Holographic storage breakthrough: Blu-Ray killer on the horizon? - High-Def Digest Forums
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-28-2009, 09:12 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1
Default Holographic storage breakthrough: Blu-Ray killer on the horizon?

From the New York times (can't post a URL because i'm a new user)

Quote:
G.E.s Breakthrough Can Put 100 DVDs on a Disc

By STEVE LOHR

Published: April 26, 2009

General Electric says it has achieved a breakthrough in digital storage technology that will allow standard-size discs to hold the equivalent of 100 DVDs.

The storage advance, which G.E. is announcing on Monday, is just a laboratory success at this stage. The new technology must be made to work in products that can be mass-produced at affordable prices.

But optical storage experts and industry analysts who were told of the development said it held the promise of being a big step forward in digital storage with a wide range of potential uses in commercial, scientific and consumer markets.

This could be the next generation of low-cost storage, said Richard Doherty, an analyst at Envisioneering, a technology research firm.

The promising work by the G.E. researchers is in the field of holographic storage. Holography is an optical process that stores not only three-dimensional images like the ones placed on many credit cards for security purposes, but the 1s and 0s of digital data as well.

The data is encoded in light patterns that are stored in light-sensitive material. The holograms act like microscopic mirrors that refract light patterns when a laser shines on them, and so each holograms recorded data can then be retrieved and deciphered.

Holographic storage has the potential to pack data far more densely than conventional optical technology, used in DVDs and the newer, high-capacity Blu-ray discs, in which information is stored as a pattern of marks across the surface of a disc. The potential of holographic technology has long been known. The first research papers were published in the early 1960s.

Many advances have been made over the years in the materials science, optics and applied physics needed to make holographic storage a practical, cost-effective technology. And this year, InPhase Technologies, a spinoff of Bell Labs of Alcatel-Lucent, plans to introduce a holographic storage system, using $18,000 machines and expensive discs, for specialized markets like video production and storing medical images.

To date, holographic storage has not been on a path to mainstream use. The G.E. development, however, could be that pioneering step, according to analysts and experts. The G.E. researchers have used a different approach than past efforts. It relies on smaller, less complex holograms a technique called microholographic storage.

A crucial challenge for the team, which has been working on this project since 2003, has been to find the materials and techniques so that smaller holograms reflect enough light for their data patterns to be detected and retrieved.

The recent breakthrough by the team, working at the G.E. lab in Niskayuna, N.Y., north of Albany, was a 200-fold increase in the reflective power of their holograms, putting them at the bottom range of light reflections readable by current Blu-ray machines.

Were in the ballpark, said Brian Lawrence, the scientist who leads G.E.s holographic storage program. Weve crossed the threshold so were readable.

In G.E.s approach, the holograms are scattered across a disc in a way that is similar to the formats used in todays CDs, conventional DVDs and Blu-ray discs. So a player that could read microholographic storage discs could also read CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs. But holographic discs, with the technology G.E. has attained, could hold 500 gigabytes of data. Blu-ray is available in 25-gigabyte and 50-gigabyte discs, and a standard DVD holds 5 gigabytes.

If this can really be done, then G.E.s work promises to be a huge advantage in commercializing holographic storage technology, said Bert Hesselink, a professor at Stanford and an expert in the field.

The G.E. team plans to present its research data and lab results at an optical data storage conference in Orlando next month.

Yet, analysts say, the feasibility of G.E.s technology remains unproved and the economics uncertain. Its always well to remember that the most important technical specification in any storage device, however impressive the science behind it, is price, said James N. Porter, an independent analyst of the storage market.

When Blu-ray was introduced in late 2006, a 25-gigabyte disc cost nearly $1 a gigabyte, though it is about half that now. G.E. expects that when they are introduced, perhaps in 2011 or 2012, holographic discs using its technology will be less than 10 cents a gigabyte and fall in the future.

The price of storage per gigabyte is going to drop precipitously, Mr. Lawrence said.

G.E. will first focus on selling the technology to commercial markets like movie studios, television networks, medical researchers and hospitals for holding data-intensive images like Hollywood films and brain scans. But selling to the broader corporate and consumer market is the larger goal.

To do that, G.E. will have to work with partners to license its holographic storage technology and expertise, and the company is already talking with major electronics and optical storage producers, said Bill Kernick, who leads G.E.s technology sales unit. The holographic research was originally related to G.E.s plastics business, which it sold two years ago to the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation for $11.6 billion.
Obviously it's still in the trial phase, but the fact that they're saying each disk can hold 75% more info than your average Bluray disc, as well as the fact that they're predicting the storage price will *start* at 10 cents/gigabyte (as compared to Blu's 50 cent/gigabyte cost right now) leads me to wonder if we aren't seeing the technology that will render Bluray obsolete being developed right before our eyes.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-28-2009, 10:12 AM
MSX2's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,249
Default

So a prototype approximately hold 100GB much like prototype BD's. Regardless of the storage potential, we're not going to see CE companies or Hollywood jump ship and introduce yet another format on the market that offers absolutely nothing new in terms of functionality for consumers.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-28-2009, 10:20 AM
IceNine's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,628
Default

If Blu-ray is .50c per GB and the discs are 50 GB, the discs are $25.

If holographic discs are .10c per GB and the discs are 500 GB, the discs are $50.

That's nice and all, but not viable for consumers.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-28-2009, 11:50 AM
Maxx_75's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,918
Default

Yeah Blu-ray can be scaled up with minor changes and without loosing the brand. For the forseeable future blu-ray will be the format for home video. I could see it get expanded one or two more layers resulting in 75-100 gig disks with a firmware update or minor hardware revision. Blu-ray "+" if you will.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-28-2009, 12:03 PM
CanadaPhil's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 609
Default

Before all of the Bluray fanboy's and PS3 gamers start to chirp in... RELAX !!!

Holographic DVD storage has been in the works for many, many, years now. There have been smaller scale working prototypes, with plans laid out for capacities approaching 3.9 Terabytes! There has been SERIOUS development time and DOLLARS devoted to this.

However.....This is NOT intended as a delivery of consumer movies or the like, but it has real world applications for very large scale COMMERCIAL & IT APPLICATIONS.

Could there be consumer applications for this type of product WELL DOWN THE ROAD?.... Probably, but not in the forseeable future.

So, no need to get your undies in a knot.

Last edited by CanadaPhil; 04-28-2009 at 12:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-28-2009, 12:22 PM
HD Goofnut's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,906
Default

BD is not threatened by this. It will be 3-5 years before we see these holographic disc come to fruition to the public and by then BD will be firmly entrenched in the public.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-28-2009, 12:31 PM
typ44q's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,355
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaPhil View Post
Before all of the Bluray fanboy's and PS3 gamers start to chirp in... RELAX !!!

Holographic DVD storage has been in the works for many, many, years now. There have been smaller scale working prototypes, with plans laid out for capacities approaching 3.9 Terabytes! There has been SERIOUS development time and DOLLARS devoted to this.

However.....This is NOT intended as a delivery of consumer movies or the like, but it has real world applications for very large scale COMMERCIAL & IT APPLICATIONS.

Could there be consumer applications for this type of product WELL DOWN THE ROAD?.... Probably, but not in the forseeable future.

So, no need to get your undies in a knot.
Exactly, they have been talking about this for years and it is still probably many years off from being anything more than a lab experiment.
BD as it is now really does not need anything this big, most movies do not even fill up a 50 GB disk.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-28-2009, 12:35 PM
CaptKain's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 387
Default

Part that pisses me off the most is as per everything else out there...run by the al'mighty $$$$
Now here we have a technology that outclasses what we have commercially available. But forget it, we can just use ten times the raw materials still for data saving. Even though we have a more efficient way now....and wont see it for another 5yrs+ probably.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-28-2009, 01:07 PM
comixguru's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,897
Default

Blu-ray never represented a storage milestone like CD and DVD did. When CD appeared, it would have been incredibly costly for many years following the release of CD-ROM, to replicate the storage capacity of the disc in any other format (such as HD storage). Same, but to a less extent and for a shorter time with DVD.

Meanwhile, BR represents a nice step forward in storage but not a revolutionary one like CD and DVD did, not as a data storage platform. 50GB 3-4 years ago was not costly on HD and as a data storage method, I'm not sure it will ever be highly relevant.

It's curious to point out, this holographic stuff is more innovative... but does not yet represent the revolutionary capacities CD and DVD offered. It would need to store multi-TB to be that and be here today.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
'Storage 24' & 'The Giant Killer' are coming March 12 Landy Blu-ray Software General Discussion 0 12-26-2012 01:30 PM
Another adoption breakthrough: "instructional" videos coming to Blu-ray Grubert High Definition Smackdown 52 01-30-2009 04:49 AM
The future is here. InPhase to ship holographic storage solution in May bowl-o-rama High Definition Smackdown 40 05-01-2008 03:48 AM
Holographic Versitile Disc WiiMan2007 High Definition Smackdown 28 10-13-2007 04:11 AM
OMG bye Blu-ray & HD DVD, I for one welcome our new Holographic Video Overlords ;-) kali High Definition Smackdown 30 02-14-2007 12:28 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off