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Sony demos "cheap" holographic recording technique

Evan Blass
10.18.06
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Ever since we first laid eyes on a holographic sticker as small children, we knew that this technology would change the landscape of data storage forever (not really, but it makes for a good story), and now Sony has come along and introduced a new way of burning holographic discs that will supposedly expedite the rollout of these magical drives to the average consumer. At this year's International Symposium on Optical Memory taking place in the Kagawa Prefecture of Japan, Sony is showing off its "Micro-Reflector recording" technique which uses an off-the-shelf blue violet semiconductor laser diode for writing data to a 0.3 millimeter-thick photopolymer medium sandwiched by 0.6 millimeter-thick glass substrates without any of the spatial light modulators or CMOS sensors found in traditional holographic systems. How do they achieve this nifty feat, you ask? Simple: the laser beam is "split into two so that one of them irradiates the front side of a medium as a reference light while the other is emitted to the backside as a recording light. By precisely aligning focal points of the two lights with a servo technology, a minute interference fringe corresponding to a 1 bit recording mark is formed. When a laser light (reproduction light) is emitted on the front side of the medium having interference fringes, the recording light is reproduced. This light advances from the fringes to the medium front side as if the fringes reflect the reproduction light." It's all so obvious when you think about it, we're surprised that companies like Optware and InPhase didn't come up with this method first.

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