Storage optimize

GE's breakthrough will make 500 GB holographic discs possible

On Monday, GE announced a scientific breakthrough in the materials used to make micro-holographic storage discs. Is the death of Blu-ray, but a few years away?

Is the death of Blu-ray, but a few years away? If GE can bring its holographic technology to the masses, then it very well may be.

The concept of holographic storage has been around for decades, but until recently the technology has been more science fiction than fact. On Monday, GE announced a scientific breakthrough in the materials used to make micro-holographic storage discs. Brian Lawrence, who leads GE Holographic Storage project, described the breakthrough on this blog:

"However, very recently, the team at GE has made dramatic improvements in the materials enabling significant increases in the amount of light that can be reflected by the holograms.  In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, we demonstrated reflectivities as high as 1% in our materials using our holographic recording test setups.  This represents a 100x to 200x improvement in performance.  More importantly, the higher reflectivity indicates that when we scale the holograms down in size to those that would correspond to the marks created using standard DVD or Blu-ray optics, the reflectivities will be sufficient to enable the storage of up to 500 GB of data in a single CD-size disc."

In its press release, GE did not outline a timeframe for bringing its micro-holographic storage technology to the consumer market, but according to an article in The New York Times, the technology could be available sometime in 2011 or 2012.

GE isn't the only company developing holographic storage technology. If you have deep pockets and can't wait until 2011, InPhase Technologies offers a holographic storage system aimed at the commercial market. The company's tapestry 300r system can store 300 GB of data on a single disc. Back in April 2008, Robin Harris wrote about the tapestry system in ZDNet's Storage Bits blog.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

28 comments
toddawilsonk
toddawilsonk

That's incredible the amount of storage on a single disk the the entire catalogue of human knowledge could be stored on one foor of one building. It's great to be in IT.

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

Just kidding! If only, right? Perhaps after the Great Flu and Super War; will they make a return to the forefront of the technology that's left to service the hollow remnants of man. One can dream.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Got a lot of left over blanks form Windows 3.11 days, huh?

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

That would obviously be for the benefit of data storage more than Movie tracks with complex audio. It scares me to think of the compression needed, despite the new storage format, or what the sample rate would need to be in order to reproduce quality audio signals. You'd have to run at incredibly high sample rates to fit enough information on teh disk, even as a holograph. Okay that's just thinking out loud now, I want a full tech breakdown before I buy into the idea. I was sucked in to CD formats too, only to later find out just how crappy CD's are compared to the old vinyl medium. DAT was nice in the 80's but never hit as a mainstream format outside of the recording studios. And DAT had a better frequency range than CD's do. Poeple buy NEATO stuff and buy into marketing, the result is the media builders win and the listener loses almost every time. Still fuming over digital audio - OM

BradutDima
BradutDima

The Hyper CD-ROM has been demonstrated for more than ten years ago: http://www.pcworld.com/article/31724/hyper_cdrom_packs_terabytes.html

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

there have been many things announced and had a timeframe that seem to just disappear shortly afterwards.

admin
admin

At the stated transfer rate of 3mb/sec it would take 10.569930661254862168104177236597 years to back up 1 PB. So 1 million GB= 1000 million MB That's 1,000,000,000 mb/ 3 secs per mb That's a long time... lol

Another Canadian
Another Canadian

3 mb seconds it seem it will be more usefull for archive then consumer no?

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

the "Play Casino" option on the bottom of the page -- LOL

Slayer_
Slayer_

I wonder if the radation thing stopped the project, cause 2001 was a damn long time ago.

---TK---
---TK---

if you click on the developers link... Its basically a joke of a website... the company probably went belly up... **I clicked on "Constellation 3D", the first like isn't so bad...

elGreatorex
elGreatorex

Storing that much data on the disk is a great step forward an idea of read / write speeds would get me a little more enthuiastic :) update the inphase press release states that their 300r product writes at 20MB/sec so about 4hrs 20mins to burn a disk So the most impressive parts for me ais the capacity & the lifespan of the media Every couple of years I hear about holographic storage , last i heard was a 2Tb holographic disk and I'm sure I heard news of a paper based DVD to be honest though I'm always a sucker for new tech :)

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

due to a bad backup plan and a broken disk :0

RipVan
RipVan

Because even AFTER the disk is broken, the holographic images will live on. Without your data, you can still watch Princess Leia say "Help us Obi-Wan" over and over...

ericvonverde
ericvonverde

I could backup everything I have three times and it would take up almost no space at all. 500GB... That's well over 100dvd's per disk.

jemorris
jemorris

Kinda like when my 8-Track player finally died, almost by then I could listen to CD's on my computer. Only had about 20 cassettes that I would listen to in my pickup. My first cassette player was in the pickup previous to that one. I've nearly rebuilt my collection minus a few I couldn't even give away of what I had in 8 Track tapes. I think at one time I had close to 200 tapes. Man those Greatest Hits compilations are the best though.

jps
jps

If this division of GE plans to release products that have similar quality to the products in their appliances division, then Blu-Ray has nothing to worry about! Personal experience tells me that ANYTHING made by GE is a pile of garbage!

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

They already have a new format in China, CHBD (Chine BlueRay disc) that is an alternative to the proprietary BlueRay format. they just released their first few players, at about $275.00 US, which is FAR cheaper because you don't have to pay the royalties to Sony for a proprietary format. Media will be a lot less too! Format wars don't ever settle or end, especially when one dominating company offers a proprietary format that requires residual licence costs are paid. Movie makers will jump on just about any alternative to BlueRay now just to keep the costs down by not paying licence fees for each disc sold.

mike_patburgess
mike_patburgess

Are you nuts, because you have no idea what you are talking about? You must be one of these junior MS weiners. GE.. Furnace thermostats, jet engines, do I need to say more? GE Information systems and database design and principals were the basis on which we design our DB's today.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

It would be the same boring, inundated field that it is today. :D

pivert
pivert

What would IT be without the coffee maker, microwave oven and selfcleaning oven? And for the older IT'ers: the miniaturized cardivascular system :-)

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

As The Water Boy would say, whoo-dat? Let's see what useless garbage GE has brought to the world then: ** "Edison" Electric Company first fully patented incandescent light bulb **the Dynamo **Americas FIRST central power station **First Lamp factory **World's largest locomotives **Electric fan **Electric toaster **First radio broadcast **Electric locomotives **Ductile tungsten filament(used in today's light bulbs) **First electric range **USS Jupiter **X-Ray tube **Electric refrigeration **The Magnetron (used to develop the first radar and later, microwaves) **Niagra falls hydro generator **Trans-oceanic radio system **portable X-Ray machine **supercharger **the television **Electric washing machine **Garbage disposal **Floodlights for stadiums **Compact, electric coffee maker **Juicer **Fluorescent lamp ** Non reflecting 'invisble' glass (used for camera lenses, binoculars, reading glasses) ** Silicone chemistry **First television network **first US Jet engine **AUTO pilot **Commercial radar (US) **Rainmaker / cloud seeding system **Refigerator/freezer combination **cooking systems to enable fast food **World's most widely used military jet engine **Lexan (today used in CD manufacturing) **Dishwasher **Microminiature relay (for aviation control) **Man made industrial diamonds ** Toaster oven **Convair Skylark (fastest jet engine) **World's first licenced nuclear power plant **Electric can opener **Halogen Lamp **Discovery XIII **Electric toothbrush **Solid state laser **self cleaning oven **Safer X-ray system **Neil Armstrong's boot soles (first step on the moon) **The Mars Observer **MRI machine **First fortune 500 company to go online **CNBC, MSNBC **First Parkinsons disease diagnostic agent **Early cancer detection system **4D ultrasound imaging **H system combined cycle system **VeriWise Trucking system for asset management **World's first digital hospital **Fuel efficient locomotives **Miniaturized (computerized) ultrasound /cardiovascular system **Lexan screen materials for improved LCD's **Streetlab, portable drug identification system **OLED's The list just goes on and on, JPS is right, what good has GE ever done ? LOL :D (fastest jet engines over and over again, best commercial jet engines over and over again, what a crappy company!) The part that really gets me about BS posts like JPS' are that he is sitting at a friggin computer, logged into an internet based forum, yet is incapable of spending 5 mins Googling such stupid theories before posting them.

Ric_Shanahan@yahoo.com
Ric_Shanahan@yahoo.com

Hi. Remember TRON? Everyone had a disk will all of their data stored on it. My entire life history would fit on a 1/2 terabyte disk and it would not even matter if the disk was physically broken! Most of it would be empty even though I have had a full and eventful lifetime! 3D holographic storage will make even half a terabyte seem quaint as an 8-track.

jemorris
jemorris

Yeah I remember it. I think the sequel is supposed to be released directly to DVD. At the time of the original I thought it was pretty cool. Not just the special effects but the concepts presented. Something about Matrix kinda had a similar feeling.