Feeds

Say hello to hologram RAM

Japanese researchers bring optical memory one step closer to practical reality

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.