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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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Still remember the times...
By DeepBlue1975 on 4/29/2009 8:42:36 AM , Rating: 2
I still remember when optical storage media was far far more capacious than any available single hard disk drive at the moment (talking about desktops).

Now we have ultra cheap, 1tb+ HDDs on one side, and on the other, ultra expensive, 25gb BD disks which, in spite of the time it went by since its introduction, are still far from being ubiquitous at all.

I don't have a BD drive and, considering the prices, I think I won't either. DL DVDs are already expensive (and slow to burn) enough to make it a very rare buy for me.

We desperately need something like what the article describes to become mainstream and have a reasonable price after a couple of years of its introduction, as at 4gbs/disc you need a ton to make a home backup, and using an HDD as a backup does not seem too wise for me (making a mirror is better, but expensive, too)

RE: Still remember the times...
By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 11:24:13 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is adoption rates. If no one adopts, the price can't drop. If no one is buying, then the companies have no incentive to create more factories to produce.

Anyways, I hate backing up to disc, as then you have a bunch of discs. I use 4 x 1 TB external HDDs for backup. Once a week, I turn it on, copy everything over, then turn it off.

By the time this 500 GB hologram disc or 500 gig 16 layer BD disc comes out, we'll have 4 TB 3.5" hdds.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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