Densbits, a small Israeli company, is working on turning flash, the type of memory used in devices like the iPod Nano, into the world’s standard memory type.
Flash, which is essentially a semiconductor that can store data, is much faster than the magnetic disk drive that currently stores your computer’s information. However, it can’t compete in terms of the large amount of data stored by magnetic drives.
As the name implies, Densbits is working on making flash memory denser. Once that problem is tackled, we may all be using ultra-fast flash for our main computer memory, which will speed computers overall.
The company has already had some success, working with Saifun, another Israeli company, to bring memory density to four bits per cell. Saifun is in the process of being acquired for $370 million by Spansion, a larger flash memory maker.
Smaller semiconductor companies like Saifun or Densbits typically work by developing a technology, then licensing it out to big manufacturers. In an interview with TMCnet, a Densbits executive says they will try to partner with companies like Samsung and Toshiba, while competing with Sandisk, the world’s largest flash memory maker.
The competition between venture firms to find such small firms with potential hit technologies is fierce. It’s the market’s potential size — projected to grow rapidly towards $50 billion in the early years of the next decade — that has investors interested.
Densbits is based in Israel, was founded in 2006 by ex-Intel staffer Ilan Hen, and now has about 30 employees. According to our source, the company received between $8 and 10 million in funding entirely from Sequoia Capital.
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