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GE Introduces 500-GB, DVD-Sized Disc

General Electric Co. researchers have developed a 500-GB DVD-size disc with storage capacity equivalent to 20 Blu-ray discs and 100 DVDs.

GE's discs use a recording technique called "micro-holographic storage," an optical format similar to DVDs and Blu-ray discs. As a result, players supporting the GE discs could also support Blu-ray discs, standard DVDs, and CDs.

What's unique about holographic storage is its ability to use the entire volume of the disc material and not just the surface, which is the case with the older technologies, GE said. Holograms, or three-dimensional patterns that represent bits of information, are written into the discs and then read out.

Brian Lawrence, head of GE's holographic storage program, said that because GE's technology won't require a separate disc player, "our technology will pave the way for cost-effective, robust, and reliable holographic drives that could be in every home."

"The day when you can store your entire high-definition movie collection on one disc and support high-resolution formats like 3-D television is closer than you think," Lawrence said in a statement.

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