A prototype holographic drive system designed by GE researchers in the Applied Optics Lab at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY.
GE’s research team has successfully demonstrated a micro-holographic material that can support data recording at the same speed as Blu-ray discs. GE plans to start sampling the new discs and optical drives to interested parties in the coming months.
GE’s breakthrough material, when used in a disc, will match the capacity of 20 single-layer Blu-ray discs, 100 DVDs or the hard drive of most laptop computers. Ultimately, the team is working toward micro-holographic discs that can store more than 1TB of data
GE has been working on holographic storage technology for over eight years. Holographic storage is different from today’s optical storage formats like DVDs and Blu-ray discs. DVDs and Blu-ray discs store information only on up to four layers at the surface of the disc; holographic storage technology uses the entire volume of the disc material. Holograms, or three-dimensional patterns that represent bits of information, are written into the disc at controlled depths, and can then be read out. Because micro-holographic discs can use the entire volume of the material, their storage capacity is much greater than existing storage technologies today.
While GE is initially focused on the commercial archival industry, recent advancements have its micro-holographic storage technology poised to hit the consumer market. GE’s path to market will be to license its technology through multiple partners in the consumer electronics supply chain