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GE Introduces 500GB Holographic Disks

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the longest-CD dept.

Data Storage 370

bheer writes "According to the NYTimes, at a conference next month, GE will debut their new holographic storage breakthrough — 500GB disks that will cost 10 cents a GB to produce at launch. GE will first focus on selling the technology to commercial markets like movie studios and hospitals, but selling to the broader corporate and consumer market is the larger goal."

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370 comments

I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733101)

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

The G.E. development, however, could be that pioneering step, according to analysts and experts.

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.

You guys remember that cool new technology that was going to revolutionize the way we store data? The one that was just 11 years away? Well we could be one year closer to that realization today perhaps maybe.

People that know more than you and might even be experts possibly speculated that this might be a reality within some amount of time. It brings me great joy to announce to you that now we're maybe in the ballpark. You yourself have the chance to be alive when this thing hits. And it could be big.

Perhaps tomorrow it will be in my computer or the fabrication process might not ever be cheaply implemented and then we could wait longer than five years possibly. "It's so tantalizingly exciting but still just over that next hill we think," is what I said last year and now look. I may have been correct or at least within one standard deviation of time for this product.

This is exciting to the point that I very well may scream. I think now is the time to possibly ask yourself: are you ready for what might turn into something big? Because it could be around the corner.

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (5, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733329)

Did you know, statistically it is possible that every molecule in your body will spontaneously relocate itself to the moon? This COULD happen!

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733367)

Holographic storage seems to be part of the "permanent future" of stuff that is always a few years away. Holographic storage, fusion power, GNU HURD, Duke Nukem Forever, etc. On the plus side, Holographic storage is perpetually 2-5 years away, which makes it ever so much closer than fusion, which is forever 20 years out.

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733439)

Stephen Hawking would be proud!

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (4, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733479)

On the plus side, Holographic storage is perpetually 2-5 years away, which makes it ever so much closer than fusion, which is forever 20 years out.

That reminded me of my Computation Theory class, where some sets were "more infinite" than others.

Damn you. ;)

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733679)

Just never, ever stand between two mirrors in a darkened room and say "aleph-null, aleph-null, aleph-null!". As long as you avoid that, you'll be fine.

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733503)

> [...] the "permanent future" of stuff that is always a few years away. Holographic storage, fusion power, GNU HURD, Duke Nukem Forever, etc. [...]

I want my flying jetpack damn it!

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733677)

What ever happened to that storage technology breakthrough that could store ridiculous amounts of data on a roll of scotch tape? I think it was some 5+ years ago I first heard of that technology here on slashdot. Nothing ever come of it?

As I read about the technology, I got stuck on the fact that they are still using disks as media. How about a nice cube or pyramid shape like these?

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Holocron [wikia.com]

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733735)

There are shipping holographic storage systems which can store 300GB on a disk. Last time I checked, the drive cost about $20K and the disks were around $100, so it's not a mass-market product, but it is shipping which puts it a step ahead of the this one which is just an announcement.

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733533)

OK, so, 18 months to turn it into a viable consumer technology. 10 years to argue with the movie studios on the type of DRM to build in - ala HD-DVD and Blu-Ray - which then gets cracked in 3 months. So... I can buy one of these things around 2020?

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733797)

GE isn't some vaporware Silicon Valley think tank or startup.

Re:I Could Be Really Excited About This--Maybe (1)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733837)

I'd rather mod you Insightful.

I remember seeing an amazing set of surround sound headphones by GE at CES, and that was 5 years ago. They were never released.

GE makes shit, and then other brands buy it off of them 10 years later.

Not good enough. (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733157)

$0.10/gb * 500 GB = $50. I can buy a 1 TB hard drive for around $80. Why would I use this stuff?

Re:Not good enough. (5, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733199)

$0.10/gb * 500 GB = $50. I can buy a 1 TB hard drive for around $80. Why would I use this stuff?

Because it's holographic!

Re:Not good enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733411)

maybe if it was "holo-porno-graphic" - but only maybe...

Re:Not good enough. (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733809)

If the disk is holographic (as opposed to the data), doesn't that mean it's not actually there?

Re:Not good enough. (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733229)

Depends. If it's nearly as cheap as patters per GB and nearly as fast as flash, it might be a good deal: You could get drives that were both large and fast. (Oh, and it's smaller too: you could hold that 500 GB in a thumb drive, most likely.)

Of course, I'll believe it when I see it...

Re:Not good enough. (2, Funny)

RandoX (828285) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733333)

That's disc, not disk.

Re:Not good enough. (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733557)

Actually, no it's not. When applied to computers and periphals, it is always "disk" with a "k". "Disc" only came into use as the Compact Disc, which for a number of years was an audio format that had nothing to do with computers.

But to the extent that there are any rules for such things, "disk", in the context of computing, is spelled with a "k".

Re:Not good enough. (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733353)

As an optical drive, i find it very hard to imagine that it will be capable of having the latency of flash drives, which is what makes them fast.

Re:Not good enough. (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733265)

Who ever thought they would use Flash memory with the $/MB when came out, let alone lingering write limit fears? But look now at how it has revolutionized storage on hand held devices.

Re:Not good enough. (1)

liquidsunshine (1312821) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733283)

Because it's for portable storage like DVDs, not hard drives per se.

Re:Not good enough. (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733493)

We've currently got optical storage (BluRay) that holds 50GB for $0.005/GB. Is there really a demand for distributing 10x more static media for 20x the price?

It seems to me that the trend will be towards smaller and cheaper before higher capacity.

Re:Not good enough. (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733671)

What they are claiming is the startup price. Bluray wasn't .005/GB to start out. This holographic storage is like 20 years in the making I believe, and 500GB is less than half of the capability.

This would be quite the revolutionary step though, as you wouldn't really need the internet to fileshare, just bring a single unobtrusive disk.

All of this though, I'll believe when I see it.

Re:Not good enough. (5, Informative)

BigGar' (411008) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733295)

It appears that they are referring to a CD or DVD like product not a hard drive.
From the article:
 
In G.E.â(TM)s approach, the holograms are scattered across a disc in a way that is similar to the formats used in todayâ(TM)s 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.

Re:Not good enough. (3, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733351)

Because that's only the projected cost at release? You remember how much writable CD media cost when it was first released, right?

Re:Not good enough. (3, Insightful)

Bentov (993323) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733473)

Yep, I was cleaning my apartment and found a cd-r with a $10 price tag on it....seems like so long ago..

Re:Not good enough. (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733373)

I can buy a 1 TB hard drive for around $80

This is the next generation of optical storage, not hard drives. It's meant to be the follow up to BluRay discs. (Which already contain a simplified version of holographic technology.) $50/disc is too expensive for the short term, but I imagine the idea is to drive the price down through economics of scale. By the time they've got most of the specialty applications out of the way, they can move on to the early adopters. i.e. The people willing to pay $30/movie to watch Spiderman XI on their ED (extreme definition) television sets.

Re:Not good enough. (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733579)

Read-only and write-once tech really has no practical place in the future, outside of stuff like security feeds and other archival applications. Movies will be pretty much download-only by the time this stuff would be affordable for home use. Remember, you don't need to ship bandwidth, which is a simply unavoidable problem for any physical media.

Re:Not good enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733667)

The ability to cheaply print large numbers of data objects will always be a significant player in the market. Read-only has always been orders of magnitude cheaper to mass produce. I don't see it going away.

Re:Not good enough. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733673)

Blu-ray does not use anything like holographic technology. It is multi-layer, but that is not even close to the same thing. There is nothing holographic about it.

Re:Not good enough. (1)

viking099 (70446) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733399)

Here, let me store your hard drive against the fridge with this rare earth magnet, right next to my holographic disc until I get some time to check out what you put on there...

2 weeks later

Hey! I thought you told me your hard drive had the latest Nirvana's Shotgun album collection!

Great, I guess it's back to my Zampfir's Greatest Pan Flute Performances, which was stored on my holographic disc.

Re:Not good enough. (3, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733875)

So this is one of them newfangled holodrives, eh?
Can't wait to pop this baby in and fire it up.

OH SHIT WAIT DON'T OPEN THE BOX! You can't expose these to light! FUCK!

Re:Not good enough. (0)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733403)

Someone marked this as 'Insightful'? Seriously? Look, this is the price at launch. The description here says they're not initially targeting consumers with this. You didn't even have to read TFA to figure that much out.

For the same reasons we use discs now (1)

dlenmn (145080) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733531)

This technology is for discs, like DVDs. So you'd use this for the same reasons we often use DVDs instead of hard drives; hard drives just aren't right for many applications (often because hard drives have moving parts that can break).

Re:For the same reasons we use discs now (3, Funny)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733805)

So that whirring spinning noise coming from my DVD player is just a trapped hamster then ?

Re:Not good enough. (4, Insightful)

blincoln (592401) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733573)

$0.10/gb * 500 GB = $50. I can buy a 1 TB hard drive for around $80. Why would I use this stuff?

Power surges and giant magnets probably won't erase a holographic disc.

The media is separate from the read/write mechanism so being able to read the media (outside of a clean room-equipped lab) is not tied to the lifetime of a single drive's mechanical components.

It's a lot harder to accidentally erase the contents of a WORM storage device.

Re:Not good enough. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733623)

Uhhh.... maybe because it's hard to carry around a whole stack of 1TB hard drives in your computer bag...

Also, wouldn't it be nice to have 50 or 100 movies on a single disk? Heck, that's more than my whole movie collection so far.

Re:Not good enough. (1)

Crashspeeder (1468723) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733655)

You wouldn't necessarily buy it at this point but should movies go super-ultra-mega-HD, I somehow doubt netflix is willing to send you a 1TB HDD. A disc may be more practical...possibly.

Not really thinking, are we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733851)

How much were writable CDs when they first came out? Over $100, right?
How much were writable DVDs when they first came out? Over $100, right?

So at $50/disk for a brand new technology, it sounds pretty cheap to me. If the standard catches on (if the same drive can read CD and DVD, and store 500gb onto a writable disk, it sounds like it's possible), how long until their disks reach the price writable CDs and DVDs are at?

The problem with a lot of the snide slashdot kiddies is that they aren't old enough to have seen all this before. Or if they have, they've just failed to learn anything from the experience.

Create new tech, let it get popular, it gets cheaper, then it becomes low cost. Rince, repeat, ad infinitum.

to produce (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733871)

No, you missing the point. It will cost 10 cents / gig TO PRODUCE. It will sell at a lot more than that. Why would you not want to buy into a new technology when it is much more expensive than the terabyte hard drives that you could buy and use today?

Holoduke (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733161)

Will this hologram technology be capable of storing a Holoduke?

Long term reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733179)

No NYT account so I can't RTFA.

What's the long-term reliability? (as I sit looking at a growing pile of failing hard disks)

Re:Long term reliability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733371)

No NYT account so I can't RTFA.

You must be new here...

Long time ago.... (1)

xpuppykickerx (1290760) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733183)

Now if they could only replicate the technology from a Jedi holocron.

Re:Long time ago.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733301)

Will their first commercial feature Carrie Fisher saying "Help me Jeffrey R. Immelt, You're My Only Hope"???

Hard drives are cheaper now. (5, Insightful)

jumpingfred (244629) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733203)

1 terra byte drives cost around $100. That is 10 cents a gig at retail. So they cost less than 10 cents a gig to manufacture.

Re:Hard drives are cheaper now. (4, Funny)

RandoX (828285) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733375)

If you sold them for less than they cost to manufacture you'd qualify for bailout money.

Re:Hard drives are cheaper now. (4, Funny)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733575)

If you sold them for less than they cost to manufacture you'd qualify for bailout money.

No. If you sold them for less than the cost of manufacture you would be a horizontally integrated Japanese manufacturer.

Expensive (2, Insightful)

tom17 (659054) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733213)

They word the pricing to make it sound attractive, only 10c/GB, but that makes this 500GB disk a hideously expensive $50! That's too much.

By the time this tech comes out, that will be orders of magnitude more than HD prices. Maybe even flash storage will be cheaper by then.

Re:Expensive (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733303)

Replying to help with the troll mod on Tom17. Redundant maybe because of the reply above him, but not troll.

Re:Expensive (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733307)

There are other considerations:

First, quality. Is the holographic storage faster? Is it less likely to break? Can it handle a larger number of reads/writes?
Second, $50 is for the 1st generation. The price comes down the quickest in the early generations, so it may achieve parity or even pass the pricepoint for current HD prices within a few years.

Re:Expensive (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733393)

When I got my first CDRW drive disks were $25 a piece and today they run about $.10 so just because a technology launches at an expensive price point doesn't mean it can't be a success. If they can show that the media is durable then it's going to do well with their initial target customers because the competition just isn't reliable enough for studios.

Re:Expensive (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733453)

They word the pricing to make it sound attractive, only 10c/GB, but that makes this 500GB disk a hideously expensive $50! That's too much.

And they're not even mentioning the cost of the drive, since this is only a disc.

Data Integrity? (4, Insightful)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733217)

The real question is how robust the things are to scratches and other negative environmental effects. If it has to be enclosed in a case like the old Zip disks were, then it's effectively a fancy hard drive in a smaller and lighter format.(though slower by a huge margin I'd bet).

Unless it's as damage resistant as a normal CD or DVD, it's not going to make a blip in the marketplace.

Re:Data Integrity? (3, Interesting)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733287)

It'd have to be *more* damage resistant, at that price. With flash drives up to 64GBs at a reasonable price, and growing all the time, and no word on if these are reusable, requiring a specific drive, etc etc. It'd be a hell of an uphill battle. Probably worse than Blu-Ray's got.

Re:Data Integrity? (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733319)

if it's data integrity IS comparable to that od CDs and DVDs, then its not really suitable for archiving. As an asside, even if it does cost 10c/GB, how much is it going to cost for the writer?

How many episodes of Gillian's Island is that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733231)

And I haven't even bought a Blu-Ray player yet.

Re:How many episodes of Gillian's Island is that? (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733269)

Gillian's island? I didn't know they gave Scully her own series!

Re:How many episodes of Gillian's Island is that? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733527)

It's not a series. It's a hidden Handicam on her private beach.

Mrowr.

Re:How many episodes of Gillian's Island is that? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733833)

Is that what the Government wants you to believe?

Re:How many episodes of Gillian's Island is that? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733481)

Forget that! Just let me know how many Libraries of Congress this is? [OBLIGATORY

Perhaps (1)

Again (1351325) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733271)

[...] perhaps in 2011 or 2012, holographic discs using its technology will be less than 10 cents a gigabyte [...]

Yeah perhaps the disks will be that cheap. From the summary, I assumed that they were 10 cents a GB already...

500GB disks that will cost 10 cents a GB to produce at launch

But I guess you never can be too sure in life.

investment vs return (1)

skathe (1504519) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733347)

Seems like buying a SATA-USB bridge with a case and a 1TB hard drive (totaling less than $100)would be much more cost effective, not to mention durable, than buying a $50 disk.

I can see the merit in having a single disk being able to store 500GB as a technological advancement (perhaps towards large capacity microSD cards and their ilk), but I fail to see how this works on a practical level as-is.

Info from non-NYT (logins suck!) (1)

psyclone (187154) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733379)

The company said it successfully recorded micro-holographic marks approaching 1% reflectivity, that is, its laser was able to pick up the reflection of 1 bit burned with a diameter of approximately one micron (a millionth of a meter). It means a laser was able to pick up the reflection of 1 bit burned into a substrate. When using standard DVD or Blu-ray disc optics, the scaled down marks will have sufficient reflectivity to enable more than 500GB of total capacity in a CD-size disc.

Unlike today's DVDs and HD Blu-ray disks, holographic storage not only reads from the surface of the disc, but also into multiple layers of the substrate.

GE's technology uses holograms, or three-dimensional patterns, made up of bits of data written into the disc, which can then be read out.

GE said the micro-holographic storage technology is different from other optical-disc technology only in its capacity. The company claimed that its micro-holographic players will allow consumers to play back their CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs as well as the holographic media.

Above quote from Computer World [computerworld.com]

This would be great for archiving if WORM (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733425)

I wasn't sure from the TFA, but previous holo disks were WORM media, where they were intended for archiving.

With media this inexpensive, it would be a boon for both hospitals, but companies in general who have to archive everything, due to Sarbanes Oxley, HIPAA, CALEA, and other regulations.

What GE will need to work on, once this comes out in a standard cartridge format, is some type of autochanger that can reliably move media in and out. In days of yore where companies had WORM optical media, one loaded a library with 50-100 disks, and as they got full, labeled them, swapped them out for empty ones, and either stored them in a tape safe, or dropped them in a tub for Iron Mountain to pick up and store.

while we are talking about storage (4, Interesting)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733427)

how the hell has OCZ's new 1TB 500MB/s PCI-E flash (http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/flash_drives/ocz_z_drive_pci_express_ssd) drives not gotten a mention anywhere that ive seen.

Yes ill probably get modded off topic, but it seems to me it's managed to fall below the radar where it shouldnt have

Re:while we are talking about storage (3, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733707)

Because it isn't such a great thing. Rather than a new memory controller that corrects the problems of the past, they just used a pair of old controllers.

Tom's Hardware pretty much panned the product in its summary of flash drives.

High Density Hot Air (4, Interesting)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733489)

High density discs and have been a PR staple for years. I'm still waiting for one announced in '99. Yes, disc capacity will increase gradually and at some point today's fat Blu-Rays will be hopelessly limited curios, but the trick isn't so much about jamming bits into ever smaller sectors as it is creating compatibility with installed player bases, burner ecosystems and jittery rights holders. GE doesn't come to mind as a company with experience getting that done, nevermind getting such consumer products in the stores or even out of the lab. Good luck guys but I don't see it happening.

- js.

Same longevity issues as other optical media? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733529)

If this technology suffers from the same longevity and data integrity issues that other rewritable optical media always has, then I don't want it to begin replacing magnetic media. The Next Big Thing in storage should be a step closer to the data longevity we enjoyed with cuniform tablets, not a step farther away. Speed and capacity aren't the only criteria for judging storage media. Media is, after all, supposed to store data... how well it does that is a big deal.

Re:Same longevity issues as other optical media? (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733757)

There is no real reason that archival media and rewritable media should be used in the same ways.

If you want guaranteed longevity, used existing bulk archival. That works. If, on the other hand, this is not rewritable, then the point is moot, isn't it?

Why does it matter? (1, Insightful)

iris-n (1276146) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733553)

We have fast cheap broadband virtually everywhere in the civilised world (excluding US, of course). We have dirt cheap HDs.

Video retailers are moving to streaming. Backups are done in RAID servers. Everyone has a thumb drive to carry small files or has a ftp server to transfer big ones.

Why would anyone be burning discs today? I don't see why I should be excited by optical media technology. In the 90's this would be huge. Today, its just an interesting toy.

Re:Why does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733715)

because someone in the finance dept. thought it would make more sense to finish the project than scrap the whole thing and guarantee a loss?

They probably started developing this in the 90's. In fact I think I recall reading something in popular science or some other thing about holographic storage way back then.

Re:Why does it matter? (4, Insightful)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733731)

i dont buy that. in the uk the fastest provider is probably virgin who offer a 50Mbps connection, that is only 1.5Mbps up. Once you consider the requirements to leave a connection up long enugh, and for it to be realiable long enough to transfer, say, the 4.5GB of a DVD, its still easier to transfer it on a DVD, and we are still far far from 500GB being reasonable over current internet speed, even over a 100Mbps LAN it would take helava time

...have to buy the White album again... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733559)

This has, I would suggest, a very, very slim market. Home users won't bother, because it costs more (significantly more at 10c/GB to produce) than an external HD. Hollywood won't bother, because BR still has lots of legs and I don't foresee QHD becoming mainstream any time soon. By then, the video algorithms may have even caught up with the resolution jump and we still won't need more than 50GB for a film. IT won't bother, because if it doesn't go reel to reel it's not a "real" backup solution.

About the only real reason to use this format is distribution of very large data sets to parties locked into a proprietary reader format (medical imaging and digital cinema seemed to be the thrust). That's a pretty low volume marketplace to be pitching to. Oh well, at least it will give justification for high medical costs and high ticket prices at the theater.

FWIW, the search for the holy grail of optical storage was started when CDs held 30x the typical hard drive size. The sheer cavernous storage of 650MB in a 5-20MB hard drive world was so enticing, that it seemed logical that some other removable optical storage would surely keep ahead of hard drives. Backing up 3MB with a box full of $1 floppies was a pain. Backing up a server with a box full of $100 discs just isn't quite as attractive. (For the record, it would take 5 of these to back up my server - though 90% of that is actually a backup of 300 physical DVDs which rest sticky-finger-free in a box in a closet - but the thought of re-ripping all those in a catastrophic failure is not a pleasant one)

properties of holograms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733633)

I haven't RTFA but I do know a bit about holograms. Normal holograms have several properties that could be extremely useful as media devices because of the way they store information. The major one being that every piece of a hologram contains the full hologram. So if you were to make a 10ft by 10ft hologram plate and cut it into pieces of 1 sq in, every one would contain the full image only at lower power. (I don't remember how it scales.) Theoretically, a holographic plate can store a very large number of images related to the degree of incidence of the laser reflection onto the plate. So image another image every 1/2 a degree through about 140 degrees. There are practical limitations with this idea because I've only seen up to 3 images per plate. The plates can also be double exposed at a specific angle, so you can analyze how an image changes due to a condition.

If this new storage contains any of these features, I'd be glad to pay a bit more for it compared to the standard hard drives or DVDs to secure my data. This would be a whole new way to store data and has the potential to store a lot more of it and store it more or less indefinitely.

Media Lifetime is important too! (4, Informative)

stardude82 (1030976) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733643)

If you look at all the projected lifetimes of Fe-LiNiO3 devices, which I guess is they system they are talking about in their glorified press releases, they are supposed to be around 100 years at operating temperatures! Compare that to the 30 some years of DVD-R media!

Though it still isn't as good as some chalcogenide based phase change materials which are predicted to last for 100's of years, it is important step in keeping our data around.

Specs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27733747)

Any idea on the drive specs? Throughput, read/write latency, durability ?

Preloaded with porn? (1)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733755)

Many technological inventions have had their adoption assisted when the porn industry started making use of it. Perhaps GE will quietly partner with an adult entertainment company, who in turn, will release these discs preloaded with hours and hours of 1080p video. Mmmm... holographic boobies.

Re:Preloaded with porn? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733801)

No one preloads with porn.

Virii on the other hand seems to be a common preloaded data set now days :/

But will the Entertainment Industry use it? (3, Interesting)

serutan (259622) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733865)

CDs can store more than an hour of uncompressed audio, yet here we are 20 years after music CDs hit the market and they still contain the same 35-40 minutes of music as vinyl records.

The movie industry's way of coping with DVDs that can store far more than one movie has been to put one movie on a DVD, and load up the extra space with previews, outtakes, commentary, and all kinds of other crap that's not a movie.

How will the movie industry handle a DVD that can store 100 movies? Maybe by grouping them, for example the Star Trek series or films by the same director or main actor. But based on history I'm guessing won't put more than 5 or 6 movies on a disc plus hours and hours of "bonus" material.

Disks only; no drive (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#27733881)

500GB disks that will cost 10 cents a GB to produce at launch. GE will first focus on selling the technology to commercial markets like movie studios

While they're launching the disks, there is unfortunately no drive to read them yet. The movie studios have no problem with that, though; they actually see this as a strong positive.

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