DataSlide’s technology centres on a sheet of magnetic material mounted beneath a laminate read-write ‘head’. The media layer is double-sided, so there’s a second read-write sheet beneath. All three layers – and, presumably, more sets above and below them – fit inside a standard 3.5in drive casing and are sandwiched with lubricant.
The read-write layer comprises a grid of millions of read-write heads created using the same lithography process used to make silicon chips. Each head is controlled by sending a signal along the appropriate row and column of the grid.
There’s not, however, a 1:1 correspondence between head and data bit on the media layer. Instead, the middle part is moved in the horizontal plane by piezo-electrics to allow a head to read a selection of bits, grouped as a sector.
DataSlide claims that the technology can achieve 160,000 randow read/write IOPs and a 500MB/s transfer rate. It also says the whole system consumes a tiny 4W of power – a third of the power consumption of a 15,000rpm HDD, it said, and half that of a typical SSD or mobile drive.