GE Unveils Storage Technology Breakthrough

New advance in optical storage technology

General Electric announced a breakthrough in optical storage technology on April 27, saying its researchers have developed a holographic disc which can store the equivalent of 100 DVDs. "GE's breakthrough is a huge step toward bringing our next generation holographic storage technology to the everyday consumer," Brian Lawrence, the head of GE's Holographic Storage program, said.

GE Global Research, the company's technology research arm, said the standard DVD-size holographic disc can support 500 gigabytes of storage capacity, equal to 100 DVDs or 20 single-layer Blu-ray discs. It said the holographic discs will eventually be able to be read and record on systems similar to a typical Blu-ray or DVD player.

While DVDs and Blu-ray discs store information only on the surface of the disc, GE's micro-holographic technology uses three-dimensional holograms to increase the amount of storage capacity.

"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," Lawrence said.

"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 said it has been working on holographic storage technology for more than six years. "GE's holographic storage program has turned the corner, and with this milestone we can now intensify our efforts in commercialization opportunities," said Bill Kernick, who leads GE's Technology Ventures team. "We'll continue to engage with a variety of strategic partners to create the best route from product development to introduction into the marketplace.."

GE said its ultimate goal is to develop micro-holographic discs capable of storing more than one terabyte, or 1,000 gigabytes, of data.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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