Wednesday, April 17, 2024

New VP of Engineering; New Multi-Layer Optical Disc Patents

Folio Photonics recently announced the appointment of industry veteran Greg Kittilson as Vice President of Engineering. In this position, Kittilson will lead the engineering team in developing and delivering the first-ever enterprise-scale, immutable active archive solution, that provides breakthrough cost, margin, and sustainability benefits to the market. He will act directly under the CEO, Steve Santamaria, and work across functional teams to further the product development process.

A seasoned product development leader, Kittilson brings a wealth of experience and demonstrated accomplishments throughout his long career in the computer hardware industry, having led functional areas of servo development, electrical engineering and software engineering.

Prior to Folio Photonics, Kittilson worked many years at Seagate Technology, initially as drive core team leader, where he and his team delivered the first 2.5″ gaming drive for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the first automotive drive and the first hybrid drive (named one of the 25 most innovative products of 2008 by PC World). He went on to serve as Seagate’s Senior Director for CORTX Object Storage Data Path development and, most recently, as PMO Director for Lyve Cloud Engineering.

Before Seagate, Kittilson held leadership positions in product development and engineering with Dot Hill Systems, where he led a team that defined and delivered the next-generation storage architecture centred on a RAID Companion Processor ASIC for entry-level storage arrays.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to join the innovative team that has pioneered a ground-breaking approach to optical storage that overcomes historical constraints and puts unheard-of cost, cybersecurity and sustainability benefits within reach,” stated Kittilson. “I look forward to leveraging my industry knowledge and technical expertise to drive the productisation of Folio’s next-generation optical technology – and providing the data storage industry with revolutionising active archive offerings.”

“Greg’s outstanding engineering background makes him a great asset to our team,” said Santamaria. “His proven success in dramatically scaling operations in high-growth businesses will be instrumental as we scale operations and usher in a new era of data storage technology that offers major advantages in the ever-challenging archival storage market.”

Kittilson holds a BS in Engineering from St. Cloud State University and an MBA and Master’s degree in Systems Engineering from Colorado State University. He also owns a United States Patent for a ‘Disk drive employing method of writing a data block to a data sector following a defective servo sector’.

Folio Photonics Secures Patent for Advancements in Multi-layer Optical Disc Storage

In a related announcement, Folio Photonics also unveiled another leap forward in the development of the first-ever enterprise-scale, immutable active archive solution. Folio has been awarded a United States Patent for “Systems and Methods for Increasing Data Rate and Storage Density in Multi-layer Optical Discs.”

The patent abstract states: “Systems and methods, e.g., optical apparatuses, for digital optical information storage systems that improve the speed, signal to noise, controllability, and data storage density for fluorescent and reflective multi-layer optical data storage media. The systems and methods include an optical system for a reading beam of a data channel from a moving single or multi-layer or otherwise three-dimensional optical information storage medium that comprises at least one optical element characterised by restricting the field of view (FOV) of the reading beam on an associated image plane to 0.3 to 2 Airy disk diameters in a first direction.”

In lay terms, the novel inventions protected under this patent will deliver numerous benefits, including improved performance and ease of management of Folio Photonics’ multi-layer optical disc storage technology. In addition, newly enhanced signal strength relative to background noise will lead to higher throughput, lower latency and increased performance. And, allow the storage capacity potential of a Folio Photonics disc to dramatically increase.

“This patent plays a key role in enabling Folio Photonics’ optical media to be used for data storage,” said Steve Santamaria, Folio Photonics. “This novel design and detection method will act as the basis for our optical pickup unit, which reads and writes data marks to our multi-layer media as part of the optical disc drive. Subsequently, by enabling end-users to use our storage media in this way, the patent allows for significant gains across cost-efficiency, accessibility, ease of deployment and archival duration period, which is essentially now in perpetuity.”

He continued, “It is by no means an understatement to say that designing a new optical pickup unit to work with nontraditional multi-layer media is the hardest part of new optical storage development, aside from creating the new media itself. Not only have we patented this design and its application, but we have also brought it to life on our optics bench. We have demonstrated this approach’s validity as it greatly contributed to our achieving reading/writing data to all layers of our disc.”

The innovations, which build on the Folio Photonics archive solution’s breakthrough cost, security and sustainability benefits, were invented by Folio Photonics’ Founder, Kenneth D. Singer, Ph.D. and COO/CTO, Irina Shiyanovskaya, Ph.D., together with Asher Sussman, and Thomas Milster, Professor of Optical Sciences and Young Sik Kim, Assistant Research Professor of Optical Sciences, both of whom are from the Wyant College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona.


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