Feeds

Small company chases big holographic storage

InPhase aims for 300Mbpsi

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Tiny, privately funded, InPhase Technology is on the brink of replacing film tape with holographic storage in the broadcasting industries, offering densities beyond anything currently seen in other archival storage.

It is already working with industry giants like Hitachi, Sony, Sanyo, HP, IBM, Toshiba, Samsung and Matsushita and it says that by 2008 it will use the same technology to revolutionize mobile phone storage with postage stamp-sized storage platforms, holding from 2Gb to 20Gb.

This week at the IBC conference in Amsterdam it put the finishing touches to its first product after five years of research, with the selection of a Cypress Semiconductor CMOS camera chip which can read out 500 frames of uncompressed film a second.

The resulting InPhase Tapestry archival drive will hold 300 gigabytes of data with a transfer rate of 20 Megabytes a second in a single 5.25 inch storage cartridge, complete with RFID identifiers. This will be a write-once drive, but later there will be read-write versions of the system which should go up to 800Gb and eventually 1.6 TB levels.

The company has solved the puzzle of how to create an all polymer storage layer fixed between two poly carbonate substrates, using no metallized layer such as used in DVD storage. The outcome is that every major company doing serious experimenting with holographic storage around the world, uses the InPhase media. The Tapestry drive will hit the market next autumn.

So far InPhase has managed only to outstrip the storage density of existing disk drives. Perpendicular recording on disk drives, where the magnetic cell is written straight down into the surface, rather than strung across it, will take recording densities to around 240 Megabits per square inch (Mbpsi) from the 120 Mbpsi that disk drives are out now. But InPhase is confident of reaching 300 Mbpsi by the time its product is released.

The trick is to cross two separate lasers, and where they intersect to write in three dimensions across a 1.3 millimeter gap filled with a two chemistry photopolymer, between the substrates. The result are tiny pages of data holding 1.3 megabits, which form into books containing 80 to 130 of these pages. At the moment cheap red and green lasers are used, but Inphase will shortly move to blue lasers, working with Sony for the Tapestry product.

“When we talked to film makers about this, they got very excited. Currently to create film copies for distribution for a big Christmas film, they have to begin production in the middle of October,” said Art Rancis VP sales for InPhase. "We can do that in just a month.”

All the manufacturers that InPhase works with are likely to be better at producing these devices than InPhase, which so far has existed on just $62m of venture capital, but the company feels it needs to seed the market and that’s why it’s producing its own drive now. But the shift to offering mobile and other smaller form factor storage actually threatens Flash memory more than anything else.

A simple x, y arrangement moves the lasers to read the data and eventually read write versions of this will be available. The first of these products will come out in early 2008 and be postage stamp sized to read pre-written data. A blue laser read write drive would put 120Gb of data on a credit card sized drive, said Rancis, but would only be likely around 2015. The early read only drives would be perfect for GPS data, maps and entertainment.

Copyright © 2005, Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of the week's events in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.