After nine years and $100 million, holographic storage pioneer InPhase Technologies has closed. The company’s office building was also seized for nonpayment of back taxes.
Readers may recall the numerous articles in Broadcast Engineering about holographic storage as the technology marched toward a product launch. Unfortunately, it appears that even a decade of work and $100 million doesn’t guarantee success.
It’s a bit sad to see what was touted as an exciting technology not be successful. Here is a bit of the company’s history as recalled from the archive pages of Broadcast Engineering.
• Panasonic Europe paper hints that holographic disc storage will be available by 2005.
• InPhase demonstrated working versions of its Tapestry HDS-300R drive at NAB 2006 promising its technology as tomorrow's next-generation storage platform.
• InPhase demonstrates the Tapestry 300R holographic drive at IBC.
• InPhase enters OEM deal with DSM for holographic storage.
The agreement will make available the first holographic archival systems, using InPhase’s Tapestry 300R holographic drives, for clients in the broadcast and other large-scale data storage markets. The new technology is said to offer a 50-year archival life without having to store the media in special environmental conditions. (The company claimed to have delivered the 300R drive and to make "volume" shipments this year.)
• At NAB2007, InPhase Technologies announces several products and partners:
-The InPhase Tapestry has a 300GB capacity capable of recording 2100 minutes (35 hours) of broadcast-quality video on a single disk at a transfer rate of 20Mb/s in less than 4.5 hours;
-An Ikegami-branded holographic drive for the Ikegami Editcam and Editcam HD tapeless camcorders; and
-Panasonic-branded holographic archive systems for Panasonic P2.
• GE enters the holographic space.
So, is holographic storage dead? Maybe not. GE thinks it has a solution called microholographic storage.
GE researchers successfully demonstrated a threshold microholographic storage material that can support 500GB of storage capacity in a standard-sized disc. This is equal to the capacity of 20 single-layer Blu-ray discs, 100 DVDs or the hard drive for a large desktop computer.
The company predicts the first commercial products using the new technology will be introduced in 2011 or 2012. The cost will be less than 10 cents a gigabyte and will then fall rapidly.
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