Last week GE announced a major milestone in their attempts to commercialize holographic based storage by demonstrating micro-holographic material that can support 500GB in a standard DVD size disk. This is equivalent to 20 single Blu-ray discs or 100 DVD’s. GE’s micro-holographic storage differs from the traditional holographic storage from such companies as InPhase Technologies in that it uses smaller and less complex holograms.
A differentiator that GE enjoys was explained by Brian Lawrence, Head of GE’s Holographic Storage Program, in a recent LaserFocusWorld article; “ Because GE’s micro-holographic discs could essentially be read and played using similar optics to those found in standard 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 inference is that micro-holographic players should be able to read CD’s, DVD,s and Blu-ray Discs which questions the wisdom of GE’s market entry strategy.
Still about two years from delivering a practical solution GE is planning to target commercial archive applications followed by the consumer market. Considering Lawrence’s comments, the GE entry positioning is difficult to understand. Perhaps someone should tell their marketing folks that InPhase Technologies, who are also focused on the commercial archive industry, are already delivering disc capacities of 300GB, with 800GB on the roadmap for 2011.