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Media Science

Microholography Could Lead to 500 GB Discs 158

Posted by Zonk
from the what-a-great-word dept.
angrykeyboarder writes "Scientists have discovered a way to fit 500 GB of data onto DVD-sized discs. These discs would be created with a process called 'microholography, which combines multilayer storage of data with holographic imagery. From the article: 'Microholography allows data to be stored in three dimensions. The technology works by replacing the two-dimensional pit-land structures currently found on CDs and DVDs with microgratings, which are holographically induced using two laser beams. In other words, instead of recording to a series of bumps and pits like standard CDs, the new technology creates three-dimensional holographic grids that can be used for reading and writing data throughout the physical structure of the disc.'"
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Microholography Could Lead to 500 GB Discs

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  • ... if you scratch one of these? :-
    • you would thing that with the technology of Glasses with scratch resistant coatings they would add that to this CD/DVD type
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RobertM1968 (951074)

        you would thing that with the technology of Glasses with scratch resistant coatings they would add that to this CD/DVD type

        Not that the scratch resistant coating on my glasses help that much... most minor scratches on media doesnt affect it's readability (unless it is on the top/label surface). Major scratches on the bottom that affect media readability wont be prevented with the anti-scratch technology used on glasses.

        The better idea would be a better coating on the label side, or like on some old CDs, a second layer over the media substrate layer. I still have some old CDs that had a second plastic layer - thus embedding t

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Then your data is fucked. Nuff said.

      You should always backup your "backup".
    • Easy backups (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mangu (126918) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @07:50AM (#19788219)
      If you scratch one of these you lose 500GB of data, just as with any other 500GB disk. But the fact that you can record 500GB in a CD-like disk means that you can make several copies and store them in separate places.


      Not very easy to scratch all the disks at the same time if one is in your office, another in your car and the other at your cousin's place.

      • by Ucklak (755284)
        They could just put the discs in caddies like the first computer CDs were.
        They'll evolve out of that until some company comes up with the 500TB disc and we'll have a use for caddies again.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by IonOtter (629215)
        You've obviously never seen my work desk, driven in my car or been to my cousin's place. Your disk would be safer riding in the cab of a bulldozer in a scrap yard.
    • The universe will implode.

      You lose your data. What did you expect? :)
    • by Feanturi (99866) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @11:52AM (#19789911)
      I don't know if I need a single DVD-sized disc to store 500GB of data. What I think would be cooler is if that space was made redundant and strewn all over the disc, so I could store maybe 100GB or so (still way lots) and have the peace of mind of knowing that an accidental scratch isn't likely to lose me anything.
      • by anethema (99553) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @02:25PM (#19791105) Homepage
        Seen the Dvdisaster [sourceforge.net] project? It uses some of the space (15 percent by default) as parity data at the image level to make a disc a lot more secure from scratching or other forms of what would otherwise cause data loss. Hell set it to 50 percent and you can pretty much guarantee the disc will be recoverable however badly you scratch it.

        Something you might find interesting anyway.
        • I don't know how many times a disc has become unreadable because the TOC was damaged. You can have all the parity data in the world, if the TOC is gone you're screwed. :(

          If only there were a DVD format writable/readable with consumer-grade drives that had multiple redundant TOCs.
    • by rbanffy (584143)
      With 500 GB of data on a single package one could use a whole lot more space for data-correction, data-redundancy and so on. So, if you scratch it really bad, then you have a problem. otherwise, it may read a little bit slower and warn you of data errors. ;-)

      But 500 GB does not look like much. Unless the disc is really cheap, I would prefer the data stored in a disk array of 1 TB hard-drives.
    • How permanent is this storage?

      And how long before we can't read it anymore because the technology has crumbled to dust? I have 9-track tapes in my attic which I am reasonably certain are unreadable -- even if I could find a 9-track drive. Not to mention the HD 5.25-in floppies. Even my collection of 3.5-in disks is now gathering dust, and the last bunch of laptops I looked at don't even have those drives any more. You have to buy them as an add-on, and it's only a matter of time before they go the way of th
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tantaliz3 (1074234)
      Nothing. The data does not have to be sequential. You could simply ignore the section that is damaged and retrieve the undamaged portion. What if they weren't disks? Maybe cubes or boxes? That would give you much more volume vs surface area, also if something happened to one side, you could always read it from another angle. Also, if you don't use the layers a few millimeters from the surface you could protect all you data from damage
  • Not again. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2007 @05:11AM (#19787507)
    Please no. Can someone tell them to stop working on CDs already? Seriously, HD-DVD is no more than a smaller vinyl. We've got the same technology for over 100 years and they're still trying to "improve" it?
    Can someone already remove all the moving (spinning) parts of my laptop? I really do not see the point of including 3 different motors in a XXI century technology.
    • Good point (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Uruz 7 (986742) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @05:54AM (#19787681) Journal
      He has a good point. The tech seems cool and all especially for long term storage but solid state is the real future. Battery life is still pretty poor for most devices and many people are moving away from the desktop. I personally don't own a desktop anymore and just hook my laptop up to a keyboard, monitor, and mouse when at home or work. I foresee the desktop dying except for hardcore gamers and servers. If I'm correct then spinning media doesn't make sense. Motors drain battery life and increase latency while throwing in a mechanical cog that can fail.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tim Browse (9263)

        If I'm correct then spinning media doesn't make sense. Motors drain battery life and increase latency while throwing in a mechanical cog that can fail.

        On the other hand, you get 500Gb on one disc. So it makes a bit of sense.

        • But as already said by someone else, you'd be better off with state-of-the-art thumbdrives, which will probably be 500GB in size or even more... And there's always that scratchy fear about it :p
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
            I don't see solid state meeting or beating mechanical drives in price/performance for quite some time. For many circumstances, flash speed and capacity is good enough, but it's still way too expensive for most people. The latest flash drives didn't really beat the speed or capacity of 2.5" drives, though they beat the 1.8" drives. Still, $500 for a 32GB SSD isn't something I'm interested in.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by bdjacobson (1094909)

        He has a good point. The tech seems cool and all especially for long term storage but solid state is the real future. Battery life is still pretty poor for most devices and many people are moving away from the desktop.

        I personally don't own a desktop anymore and just hook my laptop up to a keyboard, monitor, and mouse when at home or work. I foresee the desktop dying except for hardcore gamers and servers. If I'm correct then spinning media doesn't make sense. Motors drain battery life and increase latency while throwing in a mechanical cog that can fail.

        -Portable CD players can last 30 hours on just two batteries. The motors aren't a big deal.
        -My Discman 2 from 10 years ago is still spinning and reading discs prefectly despite numerous drops on pavement.
        -As usual, minor latency isn't a big deal when we're talking about data backup. If this takes the place of the DVD, then it will not become your next harddrive that you install anything on. It would just take the place of the DVD and be a backup solution. When was the last time you got frustrated at a DVD'

    • Re:Not again. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UCSCTek (806902) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @05:57AM (#19787689)
      The fact that moving parts reduce cost by exploiting symmetry is hard to beat. Either you have one/several reader/writer that can move around to access the bits => cheaper, or you hardwire billions into the storage media => more stable.
      • Re:Not again. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @08:15AM (#19788363) Journal
        Or, instead of putting the substrate onto a disk, you put it in a cube (or sphere, etc) and use a couple of DLPs to aim the laser anywhere inside the volume. With the rate at which DLPs are dropping in price, this should be fairly cheap in a few years.

        On the other hand, at the rate available bandwidth is increasing, there is a much smaller need for portability. With a 4G mobile data network you may as well leave most of your data in a RAID array (where 'D' stands for whatever the densest cheap storage mechanism is) and stream what you need, with a few GBs of local cache. Latency is still going to be a problem, but WAN latency is still lower than optical disk latency in a lot of cases.

        • by StikyPad (445176)
          Two problems:

          1) DLPs aren't particularly small [wikipedia.org].
          2) Say you created an array with two 1080x1920 chips, which is the highest resolution available. That only gives you, at most, 1080x1920x1920 = 3981312000 bits = 474.6MB. Even if you doubled the resolution, and used 2x2 chips instead of 1x1, that's 4320x7680x7620 = 30GB.
    • by walt-sjc (145127)
      I agree.

      At the current rate of capacity increases / price drops, I bet flash drives will overtake CD/DVD technology. By the time this tech comes to market, I'll be able to buy 500G USB thumb drives that are 100 times faster than today's thumb drives, and cost about $10.
    • by ozbird (127571) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @08:48AM (#19788523)
      They won't be happy until you lose a Library Of Congress in one scratch.
    • by AbRASiON (589899) *
      Harsh but god, so true! so true.
    • Re:Not again. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @10:16AM (#19789103) Homepage Journal
      "Seriously, ICs are is no more than a smaller transistor. We've got the same technology for over 60 years and they're still trying to "improve" it?"

      Anyways, then don't buy the product. There are notebooks that do not include a built-in optical drive. If you truly believed in a non-motor computer, you can probably get a SSD -based Toshiba ultraportable right now. The problem is that with demanding no motors, you can't expect a fast CPU or graphics processor because that would require a fan to cool them, which is another motor. So that leaves you with a 1.3GHz notebook with 32GB of "hard drive", for over $2000. At least it would look pretty cool and be very light. I think there are Panasonics without motors too.

      Research-wise, it's probably not your money to spend. No one can predict what technology will prevail, and the good idea is for different groups to invest in what they are good at, and the market decides what is most desirable for what task. The optical drive will still be mainstream for a while yet, and after that, possibly remain a viable niche for much longer.
      • by mikael (484)
        The problem is that with demanding no motors, you can't expect a fast CPU or graphics processor because that would require a fan to cool them, which is another motor.

        What happened to thermoaccoustic cooling?
  • I miss minidisc (Score:5, Insightful)

    by misanthrope101 (253915) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @05:17AM (#19787539)
    I wish this type of tech would develop into something in the form factor of the minidisc. I still have my music mindiscs, some of them about 10 years old. There's something about that size, the protective case, and even the colors that makes the form factor interesting. I'd love to be able to have a ~300GB Truecrypt container on a rewritable minidisc-type thing.

    I've always found DVDs/CDs too large. Yes, they make mini-cdrs and mini-dvds (I used to have a Sony CD Mavica) but they don't have the protective case the minidiscs had. Some things are just ergonomically right, and I regret that we didn't go a little further in that direction.

    • Re:I miss minidisc (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DigiShaman (671371) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @05:29AM (#19787599) Homepage
      I blows me away how Sony missed out on the opportunity to use the MD format for data storage. It could have been the perfect 3 1/2 floppy drive replacement. How aggravating that they wasted the chance!
      • by Uruz 7 (986742)
        Not really. Of course diskettes sucked but they did something that CDs still really aren't good for and that's sneaker net. Diskettes sucked because they would fail often but people really didn't archive data on them. They were used to distribute software or copy a file to a machine that had a printer in non-networked environments in which case they were just fine. Thumb drives are really the new microfloppy and floppy. They have a pension for failing but you'd be pretty dumb to use it as you're only b
        • Re:I miss minidisc (Score:5, Informative)

          by Tim Browse (9263) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @06:37AM (#19787837)

          They have a pension for failing but you'd be pretty dumb to use it as you're only backup medium.

          Penchant.

          (I'm willing to let the apostrophe error slide.)

          </pedant>

          • by Uruz 7 (986742)
            Grrr. I'll blame it on lack of sleep :)
          • by Erpo (237853)

            They have a pension for failing but you'd be pretty dumb to use it as you're only backup medium.

            Penchant.


            No, pension! They are rewarded for failing with plans for a financially secure retirement, which explains why it happens so frequently.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by thinkertdm (1125275)
        I really miss the 8 inch floppies. Don't see why they waste time trying to improve things that spin.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The MD failed for the same reason the Iomega Zip and similar devices did: companies want to profit in every possible way from their inventions to the point that their patents prevent others from doing anything useful with the technology. This reduces the market until the technology dies and nobody can revive it due to those patents.
        I have no data handy about it, but I'm pretty sure the same practice was not applied to hard disks and floppies, otherwise we'd be still saving data to punchcards.
      • by Harald Paulsen (621759) * on Sunday July 08, 2007 @08:13AM (#19788355) Homepage
        I had a MDH-10, an external scsi-device using 140MB per disc. For more information, see http://www.minidisc.org/md_data_table.html [minidisc.org] They even had digital cameras use discs! Unfortunately, sony has a bad track record in coming up with their own formats and formfactors.
      • Re:I miss minidisc (Score:5, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @08:22AM (#19788391) Journal
        I couldn't agree more. The original MD-Data at 140MB per disk was bigger than my laptop drive at the time (60MB). The later revisions, at 650MB and 1GB, are still a nice form factor. If Sony had gone the CD-ROM route of charging a small royalty on each disk and drive, and letting other people manufacture both, then I doubt I'd be using CDs for music today. Three things really killed the format:
        • The drives were expensive, and were never included in laptop (where they would have been ideal for backup and data transfer).
        • They charged a premium for 'data' disks, even though the music disks also stored digital data, and were identical in every way except for a flag allowing the MD-Data drive to use them.
        • They didn't allow the drive to read or write music. CD-ROM drives could play your music through your PC speakers, MD-Data drives couldn't.
        The number of Sony products that have failed due to bad management make me wonder if anyone actually owns Sony shares. If I'd owned any in the '80s or '90s I'd have been calling loudly for the board to replace the management.
      • I blows me away how Sony missed out on the opportunity to use the MD format for data storage. It could have been the perfect 3 1/2 floppy drive replacement. How aggravating that they wasted the chance!

        500GB is a LOT of data. Great for backups, perhaps for storing raw video footage and so on, but hard to justify for distributing data or for sneakernet uses.

        A minidisc equivalent would be what, 100GB or so? That is a very viable proposition. Credit card sized discs would be quite popular too. Solid state equivalence is a long way off.

        • 500GB is a LOT of data. Great for backups, perhaps for storing raw video footage and so on, but hard to justify for distributing data or for sneakernet uses.

          When my friend first got a DVD burner, he felt guilty about storing less than 4GB on a DVD-R because it was a waste that was hard to justify.
        • by sepluv (641107)

          Credit card sized discs would be quite popular too.

          Actually, Optware have made a flash-card like version of the holographic technology, which is credit card sized and can be read without moving parts, called a Holographic Versatile Card (see the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org], and pictures and news articles all over the Web) but it only has a 30 GB capacity—I assume because the laser has to stay in one place. They claimed in the press it would be on sale early this year, but their website [optware.jp] is currently "under maintenance" which may not be a good sign.

      • Data on minidisc was available, it just didn't take off. I've seen a Sony computer with a minidisc drive. It certainly would have been better than allowing Zip drives to take off, and I think it predated Zip.
      • by EvilIdler (21087)
        Actually, the first minidisc drive I saw was a friend's early clunky portable, which had a SCSI interface.
        I don't know why the hell that never was used more, as you then had a format more convenient than ZIP,
        with slightly more storage, and the bonus of being easy to use for music. But MP3 players have thoroughly killed
        the market for portable entertainment, and if you're taping a concert..get an Edirol. Still, that's 12 years ago,
        during which MD could have been greater.
    • Yep. I agree. A reader/writer unit for the minidisc isn't all that expensive to adapt to a PC. The size of the media is perfect to put in a pocket. Its already in protective case. And it seems to last a really long time. The amount of time I've spent playing some of the MDs, my CDs or DVDs would likely have a scratch on by now. I really wish selling MDs instead of CDs had caught on in NA as it has, i hear, in Japan.

      Do we really have to take spinning optical discs to new levels? I think industry should conce
    • by evilviper (135110)

      There's something about that size, the protective case, and even the colors that makes the form factor interesting. I'd love to be able to have a ~300GB Truecrypt container on a rewritable minidisc-type thing.

      Very true, the size and protective caddy made minidiscs unbelievably easy to handle, and extremely reliable, completely unlike CDs.

      But minidiscs have other advantages people don't seem to realize. Sony based minidiscs on their professional magneto optical technology, the MO discs corporations pay vast

  • I don't really like either of them :/
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is something the "scientists" have clearly not realised. For a new media format to be successful it must be packed full of DRM. Why are they working on increasing storage capacity or access speed, and not disk size? Do they not realise that there are people out there who copy disks and that they are undermining our very society?

      Long live DRM!
  • Plus (Score:3, Funny)

    by niceone (992278) * on Sunday July 08, 2007 @05:26AM (#19787587) Journal
    Once your bored of them you can use them as a holodeck in your ant farm :)
  • As good as this sounds, I would rather wait and see. They claim the CDs will be inexpensive to produce, but chances are the reading devices (even more so the reading and writing devices) could cost a small fortune. And what with Blu-ray and HD-DVD fighting it out already...

    Not much chance right now interesting manufacturers to produce these.
  • In Spain we have to pay an average of 40 c. for every 100 megas in DVDs to the SGAE what it is the equivalent of the RIAA in The USA.

    1. Microholograph?

    2. 500 Gb DVDs!?

    2. ...

    3. Profit!
  • by heretic108 (454817) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @05:46AM (#19787657)
    ...for these disks. Will need 10GB for the movie itself, and 490GB for the DRM software.
  • Data. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Devv (992734) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @05:46AM (#19787659)
    More storage makes it easier to tak backups but with more storage I will also store more data and then the backups will get larger and.. :(
  • I said it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TransEurope (889206) <eniac.uni-koblenz@de> on Sunday July 08, 2007 @05:59AM (#19787697)
    ... a thousand times. The traditional 2D-technology is uncompetitive since the end of the 1990s.
    The cutting edge of optical disks are HD-DVDs als BR-Discs with up to 50 Gigs, but even todays
    harddisks can store an entire terabyte of data. At the beginning one or two CD-Rs where able to
    store the content of a common harddisk, today you would need dozens of expensive BR-Discs to
    backup all that stuff. A holographic storage system with 500 Gigs or more should be the past,
    not the future. The industry failed at this point. They try to sell us an old, but badly advanced
    technology from yesterday.

    I hope this is chance for Newcomers. New smaller companies with good and really innovative
    products. But my fear is that the power in public relations of the present giants of the market
    will prevent it. Wouldn't be the first time that bad technology wins the race.
    • And as proof to your point, the most convenient form of storage I use is a laptop HDD in an USB rack. The storage capacity and the speed are great. The read/write access and portability is a breeze because most computers around today have a USB connector. I can upgrade the HDD to bigger and faster whenever I want, with much better cost per GB than anything else around. A well thought case will protect the HDD fairly well, and it's not like I purposely throw it around anyway. The size and weight are small en
    • A holographic storage system with 500 Gigs or more should be the past,
      not the future. The industry failed at this point. They try to sell us an old, but badly advanced
      technology from yesterday.

      The consumer electronics market was never optimised for the expedient promotion of new technology. As with everything in capitalist societies, the process is optimised for best profit prospectives. Why would companies rush this kind of tech to market, when they can take their time, spend less money on it, and get a si

    • by kestasjk (933987)

      ... a thousand times. The traditional 2D-technology is uncompetitive since the end of the 1990s.
      The cutting edge of optical disks are HD-DVDs als BR-Discs with up to 50 Gigs, but even todays
      harddisks can store an entire terabyte of data.
      At a far higher cost per GB, which puts discs head and shoulders above hard disks/USB drives for distributing data in massive quantities.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by asm2750 (1124425)
      Optical media is a more resilient than a hard drive, which is why its used in the consumer market, and sometimes in large data centers that need a backup thats harder to mess up unless you scratch it of course. Only issue about hard drives is you cant shake them or drop them with out the chance of breaking them completely. However I do agree with you that optical media is old, and a solid state replacement should be made, something other than flash too.
      • by ivan256 (17499)

        Optical media is a more resilient than a hard drive, which is why its used in the consumer market, and sometimes in large data centers that need a backup thats harder to mess up unless you scratch it of course.

        More resilient is not a reason to use them in the consumer market. Hell, media distributors would love it if you wrecked the media and had to buy another copy.

        Optical media is used in the consumer market because it's cheaper to produce. You can produce dozens of BluRay discs for the cost of producin

    • Sadly, this is all old technology... like so much others... that sit in the recesses of IBM Labs. They announced this almost a decade ago. But, like so many of their great discoveries and inventions it sits buried away someplace in the back of IBM Research Labs.

      http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/rd/443/ashl e y.html

      Reading the IBM Research site can be quite amusing. They come up with and even do proof of concept models of so many wonderful things that only see the light of day to their own staff... lik

  • No it won't (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MarkoNo5 (139955) <MarkovanDooren@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Sunday July 08, 2007 @06:12AM (#19787741)
    Come on, we get these announcements every few weeks, but nobody ever delivers a product. This isn't even news for nerds, it is just vaporware. Wake me up when they create a product that I can actually buy.
    • Holographic is a synonym for vaporware in the storage industry. (to the companies) No, don't tell me about your new technology that might result in greater storage; tell me about something already shipping.
  • by Charcharodon (611187) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @06:18AM (#19787767)
    Holographic this and that for what the last 15 years, and no product to date that is worth anything? Duke Nukem Forever will hit the shelves before this "just around the corner" tech ever will.

    Optical media is garbage and always has been and is an overly fragile way to store data. It's only redeeming feature is once the discs get bellow $1 they effectively become disposeable.

    In another year or so, flash chips will reach a price point that'll make them a cost effective alternative for buying movies on DVD's, they've already reached that point for music CD's.

    Once the industry notices that, and gets over their DRM OCD, I say good riddance to optical media.

    • by timmarhy (659436)
      "flash chips will reach a price point that'll make them a cost effective alternative for buying movies on DVD's"

      over $50 for a 1gig flash card vs $1 for a 4.2gig dvdr. unless you know something none of us knows, i highly doubt it'll happen in the next year, or ever.

      • by binkzz (779594)
        I have no idea where you buy your flash cards, but you're getting ripped off. You can buy them for under $10 on ebay, and they're still dropping in price.
      • Quit buying brick and morter retail silly bastard.

        Newegg.com

        1 gig Kingston micro SD, about the size of your pinky finger nail $8
        2 gig SD $15
        4 gig SD $34
        8 gig SD chip $65
        16 gig CF $120

        Those are retail prices right now. So some time next year sounds about right.

    • They had the tech back in 1999 to put 1 T on a disc. The company's disappeared. It was called the Fluorescent Multilayer Disc. They had over 120 patents but went bankrupt for lack of funds/investors after the .com crash. Their technology was bought out and is now called Digital Multilayer Disk (DMD). http://www.ddatainc.com/page02.html [ddatainc.com] But without money the superior tech will likely lose again to either blue-ray or HD-DVD or some other tech backed by the big content providers.
  • A company called Constellation 3D developed "Fluorescent Multilayer" disks about 6 or 7 years ago. They even had a working prototype if I recall correctly. Followed the story for a while and then the company went bankrupt due to an investor pulling out (mugs!) Even back then they said they would produce first gen products of 120GB. There's even a WIKI history...... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constellation_3D [wikipedia.org] Surely we should have moved away from a spinning disk by now!
  • Next steps (Score:5, Funny)

    by OpenSourced (323149) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @06:30AM (#19787821) Journal
    Good! Now let's make two incompatible standards out of it, start a formats war, and sell the same old films to the same old people again, in both formats if possible.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dattaway (3088)
      And don't forget to create a new obscure encryption just like CSS and ACSS. Surely no one will be able to find the key to a hologram!
  • DMD and Piracy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Plasmagrid (322106)
    Interesting....NOT
    a qoute from wiki is that it will improve piracy protecion
    "HD-DMD enables dramatic improvements in piracy protection, by taking advantage of the multiple layers of information."

    They still never learn, what was made by man shall be cracked by man.
    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      They still never learn, what was made by man shall be cracked by man.
      Tip to the MPAA: have chimps design your next DRM.

  • New disks... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by g0dsp33d (849253) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @06:53AM (#19787891)
    I hope they have two new competing formats!

    Seriously though, they have been talking about huge storage disks since we discovered round plastic circles. Yeah, they've been getting higher data densities, but if you look at the progression of other storage formats (especially hard drives) optical is just not keeping up. By the time we get 500Gb disks, they'll sound to us much like yesteryear's 40Gb disks sound to us now compared to our 500+Gb hard drives.
    • by sepluv (641107)

      That is why they set up the Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) Alliance in 2004. It was renamed the HVD Forum [hvd-forum.org] and they've now agreed on a standard which has been approved by ECMA and and it is going through ISO.

      They have working disk and drive implementations too, so I don't know what TFA is on about scientists just discovering holographic disks. They've been developing them since the early 1990s.

      Also see the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]. They have a potential capacity of 3.9 TB but the current standard only allows

  • by sien (35268) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @07:00AM (#19787919) Homepage
    InPhase Technologies [inphase-tech.com] have a system that writes 300GB holographic discs and they have a roadmap that goes to 1.6TB.

    They cost [inphase-tech.com] 18K for the drive and $300 for the discs.

    They are expensive now, but when they drop they will make it worthwhile.

    All of the Simpsons, the Complete Bach, the complete Mozart, the complete Beethoven all together on one disc.

    • by bdo19 (992170)
      Won't they have to move some units to bring the prices down in the first place? Who's going to pay $300 for a 300GB disc that requires an $18K drive when a 300GB hard drive can be had for $100? I'd hate to be the one who invested in this!
    • by osgeek (239988)
      They've been beating that drum for years. Can't you tell that they're investor-gobbling vaporware crooks?
    • by Idbar (1034346)
      Well, yeah so far you can replace the media with a HDD (around $100 and save $200) and the drive with a USB/firewire enclosure (~$40 and save ~$18000). They need to bring the prices down soon.
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      All of the Simpsons, the Complete Bach, the complete Mozart, the complete Beethoven all together on one disc.

      I can do that now on a RAID of two 750GB drives @ $200ea. To be competitive, to say nothing of drawing away customers from the established HDD industry, InPhase would need to increase capacity by a factor of 5-10 and decrease price by a similar margin. And they'd need to do it now, not in 5 years when HDDs have moved on.
  • by DynaSoar (714234) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @07:42AM (#19788179) Journal
    Holographic Memories; Scientific American, November 1995, by Psaltis & Mok

    It does make some sense to spin a disk rather than reorient the beam. But a solid crystal holographic storage device not only has lots of locations within itself to store collections of data, but can also be turned on a turntable and have the beam attack it from different directions, storing more data in the same place but at a different angle.

    3D holographic storage design has another benefit -- it is self-searching via "reverse" holography. You shine a laser off a target and let it reflect to the memory, and out comes as many copies of the reference beam as their are stored data sets (with a realistic situation of most dissimilar results being buried in noise). Each beam is proportional to the strength of the reference beam according to the similarity of the dataset it came from. You can pick the strongest if you want to find the closest match, or you can statistically test the range of beam strengths to check for uniqueness of the target, or any number of things. The search process is virtually instantaneous, the speed of getting the result limited only by the speed of the measuring and calculating processes.

    • by MrSteveSD (801820)
      I don't think that is going to work with a disc though. On a disc you will have a little beam being scanned over the surface. At any one time only a tiny fraction of all the data will be hit by the beam. For this automatic holographic search ability you would have to illuminate everything at once. I seem to remember the Scientific American article was talking about a sort of cube being illuminated rather than a disc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2007 @08:34AM (#19788453)
    Microholography Could Lead to 999 TB Discs --- well, it could.
    I'm willing to say, Microholography Could Lead to 999,999,999,999,999,999 TB Discs. All of these statements are true, yet meaningless.

    A frozen pig could fly out of the poster's arse too. well, it could happen, right?

    Mod me troll, please.
  • 500GB on one disk? Great! Now I can back up my porn on only two disks!
  • AH HA! (Score:2, Funny)

    by frankwolftown (968794)
    I guess the 4 terabyte flash disk will come sooner than I thought. As seen here http://dresdencodak.com/cartoons/dc_037.html [dresdencodak.com]
  • by _KiTA_ (241027)
    Can someone explain to me how this is any different than the prototype HVD [wikipedia.org] format?
  • by ronhip (465417) on Sunday July 08, 2007 @01:51PM (#19790867)
    The only problem I see is that at a rate of 200Mb/sec as stated in the article, it would take over 11 hours to fill a 1TB disk!
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      Not really a problem. How often do you copy 1TB files? 200 megabit bandwidth is adequate for most purposes at this point. Naturally this comment will look ridiculous in 10 years, but it's fine for the time being.
  • they've been saying this for years....Fluorescent Holographic Discs, Holographic Versatile Disc, or the Geometrically Encoded Paper Storage

    One of the most "infamous" vaporware is InPhase: http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/04/ 19/0611252 [slashdot.org]
    Then it was InPhase and Maxell: http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/ 28/141241 [slashdot.org]

    Even Hitachi Maxell's super-DVD (it's just like a regular DVD but with super thin layers.....they plan to make a cartridge with 100 layers to get about 470GB): http://hard [slashdot.org]

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