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1) Override the market of CD-ROMs and DVD

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The market for CD-ROMs and DVD seems to have happened at the end of capabilities that it could provide.

It is highly probable that in the very near future, we will abandon our hard drives, CD and DVD for a new way of data storage called holographic memory. The research started 50 years ago and it seems that there is an opportunity of market.

And holographic memory is a disruptive technology as outlined by Clayton M. Christensen: “Generally, disruptive innovations were technologically straightforward, consistent of off-the-shelf components put together in a product architecture often that was simpler than prior approaches. They offered less of what customers in, established markets wanted and so rarely could be INITIALLY employed there. They offered a different package of attributes valued only in emerging markets remote from, and unimportant to, the mainstream. ”

Objective of the holographic memory :

To develop these skills that will provide memories neighboring terabyte in a volume close to the cubic centimeter, with a read speed of data of the order of Giga bit.

Thus, the advantages of holography would use the media volume instead of being limited to the surface to save the data (as CD-ROMs works). Therefore the new generation of hard drives 1 terabyte would be more suited to today’s computers.

IBM was the first to enter this niche market in 1994. Thus, the process remains the same since with holography, but the data is stored in the binary 0 and 1. The only difference that is made is that the beam passes through a “checkerboard” (consisting of liquid crystals or mirrors) and allows light to pass or block the message that gives a binary code. Thus we can imagine a checkerboard composed of several mirrors, the more mirrors it has, more the message is fast. The possibilities are endless, so in terms of speed recording, the effect is almost instantaneous. However, as any technological innovation there is a limit. So the objective is to keep the checkerboard with its initial properties, while being able to quickly change its appearance due to the effect of light.

Therefore, the board is now composed of a new combination of polymer, thus meeting the two problems mentioned above. Reading the coding occurs when the second beam follows the direction of the first beam stumbling on encoded parts.

Millions of pounds in a piece of sugar, this is the promise of holographic storage. Bringing the third dimension, lets consider the hologram storage volumes unmatched. They are ideal for personal computing, storage or servers.

United States, the project HDS (Holographic Data Storage System), funded 50% by the Advanced Research Projects Agency, brings together research teams from IBM, Kodak, Rockwell, GTE, Optitek and three prestigious universities. The prototype for storing in a crystal of 1 cm 3,10,000 pages of data, each containing one million pixels. Another program funded by Caltech and American society Holoplex, neighboring gigabyte capacity was obtained by recording 20,000 pages of data in a crystal of 3 cm 3.

In New York, the company is working on Holostor Manhattan Scientifics, a 50 gigabyte disk holographic whose cost could eventually be close of 2 dollars. Finally, in France, this approach is also chosen by the Laboratory of Charles Fabry, in collaboration with Thomson Company and two universities from UK and German.

But, according to IBM, holographic storage should arrive on the market at a reasonable cost during the next five to ten years. Current capacity storage would then be multiplied by 5, for example disk storage of 10.8 Giga bits / cm ² will have a capacity of 46.5 Giga bits happen.

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