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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: Didn't I read about this years ago?
By scruffypup on 4/29/2009 12:38:53 AM , Rating: 2
Well reading that wikipedia link and you will never find anything out!!!

Try doing better research than relying on one site for everything,...

obviously they are making and shipping holographic storage media and have done so since 2007

This is not intended to compete on the average consumer's needs for mp3s, however, it can possibly make some radical changes in life down the road. As for now, it can make a big difference to large companies,...

RE: Didn't I read about this years ago?
By melgross on 4/29/2009 1:25:42 AM , Rating: 1
This doesn't work for anything other that some heavy duty storage.

It's VERY slow. Would you like to write to this, or read from it, at those speeds?

It's also very expensive.

This isn't working in a useful manner for most uses. It's very specialized.

By Radnor on 4/29/2009 4:41:07 AM , Rating: 2
"50 year media archive life"

Your right this isn't for your hands. But it quite perfect for backups/storage solution. The lifetime of a CD-R or DVD-+R is 3-5 years, taking extra care and using good ones.

"300GB – 1.6TB Capacities
20MB/s-120 MB/s transfer rate and milliseconds data access time "

Not the fastest, but 1,6 TB on a 50 lasting years media. Your joking right ? If it is for backups or storage doesn't need high transfer speeds. Does need fast access time witch it has.

This is not for you and for me. But i know many companies that if they knew this existed, it was a perfect backup solution.

By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 12:08:29 PM , Rating: 3
It's VERY slow? Huh?

20MB/s-120 MB/s transfer. It's max transfer is faster than a DVD. It's also faster than a BD.

54x CD - 7.93 MB/s
22x DVD - 29.04 MB/s
12x BD - 54 MB/s

Hell, if it can sustain the 120 MB/s transfer, it'd be equivalent to a 300 GB Velociraptor HDD. It's anything, but slow.

By fic2 on 4/29/2009 11:56:58 AM , Rating: 2
Pardon me. I looked at inPhase's website press releases and didn't see anything newer than 1.5 years ago (Nov 2007). None of the press release headlines says that it is shipping.

I would think that if a company is alive and actually shipping a product they would announce it.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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