The 300GB DVD debuts

Hitachi Maxell to demonstrate 300GB holographic optical disc, data transfer rates of about 20MBs

Hitachi Maxell this week plans to demonstrate a 300GB version of a holographic optical disc that will be available to select customers in the entertainment industry beginning next month.

InPhase Technologies, which was spun off from Bell Laboratories in 2000, is producing the holographic disc -- called the Tapestry HDS-300R. The launch of the product to a limited number of customers next month will be followed by a general product release in the first quarter of 2007 aimed at enterprise-class users.

The new DVD is being demonstrated this week at the International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition in Tokyo. InPhase announced the technology breakthrough in holographic storage earlier this year.

While InPhase would not disclose pricing at this time, it has been reported that the product will likely retail for US$100 to $125 based on the price of Maxell's current Tapestry disk products.

While the first generation of the 300GB DVD is aimed at commercial use, InPhase expects a consumer-grade product launch over the next two years in what it hopes will be a standardized format.

Lisa Dhar, vice president of media development at InPhase, said the product will first be marketed to the entertainment industry for high-speed, high-capacity film recording, and to enterprise-class companies for data archiving operations. The 300GB product will have data transfer rates of about 20MB/sec.

In 2008, InPhase plans a second-generation 800GB rewritable optical disc with data transfer rates of about 80MB/sec., with plans to expand its capacity to 1.6TB by 2010.

InPhase is hoping to displace magnetic tape cartridges with its first products, according to Dhar.

"Tape is the predominant media in the archival market, but there are a lot of limitations to it. So this is where our initial product will have strength," Dhar said.

Earlier this year, InPhase announced the first beta customers for its HDS-300R product.

In conjunction with InPhase's demonstration of the new DVD technology, Displaytech Inc., maker of ferroelectric liquid crystal on silicon (FLCOS) technology, announced the availability of its Spatial Light Modulators (SLM) for use in holographic data-storage devices. The SLM allows data to be written to holographic discs that feature a capacity 10 to 100 times greater than high-definition HD-DVD or Blu-ray formats.

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Lucas Mearian

Computerworld

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