Contour Semiconductor names former Intel exec as new CEO

Contour Semiconductor, Inc., a provider dedicated to producing low-cost, high-volume, non-volatile memory chips, today announced that it has appointed veteran semiconductor industry executive Saul Zales as Chief Executive Officer.  Zales will lead Contour’s development of next generation non-volatile chips, addressing the $25 billion NAND flash memory market opportunity with a technology that is cheaper, higher-performance and simpler to produce than flash.

Zales has 28 years of experience in all management aspects of the semiconductor industry, including engineering, marketing, business management and equity investments.  Zales previously served as executive vice president of corporate business development at Fusion-io, and was vice president and general manager of corporate development at Numonyx B.V. prior to that company’s acquisition by Micron, where the Numonyx technology became the foundation for Micron’s NOR flash memory business. Zales was also at Intel Corporation for 24 years, last serving as director of its flash memory business, where he guided the company’s joint ventures, joint development programs and technology licensing related to flash technology.

“There aren’t many opportunities to lead a truly transformational company so I’m delighted to join Contour and its elite team of executives and technologists that are poised to reshape the NAND market,” said Zales.  “Contour’s new chip technology has the potential to be every bit as disruptive to the solid state flash market as flash was to hard disks drives.”

Contour Semiconductor is developing a new generation of non-volatile chips that overcomes the scalability, durability and performance limitations of NAND flash.  The patented Contour technology also extends to a new non-volatile memory fabrication process that reduces the process steps by 65% compared to NAND flash, dramatically reducing the cost of a building a memory fab and creating a chip cost profile that makes the technology affordable for a complete spectrum of consumer and enterprise applications, from cell phones and tablets to big data storage.

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