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Tue 28 Apr 2009 09:54 AM

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General Electric develops 500 gigabyte disc

Blu-ray discs, which are used to store high definition movies and games, can currently hold between 25GB and 50GB

General Electric develops 500 gigabyte disc
A newly developed 500GB disc could soon replace DVDs and Blu Ray discs

General Electric (GE) has developed a micro-holographic disc that can store 500 gigabytes (GB) of data. Blu-ray discs, which are used to store high definition movies and games, can currently hold between 25GB and 50GB.

GE’s Micro-holographic discs can store more data than DVDs or Blu-ray because they are capable of writing 3-dimensional patterns representing data on a disc made of highly reflective material. GE's process doesn't just put information onto the surface of the disc (like DVDs and CDs do) but etches the micro-holographic patterns below the surface of the disc as well.

The disc acts as a mirror that makes it possible for a laser to pick up the entire piece of data.

GE's eventual goal is to store up to 1 Terabyte of data on its disc format and the company says its micro-holographic technology is backward compatible, which means it is able to read CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

Holographic disc-based storage is still a long ways off from being available for consumers though, but its potential has many in the storage community excited. Micro-holographic players and discs have the potential of becoming a low-cost storage alternative to DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

GE is initially aiming to target data-intensive business customers like movie studios and medical researchers, but the eventual goal is to put micro-holographic players in the consumer’s home.

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