 2018 event in San Francisco. The discussion covered Micron’s long history of innovation in the memory and storage marketplace, as well as its investment in AI for the future. (* Disclosure below.)

40,000 patents over 40 years in the marketplace

With an average of three patents submitted per day maintained over four decades as a marketplace leader, Micron has a track record of innovation. “We are really a prolific inventor, and we absolutely through our innovations in memory and storage have shaped the world here,” Mehrotra stated.

The company is in a strong position financially, announcing a record fiscal year for 2018, with “profitability that puts us at the very top of the most companies, with 50 percent operating margin and with $30 billion in revenue,” Mehrotra said.

Micron is betting heavily on a future shaped by AI, with the company announcing a $100-million fund for research in the field. “We really think AI is going to transform the world,” Mehrotra said. “We want to be in the front row with not only the large existing players that are driving this change, but also the startups that will drive innovation.”

Large research grants have recently been awarded to Stanford Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics Center, Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Center, and AI4ALL, an institution dedicated to encouraging women and underrepresented minorities to pursue STEM careers.

“Twenty percent of [the $100-million] fund will go to startups that have leadership that is represented by women or underrepresented groups,” Mehrotra said.

Alongside its investments in AI research, Micron is preparing for the future conservatively, with a return-on-investment focus on capital expenditure investments to reduce production costs and deployment of new technologies into production.

“We are managing the business, all aspects of it, excitedly looking forward to the opportunities, [and] at the same time prudently in an otherwise driven fashion building shareholder value through investments in research and development and manufacturing,” Mehrotra concluded.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of Micron Insight 2018. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the Micron Insight event. Neither Micron Technology Inc., the event sponsor, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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