By Rik Turner New York-based storage developer C3D Inc says that next week it will demonstrate for the first time a new optical data storage technology with which it hopes to revolutionize the market, representing a significant increase in capacities and access speeds. The Nasdaq-quoted company will be showing potential joint venture partners its fluorescent […]
By Rik Turner
New York-based storage developer C3D Inc says that next week it will demonstrate for the first time a new optical data storage technology with which it hopes to revolutionize the market, representing a significant increase in capacities and access speeds. The Nasdaq-quoted company will be showing potential joint venture partners its fluorescent multi-layered storage technology, which uses incoherent, rather than the coherent light which forms the basis of conventional optical devices.
As a result, said business development manager Patrick Maloney, data can be stored on multiple layers, rather than just two as in conventional disk technology. A first generation of ROM disks, to be known as FMD-ROM, will have a capacity of 140 GB in 10 layers, compared to 17.5 GB on a dual-sided, two-layer DVD disk.
Besides disks, C3D’s initial launches will also include two varieties of cards, a read-only variety called ClearCard-ROM, and a write-once, read-only one called ClearCard-WORM. The former will be targeted at applications such as digital cameras, mobile phones, Palm and CE devices as well as projects such as Microsoft’s E-Book. The latter, given the ability to populate the media on a one-time basis, is targeted at archiving functions.
In the card context, the increase in storage capacity is significant. While smart cards are currently carrying up to 4 MB, C3D’s first generation of cards will hold up to 10 GB. Maloney added that RAM versions of both the disks and cards are already in the pipeline. C3D is also considering a hybrid card with ROM and RAM areas, making it possible, for instance, to store medical data in the ROM sector and, a meetings schedule for that day in the RAM part.
The company’s strategy is to seek three joint ventures, one for each product line and preferably with industry leaders, in which it will provide the technology while the partner comes up with the funding, and equity will be shared 50/50. Maloney said the disk venture would require an equity investment of $35m, plus an issue of debt instruments for $79m.The ROM card partnership will be $12m in equity and $48m of debt, while the WORM card one will be $35m in equity and $139m in debt.
C3D will carry out its first demo in Israel, where the company’s main R&D laboratory is housed. Others are planned for Russia, where it drew on the IT expertise of the University of Moscow, and Ukraine, as well as in Silicon Valley. A demo is planned in California for the end of November.