Concept

Holographic Data Storage System

Summary
Holographic Data Storage System (HDSS) program was a US Federal government-funded consortium on holographic data storage by Teledyne Technologies, IBM and Stanford University, created in 1995. Work on the program began in 1994 and was funded by DARPA. The holographic data storage system was created with the initial goals of developing several key components for the system, including a high-capacity, high-bandwidth spatial light modulator used for data input; optimized sensor arrays for data output; and a high-power red semiconductor Laser. At the same time, the HDSS researchers were to explore issues relating to the optical systems architecture (such as multiplexing schemes and access modes), data encoding and decoding methods, signal processing techniques, and the requirements of target applications. Into the program's final year, progress has been such that consortium member, IBM Research Division, believed that holograms could hold the key to high-capacity data storage in the next millennium. Large amounts of data can be stored holographically because lasers are able to store pages of electronic patterns holographic storage – sometimes referred to as 3D storage within special optical materials as opposed to just on the surface. In traditional holography, each viewing angle gives a different aspect of the same object. With holographic storage, however, a different 'page' of information is accessed. Holographic storage uses two laser beams, a reference and a data beam to create an interference pattern at a medium where the two beams intersect. This intersection causes a stable physical or chemical change which is stored in the medium. This is the write sequence. During the reading sequence, the action of the reference beam and the stored interference pattern in the medium recreates this data beam which may be sensed by a detector array. The medium may be a rotating disk containing a polymeric material, or an optically sensitive single crystal.
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