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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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By PAPutzback on 4/29/2009 9:52:18 AM , Rating: 2
Unless I missed it it doesn't seem like anyone touched on the fact that an optical storage unit requires a 5 1/4 inch bay. Now for a media playback unit I think smaller and noiseless is better. Take a look at the ion systems coming out. They whole unit is about the size of a DVD drive and is capable of 1080P. Take a look at HDDs. WE are going from 3 1/2 inch drives down to 2 or less inch ssds. The future (1 to 2 years) of a HTPC is going to be about the size of a netbook or less. Give me a flash drive for my movies please. I don't want to hear drive spin up.
Perhaps someone will come out with a carousel that could hold 1000 SD cards and load them to play movies. No scratches to worry about, no kids fingerprints... The future electronics will be small.

By afkrotch on 4/29/2009 11:32:16 AM , Rating: 2
Slim drives require even less space. Was looking at one of the Sony slot loading slim drives myself for my desktop.

Nvidia Ion would be a failure as an HTPC, as it has no room for expansion. You'd end up with a lot of random external devices plugged into it, like hdds, optical drives, etc.

Also who is going to 2.5" SSDs for storage? Sure, they're using it for Windows and their programs, but all storage is still slapped onto a 3.5" 7200 rpm hdd. If you wanted to, you can get a 2.5" 7200 rpm hdd. Their storage is up to 500 GB atm.

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