Siros is attempting to commercialise optical data storage technology licensed from Lucent?s Bell Labs, which it claims offers a 10 fold increase in capacity over traditional magnetic disk drives.
Although Larry Laurich, executive vice president of the start up?s VSAL technology effort, refused to comment on when the technology would be launched, it is expected to take more than a year to commercialise.
The high capacity optical technology uses very small aperture lasers (VSALs) that make tiny dots - apertures - on photo optic media. Bell Labs demonstrated VSAL lasers with apertures measuring just 50 nanometres, or two millionths of an inch, giving potential data densities of around 200Gb per square inch. This compares with data densities of 2.5Gb per square inch using today?s optical disks.
Laurich said possible applications included data warehousing, enterprise storage, storing images from the Web, and low cost large volume storage.
"I expect it to be priced at similar price ranges to magnetic disks. With the density advantage, there are more bits per square inch so we could have more square inches and so need fewer components. The cost per bit could be less by some factor," he added.
Barbara Grant, Siros? president and chief executive, said VSAL would not replace the company?s existing three dimensional recording (3DR) technology, which enables data to be stored across all of the media rather than just the surface. She likened it to making a floppy disk act as a mini disk.
"3DR is an excellent match for applications that don?t need immediate recall of data, for example, billing information. VSAL would be for direct and high peformance applications such as online reservation systems," she added.
As part of the deal with Lucent, the equipment giant will gain a seat on Siros? board and an equity stake, while Siros will receive an undisclosed amount of cash and laboratory equipment.
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