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Forget about HD-DVD and Blu-Ray - Holographic storage is the way to go

I have to say that I am impressed by 3D Holographic storage. A few months ago, it was still labelled as vapourware (opens in new tab), a term used to label technology long promised but never delivered. You can get a brief summary of the technology here.

Bell Labs spinoff, InPhase Technologies, has already started advertising its new Holographic drive AND media. The HDS 300A drive resembles a UPS and the media comes encased in a cartridge that reminds me of the DVD-RAM or Pinnacle Systems.

The specifications are truly impressive; the HDS-300A can record data at 20MBps, which is still not on par with the best hard disk drives, but is far better than competing tape technology like DLT or DAT, which barely achieve 10MB/s. The HDS-300A is also superior as far as capacity is concerned; current InPhase technology offers 300GB of uncompressed storage compared to 160GB for tape.

Roadmaps have shown that next year 800GB models will prevail with 1.6TB coming up in 2009. This rise in capacity will also witness significant improvements in transfer rates, quadrupling next year to reach 80MB per second and then moving to 120MB/sec in 2009 which is almost the speed of today's fastest hard disk drives.

InPhase is not the only actor in the Holographic Market - Optware, Fuji Photo, Maxwell and Aprilis are all pushing forward Holographic storage through the HVD (Holographic Versatile) Alliance. In the end, HD DVD and Blu Ray might be fighting a losing battle as HVD steams forward

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.