back to article GE talks up 500GB-per-disc optical storage tech

General Electric (GE) has demonstrated a storage technology with the potential for allowing 500GB of data to be written onto a single DVD-sized disc. GE hailed its technology – known as micro-holographic storage – as a “next generation optical storage” technology. It added that the technology could see individual discs able to …


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  1. E

    Commercial use

    This would include data backup products?

  2. Anonymous Coward


    I was thinking of this back in the days of Star Trek TNG and in 1994 IBM stated they have invented their own version.

    Customers are tired of waiting to see these things come to retail. If you do not have a solid time release date then do not release any information except for in places like DISCOVERY CHANNEL.

    So with this article I can assume we will be waiting another 9 years before its on bestbuy shelves.

  3. Nexox Enigma


    So let me get this straight... 1% reflectivity, extremely small 'marks' storing your data. Sounds like these discs are going to be rather extremely prone to scratching. It's not so bad on a pressed CD / DVD with a reflectivity of around 99%, but you can tell with a CD-RW (25% reflectivity) that scratches matter a lot. They'll probably blow something like 40% of the raw storage space on data redundancy if they ever plan to have these things exposed to fingers and dust. Maybe they can come in an air-tight caddy, and the drives can re-vaccuum seal the things whenever you eject one.

    Not that I wouldn't enjoy 500GB opticals, and the implied r/w speed boost that comes with a density like that, but unless these things are reasonably durable, I don't see them replacing tapes, which would be the obvious commercial removable storage medium to compete with.

  4. Dave


    I could have saved them the trouble, would have turned up all the results required. are there any useful innovations today or will they all be people inventing existing kit, like the Somniloquy earlier?

  5. Dave

    and the Reg even did a couple of articles, in 1999!

    Progress? or Sony holding back the boffins to slowly reap rewards and sell more boxes?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    and our date to practical usage and delivery is....?

    Paris, cos she delivered on CD / DVD and poss Blue-Ray, ohh and teh net-webz.

  7. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Better hurry up, GE

    "GE hasn’t actually created a 500GB micro-holographic disc yet."

    By the time they do, semi-disposable memory sticks might have the same capacity, and let's not forget that hard-drives are currently cheaper per terabyte than blank optical media.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    always playing catch up....

    By the time that's on the market (and we've been promised holographic storage for *how* long?!?!?) it'll be a laughable amount to backup given that you can save 17Petabytes in the structure of your iris using a built in laser writer on your laptop.

  9. Richard Boyce
    Thumb Down


    You can't have too much storage, but if they haven't built one yet, it's going to be years before they can come to market. By then, portable 2.5" hard drives costing £50 will have much more capacity, with no expensive extra player required.

    They should get back to us when they can talk about achieving greater areal density than today's magnetic storage.

  10. YARR
    Thumb Down

    And the market for this will be?

    Hard discs in the gigabyte range have made CDs obsolete because they will store most people's entire music collection.

    Hard discs in the terabyte range with high speed broadband will make DVDs and even blu-rays redundant for the same reason.

    Hard discs are more convenient and reliable than optical discs for backups.

    So who will want to buy 500Gb holographic discs?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Flying Cars?

    Holographic storage seems to be one of those technologies that periodically gets talked about but never seems to be made into a actual product that you can purchase.

    I want a holographic DVD player in my flying car!

  12. Raymond Cranfill

    Bring It on!

    Contrary to popular belief, it's not just enterprises that would enjoy the benefits of such storage. I am old enough to remember when a cd stored 10 times as much data as the reasonably affordable hard drive of the time. Now the average hard disk stores over 100 dvds worth of data, with the largest storing 4 times that. I have 10 TBs of movies, music, photos, ebooks and audiobooks, in addition to email and documents. It's simply impractical to store that amount of data even on dual-layer dvds. Tape is expensive and, in my experience, unreliable over long time periods. So, I use 1 TB internal hard drives which are bulky to store and troublesome to mount. I'd be happy with a durable disk that stores as much as 100 GBs and which costs no more than $5 a disk. How many more years will I have to wait for this to appear?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Fluorescent Multilayer Disc

  14. Neoc

    Re: And the market for this will be?

    @YARR Posted Monday 27th April 2009 19:56 GMT

    "Hard discs in the gigabyte range have made CDs obsolete because they will store most people's entire music collection. Hard discs in the terabyte range with high speed broadband will make DVDs and even blu-rays redundant for the same reason."

    Funny enough, my HTPC is a WDTV with hacked firmware, an ethernet adapter and 4x1Tb MyBooks USB drives. And I'm in the process of ripping my CD/DVD collection to it.

  15. raving angry loony

    so what?

    I remember when the blue-laser stuff was first announced many years ago. Much joy! To watch what the fucking RIAA/MPAA have forced onto the technology makes me sick. To watch how they delayed its introduction by YEARS so as to incorporate more of their fucking DRM just makes me angry.

    They'll do the same to this one too, turning it from a possibly great storage medium to one where the readers/writers are so encumbered with DRM crap they'll cost 100x what they should cost, and be useless for mass storage. Again.

  16. Steen Hive


    "A spokesman for General Electric indicated that time-to-market for consumer devices could be as short as a couple of years, depending on the outcome of the Pirate Bay appeal".

  17. Sean Aaron

    this will never be used for packaged media

    Archive only consumer or commercial, but given how niche blu-ray is, I think packaged media is looking at the end of the road. DVD-quality downloads are the future unless someone feels like flushing a lot of money on yet another consumer disc player.

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