Holographic drive

InPhase Technologies has developed what it says is the world’s first prototype of a holographic storage drive.

The prototype will be the foundation for InPhase’s family of Tapestry holographic drives, with data capacities that range from 200 GByte to 1.6 TByte on a single disk.

The prototype drive records data into InPhase’s patented two-chemistry Tapestry photopolymer WORM material. The recording material is 1.5 mm thick and is sandwiched between two 130 mm diameter transmissive plastic disk substrates.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s National Technology Alliance program (NTA) partially funded the development of the holographic media and the automation of some of the manufacturing processes.

Hitachi Maxell, an investor and development partner of InPhase, designed and developed a new cartridge that provides protection for the light-sensitive recording material, while maintaining the ease of integrating the cartridge into automated libraries.

In addition, according to a recent report in EETimes, Hitachi Maxell intends to begin sampling a holographic disk with a 200Gbyte capacity this year, and incorporate the disk next year in InPhase’s drive system.

The prototype drive includes all drive subsystems such as the auto load/unload mechanics, servo system, holographic read/write head, data channel and electronics. The media cartridge is loaded and unloaded automatically using a mechanism designed and developed for InPhase by ALPS Electric, an InPhase investor and development partner.

The servo system, designed and developed by InPhase, regulates both radial and rotational movement of the media and the angle of the reference beam. During a read operation, feedback from the hologram provides information to the servo system to optimize the recovery of the data with the best signal to noise ratio.

The system electronics, data formats, and electronic and logical interfaces in the holographic prototype drive were also developed by InPhase and funded partially by the NTA for the eventual use in geospatial image archive applications.