Mellanox CEO: Surviving 20 years is major achievement

Eyal Waldman Photo: Tamar Matsafi

Eyal Waldman: Data has replaced land and energy as the most valuable resource.

Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq:MLNX) founder, president, and CEO Eyal Waldman, speaking at the Globes Business Conference in Jerusalem on Thursday, made no mention today of any plans to find a buyer for the company - perhaps Microsoft, which has reportedly expressed interest in a deal. He merely announced that the company had matured: "Mellanox is celebrating its 20th anniversary early next year. It seems young, but for a company like us, it's a very substantial achievement."

Waldman spoke at length about the resource that he said was becoming the most important one - data. "Data is power. Land was once the most valuable resource, following by energy. Today, more and more people realize that the world's most valuable resource is data. You can see that the more data there are, the stronger and more influential we'll be in the world. It's no accident that we read today that Facebook is being accused of violating its confidentiality agreement, and that it gave data to Amazon and Microsoft, in addition to giving data to governments. We see that companies like Tencent, Facebook, Amazon, and many other have a lot of power. Think about how true this is about governments, which gather data themselves, and as was reported, Google and Facebook were forced by US government agencies to give them data."

Waldman added, "In all of the markets we operate in, everyone is building artificial intelligence algorithms in the realization that yesterday's data are the future. The data are stored in information storage facilities, and companies like Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Tencent add entire closets of service and storage every week - more every day. Mellanox sold these companies over 2.1 million storage points for these data rooms, millions of servers, and storage in the first nine months of 2018."

Waldman says that the quantity of data is increasing exponentially, with more data gathering devices being added, such as smart watches, telephones, cars, and so forth. "These things are generating increasing amounts of data, and more and more can be done with the data. Early next year, more than a billion films and pictures will go online, and the data in them are worth a lot of money. The data show what you like to do, what you consume, and what clothes you buy," he stated.

He cited the example of Chinese company Tencent, which controls WeChat, the Chinese version of WhatsApp; the Chinese social network; and half of the telephone payments market. "They know who you talk to and what you talk about, what your social network is, what you like to do, and what you spend money on. With this information, they can program you, the consumers, for example from where to go to work and what stores to go to. Guess what? They're starting to control the manufacturers, and tell them what is the best price for a certain product to get a number of customers," Waldman warned

Waldman said that Mellanox fitted into the data industry in a number of areas, such as Alibaba's data transmission infrastructure, which today raked in $31 billion on the Chinese day for single people, and product identification using artificial intelligence. He mentioned that Mellanox also participated in in autonomous car trials in the US and facilitated transmission of 100 gigabits a second from within the car. Waldman said, "When you look at the future of autonomous cars, it is hard to realize how many data the cars can receive and process simultaneously. In order to make a decision, the algorithm receives data from many sensors creating a lot of data. I'm confident that the number of people injured in traffic accidents worldwide will fall drastically. When people see autonomous cars collide, they're sure that this process will stop. The answer, however, is that there will be accidents, but the number of accidents will fall steeply, because the computer can process many more data much more quickly and simultaneously."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 23, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

Eyal Waldman Photo: Tamar Matsafi
Eyal Waldman Photo: Tamar Matsafi
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