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More storage for less planned

A start-up is developing technology that will allow storage devices to carry ten times as much data at a lower cost.

Silicon Valley start-up TeraStor today revealed plans to develop and license new technology that will allow storage devices such as hard drives to carry ten times as much data at a lower cost than all other existing storage technologies.

Using a technology called Near Field Recording, TeraStor says it will ship products in early 1998 with initial capacities of more than 20GB on one side of a disk platter.

Currently, high-capacity hard drives might use 12 platters--each a separate magnetic disk--to deliver around 9GB of storage. The same number of platters using Near Field Recording technology could store 240GB of data, the company claims.

The company says products using the technology will be targeted for use in data warehouses, workstations, and networked environments but will also be inexpensive enough for use in desktop computers.

"Today, the industry has several mass storage technologies, each serving specialized needs of various applications," said Jim McCoy, chairman and CEO of TeraStor, in a prepared statement. "The industry needs one affordable, high-performance technology that can address the requirements of all applications. We intend to fulfill that need," says McCoy, who also is cofounder of storage device makers Quantum and Maxtor.