It seems that every other month someone’s coming out with the prototype of a disc that can store X times more than a DVD/Blu-ray. I was actually thinking of making one myself with a stack of blank BDs and some blu-tac but then GE put together a method of storing 500GB using holographic disc storage which is much more interesting.
Instead of etching 2D patterns into the surface, holographic technology uses a three dimensional process with the disc acting like a maze of microscopic mirrors giving a depth to the optical layer where all the data is stored. GE expects them to be introduced by 2012 but the real key is, of course, how expense they will be.
Blu-rays began as $1 per GB when they first came out dropping to something closer to half that today. GE hopes these holographic discs will be 10 cents per GB, so a much more affordable $5 for the whole thing.
The thing I can’t help wondering, though, is whether there’s really a viable future in optical storage? Between SSDs and cloud computing, I was hoping to rid myself of discs by 2012.