Feeds

InPhase succumbs to the darkness

Holographic light at end of tunnel was an oncoming train

The essential guide to IT transformation

Holographic storage company InPhase Technologies has paid off all its employees but is still looking for a venture capital white knight. The dream still flickers, it's just temporarily out of phase.

According to a report in the Longmont Times-Call, the last 60 employees have been paid off after working for a year on minimum wages. Their commitment was pretty high, but now they are not hopeful of any good news, however much the board and CEO Nelson Diaz say new funding is feasible.

The employees had been told they would get their back pay once a funding round completed. It never did and the cash has run out.

InPhase built its Tapestry holo storage device using $180, 300GB optical disks and a drive initially priced at $18,000, targeted at media archiving applications. The write speed was slow, just 20MB/sec, and the company experienced multi-year delays in bringing the product to market. Being reliant on optics, the problem of predictably stabilising and positioning mirrors proved to be one of several huge issues.

The trouble with optical archive storage is that it is too slow, holds too little data, and is vastly more expensive than either deduplicated disk or tape. The technology is venomously difficult to productise and there is no optical enterprise storage market outside the entry-level stuff like DVDs and CDs, where a mass consumer market holds down the costs of media and drives.

All attempts to generate business optical storage products without a consumer base to build on have foundered - witness Plasmon and others.

InPhase picked up a total of around $95m in funding, with a D-round in January 2008 bringing in $20m. It's all gone, flushed down the optical business pan. Any VC wanting to invest to try and resurrect it will need a deep wallet and a willingness to gamble against the odds that the technology is viable. So far, all it's done is prove to be a dead-end. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.