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GE holographic disc stores 500GB of data

Researchers at GE have validated technology that will one day usher in the next generation of optical storage -- holographic storage. The researchers have developed a disc the size of a standard DVD that can hold 500GB of data. The researchers say that conventional optical storage discs only store information on the surface of a disc while holographic storage can store information on the entire volume of the disc material.

Tiny holographic bits of information are written to the disc in patterns and can then be read back by the drive. The capacity of holographic discs are a breakthrough, but the technology used in the process is similar enough to the current DVD and Blu-ray technology in wide use that future optical drives will be able to read CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and holographic discs.

GE's Brian Lawrence said in a statement, "GE’s breakthrough is a huge step toward bringing our next generation holographic storage technology to the everyday consumer. Because GE’s micro-holographic discs could essentially be read and played using similar optics to those found in standard Blu-ray players, our technology will pave the way for cost-effective, robust and reliable holographic drives that could be in every home. The day when you can store your entire high definition movie collection on one disc and support high resolution formats like 3-D television is closer than you think."

GE reports that its researchers have been able to successfully record micro-holographic marks approaching one percent reflectivity at a diameter of about one micron. The one-micron size will allow a disc the size of a conventional DVD to hold 500GB of data. GE has been working on holographic storage for six years and the 500GB capacity is a milestone in its research. The researchers hope to eventually devise a way to store 1,000GB of data on a single disc using the holographic process. In 2007, InPhase started shipping holographic writers and media that could store 300GB per disc.

GE's Bill Kernick said, "GE’s holographic storage program has turned the corner, and with this milestone we can now intensify our efforts in commercialization opportunities. We’ll continue to engage with a variety of strategic partners to create the best route from product development to introduction into the marketplace."

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holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By Pirks on 4/28/2009 8:07:58 PM , Rating: -1
by the time these holodiscs are out everyone will use 1TB USB 3.0 flash drives or SSDs or something

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By ReligiousScience on 4/28/2009 8:12:47 PM , Rating: 5
This statement is off in so many ways I don't even know where to begin...

Maybe the replies will do the talking for me.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By v3rt1g0 on 4/28/2009 8:20:59 PM , Rating: 4
It's Pirks. What do you expect?

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By Pirks on 4/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By chmilz on 4/28/2009 8:35:43 PM , Rating: 1
<shudder> I have to agree with Pirks. Solid state storage technology is killing motorized devices at a spectacular rate, for good reason. Add the internet to the equation and goodnight, thanks for coming.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By inighthawki on 4/28/2009 9:38:52 PM , Rating: 3
When i can get a 5gb sd card for < 10 cents each let me know

By albundy2 on 4/29/2009 5:03:36 AM , Rating: 2
where can YOU get a rewritable dvd that can be writen on over 100,000 for 10 cents?

also, just a shot in the dark here, does anyone make flash that can be writen to once and read till it falls apart, like a dvd? something tells me this would be the 5GB flash card for 10 cents your looking for.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By Diesel Donkey on 4/28/2009 10:02:38 PM , Rating: 2
For now it is in optical disc format, but isn't the holy grail of holographic storage a solid-state system with no moving parts? I can't seem to find a reference at the moment, but I believe that it is an eventual goal for the technology.

By Diesel Donkey on 4/28/2009 10:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
Here's an example:

Look near the bottom.

By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 11:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, SSD tech is doing it at a spectacular rate. Hence why majority of everything still uses motorized devices.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By mattclary on 4/28/2009 8:35:08 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I bet he's not that far off the mark. I'm guessing the standard "3 to 5 years away" for these disks... By that time, I suspect SSDs are going to be REALLY freaking cheap. As the process continues to shrink, capacity is going to be easy to get at a great price.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By Totally on 4/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By Pirks on 4/29/2009 12:05:19 AM , Rating: 3
640K will be enough for everybody

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By ipay on 5/2/2009 3:31:01 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe its not dead yet but it should die quick and painful death for all the compatibility crap consumers have to put up with. Its really sad. I refuse to buy optical drive for my next build whether blu-ray or anything else, knowing that as soon as the newer and faster discs come out my hardware will be garbage. Ohh.. and not to even mention different disc manufacturers..

By meepstone on 4/28/2009 8:46:27 PM , Rating: 1
Considering how overly priced SSD's are, I doubt a small percentage will be using them before this comes out.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By inperfectdarkness on 4/28/2009 9:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
there will be a super-huge market for these.

the entire DOD (as well as many other government and civilian agencies) have already banned the use of all flash & portable drives. only floppies & disk drives are "safe" to use.

trust me, conflicker was only the beginning.

(p.s. yes, i know it SHOULD be simple enough do disable auto-run drives...but i'm not in I.T.)

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By Pirks on 4/28/2009 9:05:18 PM , Rating: 1
the entire DOD (as well as many other government and civilian agencies) have already banned the use of all flash & portable drives. only floppies & disk drives are "safe" to use
This decision will be reverted once Windows 7 is deployed there, since autorun security (mega)hole is finally plugged in it. So not an argument.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By Master Kenobi on 4/29/2009 6:17:22 AM , Rating: 2
In the classified space, this will remain.

By inperfectdarkness on 4/29/2009 6:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
100% true.

if only because disks are much more easily purged & sanitized than flash drives.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By djc208 on 4/29/2009 7:55:12 AM , Rating: 2
You're assuming these would somehow make it into DOD machines in the next decade. Considering government contracts go to the lowest bidder the DOD machine I have right now is still using a DVD/CDRW drive. Specialized applications may get them but only because they would need that capacity to move data outside the DOD network. Which is not very common.

The big problem with the flash media ban is that most of the stuff I want to move is small, and burning a CDR for a file that would fit on a floppy disk (which we don't have any more) seems a waste.

Again, Windows 7 may fix the problem but it will be years before the DOD transitions to it I'd imagine. We just in the last year converted to XP.

By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 11:51:24 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 7. Hell, we haven't really even started moving to Vista.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By jlips6 on 4/29/2009 12:14:36 AM , Rating: 3
Think software, video games, music, the annoying instruction DVD's that come with your fog machine or even occasionally a disc in a Wendy's fast food meal.
When is flash memory going to be as cheap as CD's?
Not for years and years yet.

The bottom line is, CD's are really cheap to manufacture with small memory storage. Flash memory... not so much.

It is possible. I mean, these discs could come out in a decade or two from now. This is the dailytech after all. But please forgive me if I hedge my bets on disc storage rather than flash memory for cheap data distribution.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By Ratinator on 4/29/2009 2:30:58 AM , Rating: 1
Hmmm....25GB RW Blu-Ray disc is around $25. 16GB Flash Drives are down around $30 now. It isn't as far apart as one may think.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 11:55:36 AM , Rating: 3
FFS, ppl need to research before opening their damn mouths.

25 gig BD-R = $5 or less

It's as far as jlips6 makes it out to be.

RE: holo/optic/disc storage is dead
By Ratinator on 4/29/2009 12:08:31 PM , Rating: 1
Dude, take a chill pill. You need to read what someone posted before opening your mouth: I said BD-RW not BD-R.

Last time I checked flash was re-writable. Comparing apples to apples.

By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 12:17:14 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, my bad. Make that

BD-RE = $10

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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