GE’s breakthrough in Micro-Holographic Storage Technology supports 500-Gigabyte Disc at Blu-Ray Speed. GE’s micro-holographic material can support on one disc the same storage capacity as 20 standard Blu-ray discs. GE Global Research, the technology development arm of the General Electric Company unveiled major breakthrough in the development of next generation optical storage technology. GE’s research team has successfully demonstrated a micro-holographic storage material that can support data recording at the same speed as Blu-ray discs with a threshold micro-holographic storage material that can support 500 gigabytes of storage capacity in a standard DVD-size disc.

Holographic storage is different from today’s optical storage formats like DVDs and Blu-ray discs. DVDs and Blu-ray discs store information only on up to four layers at the surface of the disc; holographic storage technology uses the entire volume of the disc material. Holograms, or three-dimensional patterns that represent bits of information, are written into the disc at controlled depths, and can then be read out. Because micro-holographic discs can use the entire volume of the material, their storage capacity is much greater than existing storage technologies today. GE’s breakthrough material, when used in a disc, will match the capacity of 20 single-layer Blu-ray discs, 100 DVDs or the hard drive of most laptop computers.

GE has been working on holographic storage technology for over a decade. The demonstration of materials that can support 500 gigabytes of capacity and recording at speeds matching today’s existing storage technologies are both major milestones. These achievements have been made through the collaborative efforts of a cross-functional team of scientists and engineers from the Applied Optics and Functional Materials labs. Ultimately, the team is working toward micro-holographic discs that can store more than one terabyte, or 1,000 gigabytes of data.