After several years of holographic optical storage media promising to be the next big thing after multi-layer optical storage, Hitachi Maxell plans on making its 300GB holographic disc version, the Tapestry HDS-300R available to certain entertainment industry customers starting next month, followed by a general release within the first quarter of 2007, targeted at enterprise-class users. This 300GB version will feature about around a 20MB/s data transfer rate.
InPhase Technologies, the company behind this technology plans on demonstrating the 300GB version this week at the International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition in Tokyo. So far, InPhase would not disclose any pricing information, however the 300GB version has been reported to likely retail for between US$100 and $125. Based on this earlier report, the drive is likely to retail for around US$15,000.
The company expects to launch a consumer version of the product over the next two years with an aim to have its format standardised also. Its main plan at the moment is to target enterprise-class companies and the entertainment industries in an aim to replace magnetic tape for archival storage, not to mention overcome its limitations. InPhase plans to have a 2nd generation holographic disc version out in 2008, with a 800GB capacity and around a 80MB/s data transfer rate, followed by a 1.6TB version by 2010.
Unfortunately, unlike tape-based archival storage, it appears like these holographic optical discs will be write-once media. This would make it unsuitable as a replacement for tape where the a set of tapes are overwritten in rotation, such as with daily backups. However, it would have the advantage in that there is no risk of archived data accidentally being overwritten.
Further info can be found at Digit news here.