Dataslide has just agreed an investment program with Eric Berthaud, CEO of LEA, a French xDSL manufacture and distributor. The first tranche is $500,000, of which $240,000 has been paid. Charles Barnes, DataSlide's chairman, says: "With the completion of the total program this will value the company at $50M." Jeff Biggs, LEA marketing director, will join Dataslide's board as market development director

The funding: "will be used to complete the IP process, to commence the next phase of prototype development and to fund the process of gaining sufficient investment to complete the main stage of completing a pre-production product."

Dataslide's technology uses an oscillating magnetised surface to enable data signals to be read or written by an array of read:write heads. The multiplicity of heads gets around looming rotating disk limitations such as speed increases and data access timing. The oscillating surface moves signal boundaries to and from underneath the read:write heads such that the signals can be detected. This is the function provided by spinning a magnetic disk which passes signal edges underneath the platter's single read:write head, also by streaming a tape underneath read:write heads.

Moving the read:write head to the right track on the platter takes time - latency - and then streaming all the required data through the single head also takes time.

With Dataslide's technology there are many, many read:write heads, such that latency is much less than that of disk. They read in parallel which further improves data access time. So much so in fact that an individual signal edge does not have to pass underneath its read:write head at the same speed with Dataslide technology, as it does with rotating disk technology, based on 7,200 or 15,000rpm for example.

A likely first product would have a 36-72GB capacity, a response time of 0.2-0.3 milliseconds and a data rate of 64MB/sec. The route to the computer's RAM and CPU would be via PCI Express. It could appear by the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008. The technology is highly likely to be improved as the prototyping and pre-production development is carried out.