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back to article InPhase might ship holographic storage this year?

InPhase Technologies CEO Nelson Diaz has broken his silence over the company's much-delayed holographic drive saying it would ship later this year. There had been fears that Longmont, Colorado-based InPhase could sink without trace because of the recession as it has been plagued with delay after delay in the development and …

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Costs

So $180 for 300GB is 60 cents per GB. Given that flash storage (retail) is not much more than twice that and prices are declining rapidy, then what is the future of this technology? I'm not sure what the longevity of flash storage is, but random read access speed is vastly higher. Also some form of archival flash storage would not require drives at $18,000 a time. It's not there yet, but in two or three years time?

To make holographic disks make sense, then the capacity will have to be much higher and the costs a lot lower.

Also, any outfit that relied on a 50 year media lifetime without regular refreshes is running a major risk. Experience shows that digital media often has a much shorter lifetime than originally advertised.

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Only 50 years?

Didn't even the old celluloid movie film do better than that?

*flame icon included as a tribute to celluloid

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@ Steven Jones...

Agree with you, but with flash storage you don't generally get the nice blue spirograph-like artwork on the front of the drive.

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Alert

Er...

"There had been fears that Longmont, Colorado-based InPhase could sink without trace because of the recession as it has been plagued with delay after delay in the development and bringing to production of its 300GB Tapestry drive."

...and there's no chance of that, now that all they have to do is finish, release, market and actually flog a few of these $18,000 + $180(*n) dollops of untested technology in a still-worsening economic climate. That's a relief, then.

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Cost is relative

@Steven Jones: You forget Moore's law. In 2001 the M-Systems' DiskonKey was launched, as the first memory key that didnt require driver installation and connected over USB. The price? $49.99 - For 8MB. Doing the sums meant that a GB of storage cost about $6250. Of course the vast majority of ground breaking technologies are expensive at the start - and saying that " for holographic disks make sense, then the capacity will have to be much higher and the costs a lot lower." is pretty much saying nothing at all - its obvious.

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I thought Blu-Ray was expanding

isn't the new standard in the 100's of GB and the cost is certainly less than $18000 for a recorder.

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@Steven Jones

The 1st CD-R's I used cost £10 each (and they'd already dropped a lot by then), today they cost pennies, falling to about the cost of the plastic needed to make them. Media prices are on their own Moore like law - probably steeper because with a fixed physical format there's less need to invest in radical changes. Guessing how much inPhase discs will cost in the future is a fools game, they'll either succeed and drop to their marginal cost of production or they'll fail and remain expensive (like DVD-RAM).

If this starts off cheaper than flash there's a good chance it will remain cheaper than flash indefinitely, leaving the lower speed the main distinguishing feature - since capacity will inevitably rise for both formats.

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Pointless vapor

These folks have been promising to ship this holographic storage crap about as long as the whole world has been waiting for Duke Nukem Forever. I think they have been promising "any month now" for something like five years. I'm surprised anybody even pays attention to them anymore.

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Duke Nukem Finally!

@SirWired - The only reason Duke Nukem Forever has been delayed so long is that they've been waiting for the InPhase folks to finally produce the media they're going to release it on.

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uhh how about regular 3.5" hard drives?

50$ for 320GB If we're storing video footage, write once and forget it, why use anything else? I think they have a life of like 30 years when stored at normal conditions... Since they use standard hardware, if something breaks it will be fixable.. unlike this holographic stuff. 40 years from now, they won't have anyone around to make it work.

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Life span of how long?

Does anyone take these claims (such as "50-year lifespan") seriously? Fifty years ago, we were using punch tape/cards. Look at how much storage has changed in the past 50 years, and think to yourself --

- Will InPhase still be in business 50 years from now?

- Will I still have (or be able to acquire) a working drive capable of reading these discs 50 years from now?

- Will I have (or be able to acquire) a computer capable of connecting to the drive to read these discs 50 years from now?

Look at the long-term tape used as backup media from decades past. Go ahead and try to find a drive that can read those tapes, and try to find a computer to connect it to. Don't get me wrong, a long lifespan on media is great. But it's irrational to use extended lifespans as a reason for buying a specific product, or to justify buying one product instead of another.

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20 MB/s ? Is that all ?

When I read the PR fluff, it boasted about how millions of bits could be written in a single flash of light.

Me dumb. If you can write them that fast, then surely you can read them that fast. I'm stupid like that.

So then I check out the transfer rates of today's media. For CDs, it maxes out a bit below 8 MB/s. DVD if way over that, at a max of over 21 MB/s. Blu-Ray boasts of 36 to 48 MB/s.

So, with existing snail pace technology, we are already in view of 50 MB/s, and this newfangled high-tech toy states a measly 20 MB/s ?? For a tech that is supposed to read and write "millions of bits in a single flash" ?

Did they put a speed bump in the reader so that it would remain compatible with today's IDE interface, or what ?

Bad start, boys. Your toy should be boasting 1GB/s rates or it doesn't seem serious.

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