The San Jose newcomer, TeraStor Corp, closing its second round of financing, raised more than $30 million in total.
Is TeraStor set to become the IT industry?s new EMC? The laser and magneto-optical technology is getting rave reviews from US analysts, who say its combination of solid immersion lens (SIL) and Near Field Recording-based systems could revolutionise storage capacity within a few years.
The first products are due in 1998, and co-founder, chairman and CEO, Jim McCoy, reckons that TeraStor will soon offer 40Gb storage systems, 20Gb per side - a 10-fold increase on current capacities.
Headed by McCoy, co-founder of Quantum, Maxtor and Maxoptic, the senior level management line-up is impressive. A storage industry brains trust, it includes Gordon Knight, co-founder of Maxoptix and Optimem; Bill Dobbin, Maxtor?s founding CFO; and Amyl Ahola, formerly VP corporate development with Seagate Technology, president and CEO ofWangDAT and Optical Storage International.
TeraStor says NRF will be the new benchmark for rewritable storage and Phil Devin, chief storage analyst at Dataquest comments: ?Cost-effective, real products based on the... step-function advantages of Near Field Recording have been a... tantalising dream of advanced storage laboratory researchers for several years."
He adds: "If TeraStor can rapidly commercialise Near Field Recording, they could change the landscape in the storage industry."
CEO McCoy expands: ?The industry has several mass storage technologies, each serving specialised needs... but we need one affordable, high-performance technology.?
Vern Raburn, president of The Paul Allen Group, and Vulcan Northwest, a high profile investor, concurs. ?As we head into the second generation of the digital age, we need to begin to address mass storage requirements on an entirely different basis. TeraStor's new mass storage technology has the potential to impact virtually every industry at all levels of the infrastructure, from the data centre to the desktop and into the home."
The involvement of Vulcan, the investment arm of Microsoft co- founder, Paul Allen, is a high profile PR success, and other backers include Information Technology Ventures, Charter Venture Capital, Venture Law Group, Quantum Corporation and the Terastor founders.
NFR systems are being developed for the high-end initially, but TeraStor says products will soon follow for the desktop. It is looking for partners to license NFR, claiming that independent of form factor, platform and operating system, it is the ideal medium for new volumes and types of data generated by the Internet.
NFR consists of three main components. The flying head is a modified version of flying read/write heads used in conventional drives, combining optical and magnetic technologies. SIL is the optical element in the flying head and First Surface Recording is the placement of hardened magnetic recording material on the surface of the substrate.
Devin again: ?TeraStor is very interesting. It has a better than average chance of making good on its promises". The company?s pedigree is impressive and the technology is getting positive reviews; but until systems ship in 1998, the jury is out.
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