GE breakthrough steps closer to 500 Gbyte optical storage disc

May 1, 2009
May 1, 2009--Although they are not the first to develop ultrahigh-density data storage technology, GE Global Research (Niskayuna, NY), the technology development arm of General Electric, announced a major breakthrough in the development of next-generation optical storage technology. GE researchers successfully demonstrated a threshold micro-holographic storage material that can support 500 gigabytes (Gbyte) of storage capacity in a standard DVD-size disc.

May 1, 2009--Although they are not the first to develop ultrahigh-density data storage technology (see "Terabyte optical disc relies on two-photon process" and "Harvard researchers develop plasmonic laser antenna [to improve optical storage technology]"), GE Global Research (Niskayuna, NY), the technology development arm of General Electric, announced a major breakthrough in the development of next-generation optical storage technology. GE researchers successfully demonstrated a threshold micro-holographic storage material that can support 500 gigabytes (Gbyte) of storage capacity in a standard DVD-size disc.

The 500 Gbyte capacity is equal to the capacity of 20 single-layer Blu-ray discs, 100 DVDs, or the hard drive for a large desktop computer. GE's micro-holographic discs will be able to be read and recorded on systems very similar to a typical Blu-ray or DVD player. Although GE's holographic storage technology represents a breakthrough in capacity, the hardware and formats are so similar to current optical storage technology that the micro-holographic players will enable consumers to play back their CDs, DVDs, and BDs.

The GE team successfully recorded micro-holographic marks approaching one percent reflectivity with a diameter of approximately one micron. When using standard DVD or Blu-ray disc optics, the scaled down marks will have sufficient reflectivity to enable over 500 GB of total capacity in a CD-size disc.

Brian Lawrence, who leads GE's Holographic Storage program, said, "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 initially will be focusing on the commercial archival industry followed by the consumer market for its micro-holographic storage technology.

For more information, go to www.genewscenter.com.

--Posted by Gail Overton, [email protected]; www.laserfocusworld.com.

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