Holographic storage has been in development for years, although InPhase announced its product, the Tapestry HSD5000 media, this past January. At the time, the company said a 200-GB drive, the HDS-200R, would ship this year with a 20-Mbyte transfer rate. For now, the technology is write-once, or WORM.
Based upon a statement released this week, however, InPhase has increased the capacity to 300 Gbytes. Access times are less than 200 milliseconds. The drives will be shipped to customers in 2006, the company said.
"We've been working with OEMs these past few years -- I can't say who quite yet -- and we thought, well, let's just bite the bullet," said Liz Murphy, InPhase's vice president of marketing, in an interview.
The InPhase technology uses a patented two-chemistry Tapestry photopolymer write-once material. The recording material is 1.5 mm thick and is sandwiched between two 130 mm diameter transmissive plastic substrates, according to the company. Data is stored through the use of holographic "images" of data, which can be stored in three dimensions inside the material. The material was partly developed by Hitachi Maxell, Ltd., a development partner of InPhase.
Holographic media will get an airing next week in Las Vegas, as InPhase Technologies promises a demonstration of its first prototype system.
In addition, InPhase firmed up its product plans, too -- the first InPhase drives will ship to commercial customers in 2006, at a larger 300-Gbyte capacity point.
In some ways, Murphy said, the way toward future capacity increases is similar to the way in which digital camera companies improve their products: enhanced resolution. In fact, InPhase technology uses a camera chip designed by FillFactory, a Belgian chip maker. The spatial modulator is made by DisplayTech.
InPhase is still targeting archival storage with its WORM product, including oil and gas exploration companies, high-resolution imagery, and other storage-intensive applications that can't afford the cost of rotating storage, Murphy said.
"We're not going after replacing a hard drive," Murphy said.
Second-generation rewriteable products are due in 2007 or 2008, Murphy said.
Forget about perpendicular recording; that’s so last week. If Colorado- based InPhase Technologies has its way, the next big advance in data storage will be holographic media. The company — which rolled out a prototype holographic drive earlier this year — announced today that it has produced a holographic disc that can hold 300GB on a single disc. InPhase says that the discs (which will be write-once media) and compatible drives should ship next year, with terabyte discs available by 2009. According to the company, its holographic technology records “through the full depth” of the storage media, and can record data a million bits at a time. We figure it should be able to hold our whole movie collection, with room left over for some lossless music as well.