Lucent invests in optical storage

Lucent Technologies said on Friday it was licensing some of its optical storage technology to a privately held Silicon Valley company in a multimillion-dollar equity-for-technology deal that seeks to deliver a tenfold increase in data storage density over today's magnetic disk drives.

"I think it's a first and significant step in commercialising this new technology and strengthens the Siros technology portfolio," said Wolfgang Schlichting, an analyst at IDC.

The deal gets telecommunications giant Lucent into the optical storage space, he said. Meanwhile, Siros Technologies, a small company, has a chance to develop a product based on new technology using laser optics, he added.

Lucent said its alliance with Californian-based Siros, which makes ultra-high capacity optical data storage systems, gives it an undisclosed stake in the company and a seat on its board in exchange for new optical technologies, cash and lab equipment.

"The alliance with Lucent complements our existing three-dimensional recording technology and strengthens Siros' intellectual property portfolio with new optical technologies," said Barbara Grant, president and CEO of Siros. The company hopes to use its expertise in hard disk drive engineering, optics and materials chemistry to drive the new optical technologies to market, she added.