NISKAYUNA, N.Y. -- GE Global Research, the technology development arm of the General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), today announced a major breakthrough in the development of next generation optical storage technology. GE researchers have successfully demonstrated a threshold micro-holographic storage material that can support 500 gigabytes of storage capacity in a standard DVD-size disc. This is equal to the capacity of 20 single-layer Blu-ray discs, 100 DVDs or the hard drive for a large desktop computer.
GEs micro-holographic discs will be able to be read and recorded on systems very similar to a typical Blu-ray or DVD player. Holographic storage is different from todays optical storage formats like DVDs and Blu-ray discs. DVDs and Blu-ray discs store information only on the surface of the disc; holographic storage technology uses the entire volume of the disc material. Holograms, or three-dimensional patterns that represent bits of information, are written into the disc and can then be read out. Although GEs holographic storage technology represents a breakthrough in capacity, the hardware and formats are so similar to current optical storage technology that the micro-holographic players will enable consumers to play back their CDs, DVDs and BDs.
The GE team successfully recorded micro-holographic marks approaching one percent reflectivity with a diameter of approximately one micron. When using standard DVD or Blu-ray disc optics, the scaled down marks will have sufficient reflectivity to enable over 500 GB of total capacity in a CD-size disc.
GEs breakthrough is a huge step toward bringing our next generation holographic storage technology to the everyday consumer, said Brian Lawrence, who leads GEs Holographic Storage program. Because GEs micro-holographic discs could essentially be read and played using similar optics to those found in standard Blu-ray players, 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.
General Electric Co.