holographic storage (holostorage)

Holographic storage is computer storage that uses laser beams to store computer-generated data in three dimensions. Perhaps you have a bank credit card containing a logo in the form of a hologram. The idea is to use this type of technology to store computer information. The goal is to store a lot of data in a little bit of space. In the foreseeable future, the technology is expected to yield storage capacities up to a terabyte in drives the same physical size as current ones. A terabyte would be enough space for hundreds of movies or a million books.

Although no one has yet mass-commercialized this technology, many vendors are working on it. InPhase Technologies, which was founded by Lucent, is working on a product capable of storing 200 gigabytes of data, written four times faster than the speed of current DVD drives. Although current versions are not rewritable, the company expects to make holographic storage that can be rewritten within the next few years.

The first products are likely to be expensive, and only feasible for large organizations with unusual needs for storage. However, vendors expect to make holographic storage available and affordable for the average consumer within the next few years.

This was last updated in September 2005

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