Samsung Tech Day 2021: Powering Experiences with Memory Innovations – Futurum Tech Webcast Interview Series
by Daniel Newman | October 27, 2021

On this special episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast – Interview Series I am joined by Jim Elliott, Corporate SVP of Memory Sales for Samsung, for an exciting conversation about Samsung’s upcoming Tech Day 2021. This virtual event will showcase how Samsung Semiconductor is powering innovative experiences across the tech ecosystem with memory innovations.

Samsung Tech Day 2021: Powering Experiences with Memory Innovations

In our conversation we discussed the following:

  • The origins of Tech Day
  • What to expect from Tech Day 2021
  • An overview of some of the speakers and their subjects
  • The benefit of a virtual conference.

If you’re interested in attending Samsung Tech Day 2021 be sure to register here. It’s sure to be an event you don’t want to miss. You can also check out the full episode below for a complete teaser of what’s to come.

You can grab the video of my interview with Jim here (and subscribe to our YouTube channel if you’ve not yet done so)

Or listen to my interview with Jim on your favorite streaming platform here:

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Disclaimer: The Futurum Tech Webcast is for information and entertainment purposes only. Over the course of this webcast, we may talk about companies that are publicly traded and we may even reference that fact and their equity share price, but please do not take anything that we say as a recommendation about what you should do with your investment dollars. We are not investment advisors and we do not ask that you treat us as such.

More insights from Futurum Research:

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Daniel Newman: Hey everybody. Welcome back to another addition of the Futurum Tech Webcast, podcast, and Futurum Tech TV. I’m your host, Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst, and founding partner at Futurum research. Excited for another edition of the Futurum Tech Podcast Interview Series, partnering up this time with Samsung to talk about Samsung’s Tech Day 2021, and I’m excited to have a guest that’s been with us before, Mr. Jim Elliott. Jim has spoken also at our Six Five Summits. He’s been on here on the pod with me, on my webcast, and he’s a really, really, great guy.

So, we’re going to hammer home all the exciting insights that are going to come from Tech Day, an event I had been to in the past, an event I’ve spoken at in the past, and one that I’m fond of, and one that has a really great looking lineup for this year. Quick disclaimer, this show is for information and entertainment purposes only. And, while I will be talking with two executives of publicly traded companies, please do not take anything we say on this show as investment advice. And, without further ado, Jim Elliot, welcome to the show. Jim-

Jim Elliott: Yeah, I’m excited to be here.

Daniel Newman: Been a while. I get you in spurts. It’s usually around some events-

Jim Elliott: Yep, yep.

Daniel Newman: … that you have, or I have, and then I get a whole lot of gin, and then you go, and you make magic happen in your cave. And, then you come back out, and when that new magic is made, I get to talk to you again, so.

Jim Elliott: That’s what we do. That’s the new reality. But yeah, I’m excited to be here, so thanks for-

Daniel Newman: Excited to have you back. It’s starting to feel like maybe I’ll see you in person at some point, though. We’re starting to get back to that point.

Jim Elliott: A 3D meeting. Could be exciting,

Daniel Newman: 3D, IRL, something like that. So real quick, I want to make this an exciting, but fun and fast-paced, show for everybody. Not everybody watches every show, nor remembers every guest. So give us the 30 second, who is Jim Elliott?

Jim Elliott: So, again, nice to meet you guys. Jim Elliot. I’ve been at Samsung for about 20 years. I’ve been in the Memory Industry for about 25 years, and I run the Memory Sales business unit here for North America. So, I’ve got a really cool job. I get to talk to all of our customers here in North America, and really work with them to bring all of our latest, and greatest, technologies to market. So, super excited to be here. And again, thanks for working with us.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, absolutely. So, let’s dive in, let’s talk about Samsung Tech Day ’21. Got it. It feels like it’s been years since you and I shared the stage. WAZ was WAZ.

Jim Elliott: Yeah.

Daniel Newman: It was crazy. Give me a little background for those that aren’t familiar. What’s the Genesis of Tech Day?

Jim Elliott: Sure. So, again, let me just say I’m super fired up to be here again this year to talk about Tech Day ’21. And the vision for tech day actually started back in 2014, as an event where we could showcase Samsung’s entire memory portfolio, as well as our technology leadership.

And, we’ve been actually holding this event on site, in our campus now, since 2017, every year, obviously minus 2020, like everyone else. So, it’s actually great to be back, even though it’s virtual, hosting the event again this year. So, we put together a really cool program that focuses on how Samsung is powering experiences with our memory technology. Everyone’s going to be able to hear from our customers, ecosystem partners, and even universities that are using our technology.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, there’s a great list, and we’re going to talk a little bit about that. You’re powering experience with your memory technologies, and then there’s all these new social technologies, and social media-

Jim Elliott: Mm-hmm.

Daniel Newman: … platforms that they create our memories with their experience technology, and the two technologies need to work together. That’s good stuff.

Jim Elliott: Yes, indeed. Yes.

Daniel Newman: So, this year’s program, right? Virtual. I think this is the last time, though. I’m really optimistic. Now, of course, everybody will play it by ear, because Samsung’s a company, and you’re analytically driven. You’re going to make decisions based on safety. And of course, good optics.

Jim Elliott: Yep.

Daniel Newman: That’s a double entendre, by the way. But, you’ve got a really good program. You got keynotes, you got showcases, you’ve got customer collaboration, and it’s a great list of customers. We’ll talk more about that. Even, like you said, academia is showing up.

Jim Elliott: Mm-hmm.

Daniel Newman: What are some of the things that, now that you know the lineup of the event, what’s got you fired up?

Jim Elliott: So, again, we’re super excited this year to put together this program, where we can give our attendees kind of a window into how Samsung approaches memory innovation. For example, in the keynotes track, people are actually going to be hearing directly from our senior memory leadership about all the latest innovations around DRAM, and as well as product solutions. Basically everything that’s driving this memory revolution that’s powering all these it products. And, for anyone who’s attended our demo pavilion live at past Tech Day events, our technology showcase sessions is really designed to kind of emulate that, and give participants a virtual walkthrough, or kind of a deep dive, if you will, into some of these latest advances.

Things like computational storage, advanced memory technology, data storage advances, and even new interfaces. We’re also, as you mentioned, pretty excited to have some of these top universities, and their professors, showcasing their work, and projects, that are using Samsung memory such as storage, acceleration, and even smart SSD. And so, kind of from a who’s who list of schools, we got MIT, UCLA, Carnegie Mellon is kind of the heart of AI there, and UCSC. Dan, these are all the schools that I had to turn down when I went to UC Davis, here in California.

Daniel Newman: I understand. I’ve got one of those stories, too.

Jim Elliott: Uh-huh.

Daniel Newman: I won’t publicize it. But, all of those schools were chasing me.

Jim Elliott: Yep.

Daniel Newman: I tell that story at the bar, not on video. Listen, one of the things I also thought was very interesting is, I was kind of going through, though, the program was the customer collaborations.

Jim Elliott: Mm-hmm.

Daniel Newman: You always have focused on that, but that seems like something you were really able to get a lot more. As I said, maybe because you’re virtual. I know at least from our Six Five Summit, the type of people-

Jim Elliott: Right.

Daniel Newman: … we’re able to get by going virtual. It seems like you guys have had some of that same benefit.

Jim Elliott: Absolutely. And I think that really made the logistics come together quite nicely. And, I just love the fact we’re able to showcase, and hear from so many of our customers, and ecosystem partners, that are utilizing our technology. We’ve got an amazing group of customers, and partners, in the industry we’ve been working with, and it’s great to have so many different collaborations that are going to be featured this year. Some of whom you’ve heard from, at past events, but we also have a few new participants, so there’s going to be a few more surprises. People really aren’t going to want to miss out on that.

Daniel Newman: But let’s dig into that, because Tech Day was like notorious for being kind of this one live moment.

Jim Elliott: Mm-hmm.

Daniel Newman: Like I said, when I came, it was jammed.

Jim Elliott: Mm-hmm.

Daniel Newman: It was four or five hours long, and it was boom, boom, boom, and it was a packed room, packed house. Like I said, awesome stage, great speakers, particularly the guy you introduced. Really strong, did a 10 trends thing. I loved every second of it.

Jim Elliott: Ah, I remember that guy.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. He was great. He was supposed to come back, too, but I think he got trapped overseas. I don’t remember.

Jim Elliott: That’s all right, it happens.

Daniel Newman: Maybe he can come back and speak again. But in all seriousness, how are you guys coping with the whole going virtual? Because, I just mentioned, it feels like your lineup got supercharged by it.

Jim Elliott: Right, right. Yeah it just kind of was-

Daniel Newman: Kind of fatigued. How are you balancing that playing off this, and really set to make an awesome event?

Jim Elliott: It is kind of a balance, right? And, just like everyone else, we’re kind of new to the virtual game, the virtual landscape, so we really had to approach it from building an event where you’re not constrained by time, or audience size based on how big the room is. We kind of removed those constraints, like in the past. And, then, for this level of event, getting everyone into the same room, same day, same time, is almost next to impossible as you mentioned, right? Being remote, the irony there is it actually allowed us to open up our agenda to feature more customers, partners, and even universities, who may not all would’ve been able to attend simultaneously, given travel or calendar conflicts.

And, really, I think I’m excited, we’re going to hear more customer stories, more innovations, and it’s great to be able to showcase all of these in their entirety. But most important, we’re actually able to grow our attendee list, and extend invitations to a much, much broader and even international audience. Now we can showcase even more content that people can choose from, based on their own areas of interest. They choose their own narrative, or stories, or drill downs, if you will.

Daniel Newman: Like those books when you were a kid, choose your own adventure, right?

Jim Elliott: Yes. The choose your own adventures. Exactly. With a tech twist.

Daniel Newman: Those are awesome, by the way. I didn’t have an iPhone, because I’m old. I didn’t have any sort of smart device. I didn’t have a foldable. Nothing. I had nothing. I had books, Jim, but you know what-

Jim Elliott: I did, too. I remember those.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. It was great, though.

Jim Elliott: I had a couple of them.

Daniel Newman: Built the brain, built the mind.

Jim Elliott: Uh-huh.

Daniel Newman: Just leaning into that though, just a little bit is, it’s such a challenge right now, and I give you guys a lot of kudos, because first of all, I guarantee, right up to the last possible moment, you guys were on the fence. Live, not live. Live, not live.

Jim Elliott: Right. Right.

Daniel Newman: And, when I actually saw the lineup come out though, I said, “This is really great. I will make an early bet that you guys will get a spike in attendance-”

Jim Elliott: Mm-hmm.

Daniel Newman: …you will get a surprising spike in engagement, and I also bet that that is not a reason whatsoever to not go back to doing it live, and in person, but that there is a lot to be learned. A lot of balance.” I mean, I just got back to going on the road, was just an event this week, and it reminds me much less effective I am when I’m on airplanes, and in airports, and traveling all the time.

Jim Elliott: Sure.

Daniel Newman: You can really make the most out of a couple of hours, when you are able to do it remote, so I’m really excited about this. Another thing that really excited me, by the way, was that you guys really were able to pin down the who’s who, and it’s funny because…

Jim Elliott: Mm-hmm.

Daniel Newman: … in semiconductors, there’s a lot cooperation and competition. There’s a lot of, “Hey, we work together, we’re manufacturing the chips for these folks, that also-

Jim Elliott: Mm-hmm.

Daniel Newman: … make a chip that competes with our chip.” And, of course, the global supply constraints are not something I’m going to even ask you about right now, but it’s… everyone in the world is aware of semiconductors, now. If you weren’t two years ago, you are.

Jim Elliott: Yep, now you are.

Daniel Newman: How did you guys get so many of these companies to all step up, and partake in your event?

Jim Elliott: And again, I think that was one of the arcs, or the overall theme of this, is about collaboration. And, I think that’s the most interesting thing about this Tech Day, versus Tech Days in the past is, the event really is all about collaboration now, right? These past industry silos are now partners, and collaborators, for bringing new technology to the market, and breaking through barriers. It’s all about how we come together, now, to further that technology advancement, to support these applications like AUH, AI, or machine learning, 5G, automotive, gaming, et cetera. A lot of these things have really come, as you mentioned, during the pandemic. Now everybody knows about semiconductors, but I think all this time behind the scenes, semiconductors have been driving in memory, have been driving all these innovations for decades. I think there’s a lot more we can offer each other, and I think you’ll hear about that from a few of those participants, and some of our partners at the show.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. I’m really excited to hear that. I will tell you, I wrote a prediction in the beginning of 2020.

Jim Elliott: Mm-hmm.

Daniel Newman: … for Market Watch, and I said, “Semiconductors will eat the world.” It was one of the 10 trends.

Jim Elliott: You said that between 2020 pre-pandemic?

Daniel Newman: Pre-pandemic, like actually-

Jim Elliott: All right.

Daniel Newman: … it was maybe just in China, at that moment in time, but-

Jim Elliott: Okay, okay.

Daniel Newman: …I’d said, “Semiconductors will eat the world.” And then, I actually wrote a follow-up basically saying that “Semiconductors have nowhere to go, but up.” And the reason I said that-

Jim Elliott: All right.

Daniel Newman: … is margins are growing. OP Ink is growing. Volume is growing. These secular trends, all this demand, is not going anywhere. It’s not going away. In fact, we’ve seen vehicles go from a handful of sensors, to dozens of sensors, to hundreds. And I mean, that’s just the-

Jim Elliott: Right, right.

Daniel Newman: …example of, and it’s in so many different places. And of course, memory plays such a critical part in us being able to access all this data, and use it in all these applications. People are finally starting to see the way this all comes together. Let me just wrap this up and basically say, Jim, I’m really excited. I’m excited to be able to be part of this, from afar. I do look forward to the 3D thing at some point, once again. We will be covering the show.

Jim Elliott: IRL. IRL. Yeah.

Daniel Newman: We’re going to bring you back, actually. We’re going to bring you back. Pat Moorhead and I, who do the Six Five, we’re going to do a postmortem with you, so we’re going to be watching. We’re going to come up with some of our favorite moments, thoughts, parts, and we’re going to come. We’re going to bring you, and have Samsung’s semiconductor come back, chat to us post Tech Day, but we’ll also be tracking the show. And then, everybody out there also, Jim and I are going to do some other work, some other content, and I’ll be sharing that in the show notes, here. But, look. Everybody, if you’re listening, we’re going to share the link. Register, and when you register, check out Jim’s talk. I’m telling you, he’s very entertaining. I’m sure you’re going to put on quite a show, and I’m sure that whole day is going to be very interesting. But Jim, thanks for spending a few minutes with me here, today.

Jim Elliott: Awesome. Thank you, Dan, and we’ll see you at the show.

Daniel Newman: All right, everyone, there you have it. Samsung Tech Day, 2021. Check it out in the show notes, click the link, register. We would love to have you. I’m telling you, I’ve been on site. I’ve listened to the whole day before this particular year, and the roster looks extremely compelling. So for that, got to say goodbye. Time to sign off. Click subscribe, stick with the show. Futurum Tech Webcast, Podcast, and Futurum Tech TV. We appreciate having you. I got to say goodbye. See you later.

About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Chief Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio