DataSlide has come out of stealth mode with a very creative SSD replacement technology. They call it a Hard Rectangular Disk or HRD.

Here’s their quick overview:

DataSlide applies technology in new, patented ways to achieve unprecedented high performance 160,000 IOPS & 500MB/sec and low power <4 Watts for a magnetic storage device:

  1. A piezoelectric actuator keeps the rectangular media in precise motion
  2. A diamond solid lubricant coating protects the surfaces for years of worry free service
  3. A massively parallel 2D array of magnetic heads reads from or writes to up to 64 embedded
    heads at a time

Here’s a diagram, courtesy DataSlide:

But that’s not all. According to the redoubtable Chris Mellor at The Register a

. . . 2-dimensional array of 64 read-write heads, operating in parallel, . . . positioned above an piezo-electric-driven oscillating rectangular recording surface. . . .

The data organization compared to a disk drive look like this:
courtesy DataSlide

Chris also reports that Oracle’s Embedded Global Business Unit is working with DataSlide to incorporate a database to create a “smart” storage device for use in I/O intensive “multiple concurrent stream” applications.

The company says the drive is at the prototype stage and uses existing high-volume production technologies, including perpendicular recording media, semicondutor lithographic heads and LCD glass treatments.

The StorageMojo take
DataSlide has taken much from IBM’s Millipede concept and reimagined it using common technologies. While much remains to be done to productize the prototype, the fact of such architectural creativity should spur new thinking at the hard drive companies.

Of course, just like SSDs, with such low latencies it doesn’t make much sense to stick the device at the end of a long, complex, high-latency interconnect chain. PCI-e HRD card, anyone?

Also, the relatively low capacity – 36GB – of the prototype device suggests it may slot in between larger capacity SSDs and DRAM. Until we know the economics though that is almost baseless speculation.

Let’s hope they can get it to market in less than 3 years. And let the based speculation begin!

Courteous comments welcome, of course. This post was updated from the original with the diagrams and some minor edits.