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Folio Photonics develops multi-layered optical storage technology

05 Sep 2022

Intended for archival storage market; a single disc can store 1TB; available from 2024.

Folio Photonics, Solon, OH, USA, a developer of optical data archiving technology, says it has made a significant breakthrough in multi-layer optical storage disc technology that will achieve what it calls “an unprecedented level of cost, security and sustainability advantage”.

Leveraging patented advancements in materials science, Folio has developed “the first economically viable, enterprise-scale optical storage discs with dynamic multi-layer write/read capabilities, which will enable the development of radically low-cost/high-capacity disc storage,” it states in the announcement.

“Folio Photonics is on a path to engendering far greater data densities than was thought possible several years ago,” commented John Monroe, lead analyst at Furthur Market Research and former VP analyst in the data center infrastructure group at Gartner.

He added, “Using next-generation materials, patented polymer extrusion, and film-based disc construction processes, in concert with customized optical pickup units, Folio Photonics appears poised to deliver a new optical technology that enables eight or 16 film layers per side per disc, as opposed to only three optical layers per side per disc for today’s archival discs.”

‘Data overwhelming existing storage technologies’

Folio commented, “Data growth is overwhelming existing storage technologies, and today’s outdated enterprise storage technologies fail to address three key pain points of cost, cybersecurity and sustainability. The high cost of storage is untenable with exploding data growth, cyber threats continue to escalate, and data centers are a major contributor to energy/water usage and CO2 emissions.”

The company says this achievement shifts the company from the research phase to product development. With disc availability targeted for 2024, its multi-layer disc capacity is expected to start at 10TB per cartridge (1TB per disc) with a roadmap to multi-TB capacities.

Steven Santamaria, Folio Photonics’ CEO, believes the company is well positioned in the archival storage market, which he says is projected to be worth more than $10 billion, representing a volume of more than 2.68 Zettabytes, in 2025. “Our manufacturing advantages drive room for significant channel/partner margin and profitability and position the company for sustainable growth and continued investment in the business,” he said.

Fred Moore, president of business analysis firm Horison Information Strategies, commented, “Archival storage data comprises up to 80 percent of all data according to industry estimates, and Folio is in a strong position to be a leading player in this large, fast-growing market.

Folio Photonics discs are highly sustainable and will provide 80 percent power savings over HDDs. In addition, its ACTIVE archive storage is not vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse attacks, offers an air gap to ensure cybersecurity and provides a media lifespan of 100 years.

Santamaria added, “Folio’s next-generation storage media will radically reduce the upfront cost and TCO while making data archives active, cybersecure, and sustainable – an ideal combination for data center and hyperscale customers. We believe that it will disrupt and reenergize the multibillion-dollar data storage industry with its breakthrough financial and sustainability upside.”

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