Dataslide receives first round funding from High Invest - Embedded.com

Dataslide receives first round funding from High Invest

LONDON — Dataslide, which is developing innovative hard drive and storage technologies, has agreed to an investment program with High Invest, the investment vehicle backed by Eric Berthaud.

Dataslide, based at the The Sussex Innovation Centre at the University of Sussex, U.K. is working on sidestepping key technical barriers in existing hard drive performance development by using an oscillating magnetic media surface which enables data signals to be read or written by a matrix of read:write heads.

High Invest has committed $500,000 in seed funding, which will allow the company to complete its worldwide IP protection process and to further its product development activities ahead of a full funding round, due this summer. Charles Barnes, DataSlide's chairman and CEO, said, “With the completion of the total program this will value the company at $50million.” Jeff Biggs, LEA marketing director, has joined Dataslide's board as market development director. Biggs was previously marketing director of Solid State Supplies.

Eric Berthaud, Founder and CEO of High Invest, said, “We are extremely proud to be the first external investor for both this amazing technology and the exceptional technical team at Dataslide. We are strong believers in the concept which we envisage will fundamentally change and improve Computer Architecture by utilizing existing Silicon Assets far better than current products.”

Charles Barnes, Dataslide's Chairman and CEO, said, “The product will remove the enduring bottleneck in computer system performance by increasing hard drive access speeds by orders of magnitude, whilst potentially reducing lifetime energy consumption by more than eighty percent.”

First generation Dataslide products are likely to have a 36-72GB capacity, a response time of 0.2-0.3milliseconds, a true data rate of 64MB/sec (without caching), and use standard protocols including PCI Express. Production is anticipated by the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008. DataSlide has pizeo-electric-activated vibrating recording arrays with data being written and read by semi-conductor arrays of read/write heads, analogous to the CCDs in digital cameras. A prototype has been built and development is proceeding apace. The attraction, apart from greatly-improved storage capacity is that pretty standard semi-conductor manufacturing techniques can be used, leading to a good cost profile.

Dataslide filed its first patent application in October 2002, in the US and the UK, for a computer hard-drive design.

Eric Berthaud is chief executive officer of LEA which he founded in November 1999 to develop technology for fast broadband distribution over existing wireline networks. Prior to founding LEA, he funded several semiconductors representative business companies and held various business unit management positions in Level One Communication, Technitrol and Siemens.

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