Feeds

GE tries to refocus image of holographic storage

Another potential dust-biter

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The replication speed should be okay for media content distribution. Customers looking to use GE's technology for archiving - the obvious initial market - may be concerned about the comparatively slow data write rate. Future consumers looking for a 3D movie-storing medium would be very concerned about a $100/disk cost, so that would need to come down enormously.

So far nobody has said anything about re-writable disks using GE's technology.

GE isn't going to manufacture drives and disks itself, and is looking instead to license the technology. Peter Lorraine, GE's lab manager, talking at an Emerging Tech conference last week, said that licence announcements could be expected soon. He also mentioned the notion of disks having the capacity of 100 Blu-ray disks, implying a 2.5TB or even 5TB capacity, gained by increasing the number of layers used for recording.

What is there to say that GE's holographic storage technology is not just the latest optical storage dust-biter? Blu-ray is not taking the market by storm, with a CH-DVD format posing competition for it in China. The Call/Recall 1TB holographic technology seems to be in the deep freeze. Inphase is trying to correct deficiencies in its drive revealed last year, and is currently as silent as the grave.

Despite what holographic storage boosters say about slow and short-lifetime tape, tape is here and tape is more reliable than it used to be. Much more so. We know 1.5TB LTO 5 drives are coming, with 3TB LTO 6 on LTO's roadmap and, insiders are whispering, two more LTO format generations with doubled capacities coming.

It's not as if GE has real money at risk here: at least, not "real" money in the "bet-the-company" InPhase sense. It's just an R & D exercise - although an impressive one - but GE's skin in the game is pretty thin and it has to talk up its technology, as it's got licensees to convince. A key is drive and disk volume and pricing. They have got to seem great value, compared to tape.

Tape owns the game for now and, if GE and it's putative licensees aim to make a dent in the tape market, convincing customers to move to a more expensive product could be a mug's game. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
VMware vaporises vCHS hybrid cloud service
AnD yEt mOre cRazy cAps to dEal wIth
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?