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Mystery hologram disc upstart gobbles InPhase blueprints

Storage biz flickers into life, beams up rival's assets

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3D holographic storage upstart hVault has bought assets of crashed rival InPhase and announced it will ship systems in the spring.

hVault, which has a booth at this year's broadcast technology show NAB in Las Vegas, boasted that it is "the leader in holographic archival storage systems". Well, er, yes, because there is pretty much no one else in the market - and the startup has yet to ship a single system as far as El Reg is aware.

The company is going after the archive market, and says holographic media will last for 50 years. hVault reckons its Star Trek-grade media doesn't need replacing unlike magnetic tape. So archive your digital data, forget it, and read it back in 50 years. Nothing else comes close to this purported low cost of ownership.

The NAB hVault profile mentions a 72TB library with any content "accessible in less than 10 seconds". These storage vaults can be configured with up to four drives and 240 holographic disc slots. Multiple library cabinets can expand the disk capacity to 2,140 discs. A 72TB library with 240 slots pegs capacity at about 300GB per disc.

This is presumably the same 300GB Tapestry disk and drive that drove InPhase to its frustrating collapse when it couldn't get the hardware working properly. The drive was supposed to hit 20MB/s transfer rates.

The hVault engineers must think they have the drive problem beat if it has a sales infrastructure in place. The company's website doesn't reveal much about hVault's founders or backers, merely stating: "The core hVault team has decades of combined experience in the archival storage market, including development of the first holographic library system."

Many have tried and many have failed in the holographic tech arena. Whoever is backing the company and running it will have a hell of a task ahead of them. There are no product details and no prices on the radar. ®

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