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Startup Receives NSF Grant to Develop Hard Drives

Posted September 11, 2015

Codelucida, a startup company created from University of Arizona and University of Cergy-Pontoise, France, research, has been awarded a $750,000 Small Business Innovation Research Phase-2 grant from the National Science Foundation. The company previously completed a $150,000, six-month Phase-1 grant that made it eligible to apply for the competitive Phase-2 grant. The two-year grant is nondilutive federal funding meant to further assist the company in its commercialization efforts.

Codelucida is developing a disruptive error-correction technology for next-generation solid-state drives, or SSDs. The enabling technology addresses a major need in the growing market, as SSDs face major reliability issues because of the growing demands for higher storage capacity at reduced cost, along with increased speed and endurance for emerging storage applications.

The technology will have a major impact on consumer devices, such as laptops and tablets, as well as data centers and cloud-based storage systems that are migrating to the use of SSDs over conventional hard disk drives to enable faster speeds and reduced power usage.

The foundation of Codelucida’s technology was jointly developed during the doctoral studies of co-founder and CEO Shiva Planjery, along with his co-founders and doctoral advisers, Bane Vasic, UA professor of electrical and computer engineering, and David Declercq, professor at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France.

To protect their invention and license the technology, the co-founders worked with Tech Launch Arizona, the UA unit that commercializes inventions stemming from University research.

Currently, the company is housed at the Arizona Center for Innovation, or AzCI, within the UA Tech Park and is going through the AzCI Mentored Launch program, where Planjery is leading the company’s commercialization efforts. Through the program, Codelucida receives individualized coaching and participates in workshops, seminars and networking events.

AzCI also directly supported Codelucida in its prototyping efforts by providing a field-programmable gate-array, or FPGA, board, which is used to implement and test the company’s proprietary error-correction algorithms.

By sharing results from its initial hardware prototypes, the company is seeing increased customer traction among SSD market leaders and has begun to receive specific proprietary requirements through mutual nondisclosure agreements. The company also is seeking to raise capital to accelerate its product development and commercialization efforts.

“We are thrilled to be receiving the NSF Phase-2 grant, which not only endorses the merits of our technology but also confirms that our product addresses a strong market need,” Planjery said. “We would not have reached this stage without the multiple support groups of the entrepreneurial ecosystem right here in Tucson.”

Source: University of Arizona

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