back to article InPhase finally to phase in holographic disk

Holographic storage developer InPhase Technologies has said it will announce its Tapestry hologram storage product in May. A version of the product was demonstrated at the NAB2008 show in Las Vegas earlier this month. The bare facts are these: Tapestry consists of 120mm (5.25-inch) diameter clear plastic disks in a cartridge …


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  1. Sampler

    Official secrets act

    Save all your official secrets to these discs, then in fifty years when you have to declassify them the medium breaks - oops :D

  2. Dan Hardiker

    RE: Offical secrets act

    I'm sure they'll be sent through the post unencrypted well before then.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    50 year lifespan

    In 50 years time, just what will you find to play them back with ?

  4. D
    Jobs Horns

    Organic Matter Storage

    In 50 years time you'll just transfer the content to your brain and then when you kick the bucket the data can be safely transfered to parties preselected only with the DNA of your choice so only they can access it. I think.

  5. Pete

    Re: 50 year lifespan

    Surely just by taking it to the Local NHS hospital where they will think 50 year old hardware is state of the art?

  6. heystoopid
    Thumb Up

    I want

    I want one forget that pansy SONY crap they are trying to flog like a dead horse at the starting gate !

  7. Alex McKenna

    Delicious idea but...

    In 50 years time we might all be too busy trying to find someone to EAT rather than checking through old mailing-lists...

  8. Kevin Eastman

    50 years lifespan?

    So if they can advertise that it will last 50 years, does that mean that this stuff was actually invented 50 years ago, and they are just releasing it now? Will they back up this claim with a 50 year warrenty?

  9. call me scruffy

    How long does a hard disc retain its data for?

    Because these discs aren't looking that great from the cost/capacity standpoint.

  10. unfunk

    50, eh?

    weren't CDs supposed to last for up to a hundred years?

    Regardless, this stuff is awesome. I want the XBox 720/PS4/Wii2 to have it. No complaining about lack of storage space then...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: 50, eh?

    CDs last for thousands of years... maybe not the data inside but... that's another issue...

  12. Richard Silver badge

    A CD-R is often dead within 5 years

    Or if you leave it in the sunshine, it's dead in a couple of days.

    A pressed CD has a much longer lifespan as it's not based on phase-changing dyes but actual physical holes in aluminium foil.

  13. Dom

    Want One!

    I hope all those movie studios are watching - complete film series (Die Hard, for example) on a single disc.

    The Americian TV industry has been using Tapestry for a while now, because it's the best medium for recording in Widescreen HD formats.

    All those IT Admins wanting to back up all those "My Docs" folders that clients so kindly fill up with their iTunes music - easy with Tapestry.

    This medium is soooo cool. Have to write a very nice note to Santa this year!

    BluRay is dead!

    Long live Tapestry!

  14. braemar Bartlett

    Blu is not dead yet..


    Bluray is dead? Really? I sure as HELL am not going to go spend $18,000 on one of these machines... BD already has prototype discs that can hold 200GB+, and they sure don't cost $180 per disc. If you are looking to archive that much data to begin with, you're going to want several copies.

    I'd rather have six 50GB discs (300GB) for ~$210 total (allowing me to have redundant backups), than 1 disc that ACTUALLY lasts god knows how long for $180 'in volume' (how many?)

    $30 extra for redundancy is well worth it in my book.

    What happens if one of those 300GB discs burns incorrectly? What a waste of almost $200....

    All that being said, I'm all for holo-storage, but it just doesn't seem reasonable yet..


  15. rasputinsDog
    Black Helicopters

    In 50 years . . .

    Surely something will come along that will out do this and we will all move on to it like good like sheeple. Some, yet to be born, computer geek like us will cream his shorts at the chance to emulate one of these drives in order to retrieve the data from it. But this assuming that the coming NWO will allow unfettered computer access. I guess though even the NWO will need data storage.

  16. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Moore's less

    I would buy 500GB hard disks now. Well before there is a risk that the disks become unreadable, I could replace them with something half the cost. Repeat until 50 years pass, and the total will still cost less than holographic media, plus I do not have to pay $18,000,000 for a reader in fifty year's time.

  17. Christian Berger

    About CDs and DVDs

    Actually you could make CDs and DVDs last virtually forever. You do have some flexibility with the standard so theoretically you could do something like a diamond CD which lasts millenia.

    Something CD or DVD based would actually be a better candidate for such a system as, like many people noted, you probably won't get any devices that can still read those media after 50 years. It's much more likely that you will be able to read a CD as the backwards compatibility strings probably will last much longer. Even the newest HD-DVD drives still can read CD-Roms.

    Maybe one could build some etching system for CDs where you have a glass or ceramic disk you etch your data out and seal it so it'll last for centuries.

  18. Bronek Kozicki

    RE: About CDs and DVDs

    We had that one, long time ago. Unluckily, storage density was rather poor. Media was also close to silicone ... stone.

  19. alex d

    I'm still pissed off holographic storage doesn't come in tiny cubes.

    According to this guy hard drives, properly recorded (start from a blank, write to it once) hard drives last for at least 20-30 years. It'll be a lot longer if you "refresh" it, read then write back the data remagnetizing the platter. Even if the hard drive has trouble reading itself, data can be recovered with specialized but widespread hd data-recovery machines. Try doing that to a holographic disk. The biggest advantage of hard drives, besides speed and capacity, is that it'll be much easier to find a working SATA port than some niche holographic reader.

    Besides, NUMBERS LIKE "50 years" etc ARE RETARDED. All storage devices use error-correction algorithms. If you want your data to stay around for 100 years, just tune the algorithm to have enough redundancy.

  20. Malcolm Weir
    IT Angle

    Hard Drive Life -- @Alex D

    While a hard drive _platter_ may hold its data for 20-30 years (a claim I don't know enough to dispute, although that reference contains enough questionable statements that it's probably disputable!), the drive mechanism almost certainly won't. If you leave a disk inoperative for even a few years, phenomena such a stiction (to name just one) will likely kill the mechanism, so you won't be able to spin up the disk.

    Therein lies the biggest flaw with hard disk as a backup: failure modes for disks tend to result in the thing being unusable (and therefore all the data being lost) a lot more frequently than failure modes for (e.g.) tapes or DVDs or CDs...

    This leads to the issue of "acceptable" loss criteria; many applications are OK with the idea of (say) 99% of the data being retrievable after 50 years, which is not wildly different than with paper archives!

    Oh, and ECC won't help you at all if all your ECC is on the same device...

  21. Markie Dussard
    Paris Hilton


    Close to silicone?

    Paris, because there's no Jordan.

  22. Anonymous Hero
    Paris Hilton

    @Malcom Weir

    All ur ECC is mine.

    Paris, cos she knows all about error correction facilities.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    50 years of data!

    I for one would want to have to sift through 50 years of backups in order to find the data I want. In most "real life" situations the real selling point is speed and capacity anything else is either irrelavant or a bonus. Give it a few years and it will be cheaper, more capacious, faster and most likely superceded.

    Alien?, cos in fifty years we may well be using alien technology

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hard Drive Life

    I'm with Alex here. By migrating the data from RAID SAN to SAN in distributed locations over 50 years you're ensuring its integrity constantly - 300GB will be loose change by then and this will take no time and next to no effort. By contrast good luck finding a DVD player in 2058, let alone one of these specialised devices.

    I do not get why anyone uses optical anymore. Having to physically change media to run a backup? Sooo last century.

  25. Mr Michael Strelitz
    Gates Halo

    50 years based on what?

    Do we have any information on the accelerated life tests used to justify 50 years?

    What are the storage conditions required to ensure 50 years, including acceptable margins ? We need wide margins that will apply to standard well designed "green" offices that do not rely on air-conditioning in summer and make do with minimal artificial heating in winter.

  26. joli
    Thumb Up

    More then 50 years track record...

    I think there's a technology today that has more then 50 track record. It's called... Paper, I think...

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