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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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RE: Flash pwns this stuff
By rippleyaliens on 4/28/2009 11:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
Flash may indeed pwn this, BUT, once again, Flash still has problems. With the big one, being capacity, and a smaller one being size. YAH that is the right order. 500GB on a CD size= AWESOME archive capability. Some people kinda like to have this thing called a BACKUP.. AND a write once media = a good solution.
when flash is available at 500gb, at a cost of under $1, then yah flash pwn them all, until then other media will and always be needed.

Downloading movies from internet, as in streaming is cool and all, but myself, i still like to be able to like STOP, put in a different movie, and continue one. Internet delivery cannot do that yet. With talk of isp's capping their download, you can count me out of that one. Flash is fast, RAM DRIVES make flash drives look like hard drives, of yesteryear.. NOW THAT IS POWER!!!!!.
Flash drives are just the next logical step. Getting there, but at a pace, that is just reasonable, will take 3-4 years, before we see ssd drives take over hard drives in sales.. BUT SPACE the final frontier, SSD's will be a long time until that happens.

BUT holo dvds, whatever, will mean even higher density movies. Quad HD anyone.. im looking forward to this.

RE: Flash pwns this stuff
By Hacp on 4/29/2009 2:17:23 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure they'll be able to develop a write once flash chip that'll be cheap. The big advantage I'm seeing is in size. Would have rather have a slightly lower quality 50gb movie in the size of an SD card, or a super HD movie on a CD thats 10x the size and 100x easier to break.

RE: Flash pwns this stuff
By HueyD on 4/29/2009 8:40:44 AM , Rating: 2

How does 1 - 2TB on a SD card sound....coming soon.

RE: Flash pwns this stuff
By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 11:44:35 AM , Rating: 2
Umm....SDXC increases the maximum capacity, doesn't mean it'll come at that capacity.

SDHC has a max capacity of 32 GB. They came out in 2006 and we didn't see the first 32 GB card until Spring 2008.

I wouldn't expect a 1 - 2 TB SDXC until late 2010-early 2011. If not even later.

RE: Flash pwns this stuff
By HueyD on 4/29/2009 11:52:20 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, it will probably not be this year, but I don't expect hologram storage to be out this year either. If SDXC works and media becomes available (and affordable), hologram storage will be too little, too late.

My opinion :)

RE: Flash pwns this stuff
By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 12:12:56 PM , Rating: 2
I can't imagine these hologram storages ever coming out. They've been sitting on the back burner so long, while all your major players are screwing around with multiple layer BDs.

I'm thinking we'll see a 1 TB SDXC before we'd see the hologram disc or a 500 GB BD. Course the SDXC would be well out of an average person's budget. I'm thinking when it does come out, it'll be in the $2-3k price range.

RE: Flash pwns this stuff
By AEvangel on 4/29/2009 7:57:26 PM , Rating: 2 even today most of the 32gb & 64gb thumb drives are out of what most people will pay for it.

RE: Flash pwns this stuff
By MrPoletski on 4/30/2009 8:42:37 AM , Rating: 2
more important is if they are backwardly compatiable with older SD slots...

RE: Flash pwns this stuff
By HueyD on 4/29/2009 8:45:09 AM , Rating: 2
Cablevision is offering 101Mbps internet service in NY area for $99. That should be fast enough for start and stop of several movies.

RE: Flash pwns this stuff
By JediJeb on 4/29/2009 6:35:14 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, but out here in the middle of nowhere like me, it is either dial-up or satellite, neither of which is all that good for download movies or playing games. And I doubt we will get anything else around here in the next 5 years.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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