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Imperial Snaps Out of It

Solid-state disk player Imperial Technology Inc. has returned from limbo, hiring back much of the staff it let go last summer and getting ready to launch a massive 1-Tbyte system.

"The rumors of our death were greatly exaggerated," Robert David, CEO of Imperial, waggishly quips.

In mid-2002, Imperial was hit by a sales drought and it was forced to lay off around half its staff, David says. That left the El Segundo, Calif., company with around 20 employees (see Imperial Goes Into 'Hibernation Mode').

But after landing several new customers, Imperial has hired back everyone it let go -- and then some, David says -- for a current headcount of 50. Major new accounts include Logitech Inc., Netflix Inc., and Southwest Airlines Co.

And on Feb. 1, it's planning to come out with a humongous 1-Tbyte solid-state (SSD) system -- priced at $2 million -- that will be able to process 1 million I/O operations per second (IOPS). The system, called the MegaRam-10K, fits in two 70-inch racks and requires 800 pounds of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries.

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