200GB optical storage not enough – try 300GB

InPhase Technologies (lucent spinoff) is readying an optical storage drive that can hold 300GB per disc. It’s expected to read and write 10 times faster than current DVD drives and uses “Tapestry holographic memory technology”. The discs are expected to be a bit thicker than DVD’s and about 13cm (~5.11 inches)

The article goes on to explain that current dvd’s (and cds) use a technique of “ridges and valleys”, basically stamped discs have pits and ridges in the surface of the foil layer. CD/DVD burners simulate this by “burning” or discoloring the dye in front of a reflective layer that simulates the same pits and ridges. This new technique however uses one laser/split into two beams to write. (Reference and signal). Where the beams intersect a hologram is written varying, of course, by the data that is used for the signal laser. In a sense traditional cd’s were an extension of the concept of a record, only digital and using light as the needle. This is a broadly different approach to storing data and would be more of a revolution in optical data.

The storage format is expected to go on sale in 2006 (2 years earlier than the 200GB dvd tech that I typed about yesterday.) Compatibility with current dvd/cd discs would be broken, (no dual drives), but I wonder if ultimately this technology doesn’t have the potential to grow to a much greater capacity?

If 300GB isn’t enough Beta News is claiming that the technology could support up to 1.5 terabytes ultimately.

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