Feeds

Say hello to hologram RAM

Japanese researchers bring optical memory one step closer to practical reality

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Japanese researchers have finally figured out how to plug the data leak that is preventing the widespread use of holographic memory -- a high-density, high read speed storage optical system that works on the same principle as the 3D security labels on credit cards. Holographic memory itself isn't new. Just as a visual hologram can record a complete three-dimensional object in a single sheet of photographic film, it can also be used to store data to a very high density. The data is written with a laser beam which pulses on and off to represent binary 1s and 0s. A second beam crosses the first at a set angle generating an interference pattern -- a pattern that's recorded in a special storage material as positive and negative charges. Whole stacks of interference patterns can be laid on top of each other, each pattern being produced by setting the first, data laser and the second, reference beam at different angles. Reading the data back is simply a matter of shining a laser onto the material. It interacts with the interference pattern to reproduce the original pulsing data beam. The snag has always been that the process of reading back the interference pattern -- and thus the data -- over time changes those charges, in the process damaging the information stored. According to science journal Nature, the Japanese team solved the problem by adding iron and a rare metal called terbium to the standard lithium niobate storage material. Terbium becomes coloured when it's exposed to ultraviolet light and, more to the point, once coloured this way helps the lithium niobate retain its data-encoding charges. The team, from the National Institute for Research in Inorganic Materials in Tsukuba, claims the modified storage medium will retain data without deterioration for up to two years if it's not exposed to light, and that it holds data safely for at least nine hours if the information is constantly exposed to a read laser. Clearly there's still someway to go before holographic memory becomes a practical reality -- who wants to re-archive all their data every two years? -- but it is a major step toward that goal. ® Related Stories Boffins beat Moore's Law with quantum magic Storage tech boffins to demo 140GB 'CD-ROM' US researchers develop molecular memory UK boffins unveil $35 '2300GB on a PC Card' RAM breakthrough

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.