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Holographic storage by year's end

Holographic storage by year's end

Hitachi Maxell stated this week that we'll see holographic storage products by Christmas. At prices that make $1,000 Blu-ray burners and $500 HD-DVD players look downright cheap, holographic storage will be the plaything of the enterprise market and not this year's Tickle Me Elmo hot holiday gift. The first holographic storage discs will hold 300GB of data and cost $120 to $180. Sitting down? Good, because here comes the part where we tell you that you'll need a $15,000 drive to read or write the discs when they're released in November or December. Capacity is expected to increase; Maxell's director of technical marketing expects we'll see 800GB discs in 2008 and 1.6TB discs by 2010. Pricing will obviously come down by then, too. Media is expected to range from regular CD-size cartridges to smaller formats the size of credit cards and postage stamps.

Want to know how holographic storage works? Check out this illustrated explainer.