As promised last year, executives at Hitachi Maxell say their first-generation holographic storage media will begin shipping in just a few months, in either November or December. The holographic media is the brainchild of InPhase Technologies. It relies on a "patented two-chemistry Tapestry photopolymer write-once material" that's sandwiched between two plastic substrates 13cm in diameter, or 1cm larger than regular CDs and DVDs. Capacity-wise, the media holds an impressive 300GB of data, ten times more than a dual-layer HD DVD and six times more than a dual-layer Blu-ray disc. 300GB is only the beginning, too; Maxell expects to climb up to 800GB with second-generation media in 2008, and 1.6TB is the target for 2010.
Impressive as those capacities may be, consumers might have to wait for their high-capacity holographic media fix. Maxell's Technical Marketing Director Rich D'Ambrise says discs will cost $120-180 a pop, with drives to be priced in the neighborhood of $15,000. Maxell is nonetheless contemplating catering to the consumer market. According to D'Ambrise, postage stamp-sized 75-100GB holographic discs for the consumer market are theoretically possible, and the company is looking at credit card-sized prototypes. Thanks to DailyTech for the tip.
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