View Full Version : Holographic Media ... future storage for the HVX?

Hans Damkoehler
May 4th, 2006, 10:47 PM
The following is addressed in a couple other threads in other areas but nothing extremely recent. I received the information below today and thought I'd pass it on. All I know is what I've read today. However, 300 GB per disc would be nicer than 25-50. I have not idea what it would cost!

Anyway ... for your perusal (from

Maxell Corporation of America's Professional Media Products Division has entered into a joint venture with InPhase Technologies to bring a revolutionary technology to market - holographic media. Holographic media - with its enormous 300 GB storage capacity, its speedy 160 Mbps transfer rate, and its superior archival life - is certain to make a compelling choice for the next wave of optical storage users. The first generation of Holographic Media is scheduled for release in late 2006.

Holographic recording technology utilizes a laser beam to form and store data in a number of 3D hologram images of data pages into the same location. Each location can hold hundreds of pages of data and an entire 5 1/4 inch-diameter optical disc can store millions of pages. Each piece of holographic media, which gives you approximately 5 hours of high definition on a single disk, is capable of custom encryption - an essential element in the fight against piracy.

This holographic recording technology will revolutionize the long term archival storage industry with media and drives for high capacity, rapid access and low cost data storage. Holographic recording is a blend of photography and digital recording. The drive is a digital data-camera that records images of bits. The media is film-like, a photo-polymer, that is sensitive to a particular wavelength of laser light.

Combining high storage densities, fast transfer rates, with durable, reliable, low cost media, make holography poised to become a compelling choice for next-generation storage and content distribution needs.

Professional video applications are migrating to the digital world. You will be able to record, edit, distribute and archive on the same medium. The unique ability of storing data throughout the depth of the media and not on the surface, greatly reduces the threat of piracy. Holographic watermarks can also be used to check the authenticity of the media, making this technology extremely viable for film and game distribution.

"Holographic media makes it possible for HD content and millions of pages of information to be held on one small, relatively inexpensive disc," said Tony Petruzziello, director of sales for Maxell Professional Media Products Division. "Imagine having a person's entire medical history, complete with MRI data, on a single disc. Imagine having a year's worth of satellite imagery data in one small transportable place, or having the ability to store hours and hours of High-Definition video footage on 5 1/4 inches of disc space. This will all be possible with Holographic media; it's a glimpse into the future."

The flexibility of the technology allows for the development of a wide variety of holographic storage products that range from handheld devices for consumers and storage products for the enterprise. Imagine 2GB of data on a postage stamp, 20 GB on a credit card or 300 GB on a disk. All that is possible with holographic storage.

Gary L Childress
May 6th, 2006, 02:22 PM
InPhase had a booth at last year's NAB and I took a look at their prototype. I realize that it was not in final form but it didn't look like something that was going to be inexpensive. The device was pretty big. They have been announcing that it is "coming soon..." for 2 or 3 years now. They have said that the media will be inexpensive but have not given any indication of a rough price of the recorder. What I saw looked to be at least the cost of a DLT recorder and probably more. If they get it to market and have a reasonable price for it then it will be revolutionary. For right now, it's just pie-in-the-sky.

Hans Damkoehler
May 6th, 2006, 03:36 PM
... it will be revolutionary. For right now, it's just pie-in-the-sky.

Thanks for the reply Gary.

I did some follow up on it and it looks like a Fall introduction but it will be so cost prohibitive for a consumer that reasonable drives are still 2-3 years out. Oh well ... :o( All those Server types can keep the Internet up and going for the time being with these new drives ... thanks again.

Jeff Kilgroe
May 6th, 2006, 06:05 PM
Yep, the first drives will be extremely expensive, but this is the way with all new technologies. Just look what CD-R drives cost when they first arrived on the scene. IIRC, the first CD-R drive that was sold commercially had a sticker price of about $14,000. DVD writers hit the streets at about $6K and that was even with them based on existing CD-R/RW tech.

Over the next year or two, we can expect to start seeing more offerings in the 5.25" disc category. Holographic disc media is one thing. We also have FMD-RAM, which works much like current DVD (and/or HD-DVD/BR media), but uses a focused electron beam rather than a laser (like an electron microscope). It can pack 50 to 250GB of data on a single layer in the disc. But here's where it really gets interesting... Up to 10 layers can fit into a standard thickness disc and the electron beam can read multiple layers simultaneously! So, 2.5TB per disc sounds pretty tempting and the media will also be dirt cheap (on par with BluRay media - is what is claimed), but will handle up to 10 times the capacity with up to 10 times the speed. Cool. :) I think FMD is predicted for a 2008 release.

Gary L Childress
May 6th, 2006, 07:49 PM
I guess by the time one of these technologies rolls out I will have a whole lotta archived hard drives sitting on the shelf!