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Holograms store 100 Gbyte of video

17 Jun 2002

The first ever holographic data storage system for video applications has been launched by InPhase Technologies.

US-based InPhase Technologies, a spin-off from Lucent, has demonstrated what it claims is the first holographic video recording system.

Called Tapestry, the system was demonstrated at last week's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, US, and offers larger capacities and transfer rates than DVD or other optical technologies.

InPhase's first product will be a write-once system capable of recording 100 Gbyte of video - enough to hold more than 20 compressed feature films on one disk, or roughly 30 minutes of uncompressed high-definition video. The company says that future generations of the Tapestry product will provide terabytes of storage on a single disk.

At a transfer rate of 20 Mbyte/s, the Tapestry drive will satisfy a variety of professional video applications, including digital cinema.

The system uses the interference between a signal beam and reference beam to write holograms into a polymer material. Data are encoded onto the signal beam by a spatial light modulator, which translates electronic data in an optical array of 1.3 million bits.

Data are read when the reference beam deflects off the hologram, which is then projected onto a detector. This process is conducted in parallel, enabling extremely fast transfer rates.

Nelson Diaz, president and CEO of InPhase Technologies said: "Our technology is the kind of low-cost, long-life, high-capacity, ultra-reliable removable medium for which the broadcast industry has been waiting for many years. Our meetings with the professional video industry have been well-received, and we're ready to move forward together with the kind of product that will help transform video storage as we know it."

InPhase is targeting product delivery in limited volume by the end of 2003, with volume shipments targeted for 2004.

Author
Nadya Anscombe is editor of Optics.org and Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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