Optware will have specifications for its holographic storage technology approved by an international standards body in 2006, making it the first company to attempt to create an industry standard for holographic storage, the company's president said in an interview on Jan. 5.
Optware is developing a technology that enables the storage of between 100GB and 1TB of data, with data transmission speeds of 100Mbps to 1Gbps on discs that are the same diameter as today's CDs and DVDs.
The company also plans to develop a credit card form factor with a capacity of 30GB, which will be commercialized after June 2006, said Optware President and Chief Executive Officer Yoshio Aoki.
The company is working with the international standards body Ecma International to have specifications finalized for four technologies. Ecma agreed on Dec. 9 to create a technical committee to complete the standardization after being approached by Optware and a group of partner companies, said Aoki.
Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) cartridges with 200GB of capacity per cartridge and the credit card-sized Holographic Versatile Card (HVC) version will be finalized by the committee by the end of June 2006. Specifications for 100GB HVD discs and cases for HVD read-only discs will be finished by the end of Dec. 2006, he said.
The announcement comes the same day as InPhase Technologies, which is developing a rival holographic storage technology, said it plans to ship its first holographic drives by the end of 2006. InPhase is demonstrating its first fully functioning prototype of its Tapestry holographic drive at the 2005 Storage Visions conference in Las Vegas this week.
InPhase's holographic storage media stores data in three-dimensional holograms cut into a polymer material on 13-centimeter (5.1-inch) discs. The first drives will have a 20Mbps data transfer rate, according to the company.
First products using Optware's technology will be the reader/writer devices and the 200GB cartridge-type HVDs for enterprise users. These will be on the market after June 2006, said Yasuhide Kageyama, manager of business development and marketing at Yokohama-based Optware.
The less expensive 100GB discs aimed at home consumers will be on the market as soon as 2007.
The company has already signed contracts with one optical disc maker to mass produce HVDs after the specifications are finalized, Aoki said, without naming the company or companies.
Optware's shareholders include Japan-based major optical disc maker Memory-Tech Corp.
The announcement sent a message to Optware's customers that its technology would become the industry standard for holographic storage, Aoki said.