GE's 500GB Holographic Discs Get Blu-Ray Write Speeds

[Photo: GE/BusinessWire]
A few years back, GE developed a new micro-holographic tech capable of burning 500GB onto a DVD-sized disc.  Now the company’s technology research group has come up with an optical disc writer capable of recording data to disc at the same speed as Blu-ray technology.

Unlike a current disk, which has just four layers at the surface area for data recording, a hologram disc contains three-dimensional patterns that represent bits of information throughout the entire volume of the disc. The newly developed writer uses a laser, set at the same wavelength as Blu-ray technology, to erase parts of the holograms to encode the data. According to PhsyOrg, burning happens at the rate of 4-5 megabytes per second, which is on par with Blu-ray.

GE says the new writing technology will bring micro-holographic media one-step closer to the commercial market, as the discs could be read and recorded on systems that are very similar to current tech. The writing system’s similarity to Blu-ray might also make it so future micro-holographic players will be backwards compatible for playing older DVDs and Blu-rays.

When GE first announced their micro-holographic tech, it might have seemed like the next step after Blu-ray. But with the shift toward streaming and digital software distribution, disc-based media may be on its way out. 

Is physical media dead? Or do we want hard drives on a DVD? Leave a comment.

[Yahoo News via PhysOrg]

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