April 28, 2009

Holographic Storage Breakthrough

G.E. announced (article here) that researchers have laboratory proven (it works, but not on my budget) that 100 DVDs worth of content can fit onto one standard size holographic disk. Industry experts are excited about the wide range of applications of this technology, and so am I.

Being the computer pack-rat (or digital archive enthusiast) that I am, I love to see advances in this field. The aforementioned article claims that this holo-technology could be the next generation in low cost storage. I don't want to get into the specifics of how the holograms are stored on the disk, but the breakthrough came from an increase in hologram readability by using lights on the lower end of what is readable by current Blu-ray players (awesome light spectrum chart). The technology to read the hologram is similar to CD, DVD and Blu-Ray players, so they would be backward compatible with the soon to be ancient formats.

It may seem surprising that G.E. is coming up with this tecnology (I would have expected it from Sony), but they have a rich history in innovation. The article mentions that G.E. plans to partner with electronic optics producers to bring the holographic technology to market.

It makes perfect sense to innovate in this area, even when traditional hard disks are very cheap. The world is producing data at an alarming rate, which is expected to increase. Even with more advanced servers, data still needs to be backed up.

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