Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Holographic Data Storage

Carrier wavefront demodulation for coherent-readout holographic memories. Mark R. Ayres. SPIE Newsroom. 24 August 2015.
     As the the big data revolution continues to grow, existing data storage technologies are struggling to keep up. One technology is holographic data storage (HDS). This may help "alleviate the data glut in areas including cold and cool storage, searchable archives, and digital preservation."

With the holographic storage, the data is stored in holograms that contain images of a microdisplay in which the state of each pixel corresponds to one or more data bits. Overlapping holograms can result in extremely high storage densities. This is a 3D data storage technology that could theoretical store petabytes in a single recording medium.

The data is traditionally encoded using a bright or dark pixel state to represent a one or a zero data bit. This however has low sensitivity and a poor signal-to-noise ratio, though techniques are being worked on to reduce the problems. Shifting states with phase modulation and enhancing the display and detector can increase the data storage density. They are working to improve the density and robustness of the system and seeking enterprising collaborators for a commercial effort.

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