February 5, 2005 Six companies including CMC Magnetics, Fuji Photo Film, Nippon Paint, Optware, Pulstec and Toagosei have announced the formation of the "HVD Alliance" to promote the development of HVD technology. Holographic recording technology records data on discs in the form of laser interference fringes, enabling discs the same size as today's DVDs to store more than one terabyte of data (200 times the capacity of a single layer DVD), with a transfer rate of over one gigabit per second (40 times the speed of DVD). This approach is rapidly gaining attention as a high-capacity, high-speed data storage technology for the age of broadband.
Holographic Information Storage breaks the density limits of conventional optical storage by recording through the full depth of the medium instead of recording on the surface only. Additionally, unlike optical discs, which record one data bit at a time, HVDs allow over 10 kilobits of data to be written and read in parallel with a single flash of light - and the recording and reading processes do not require spinning media.
A technical committee to discuss the standardisation of HVD has been formed and the first meeting of the committee will be held in Tokyo on March 3, 2005. TC44 will begin standardizing three different storage media: Holographic Versatile Disc cartridges (capacity: 200 Gbytes per cartridge), read-only Holographic Versatile Discs (capacity: 100 Gbytes per disc) and Holographic Versatile Cards (capacity: 30 Gbytes per card). The fourth project is standardisation of a case for 120 mm read-only HVDs. The ECMA committee has ambitious goals: In December 2006 the new standards will be submitted to ISO for fast-track processing.
The HVD Alliance aims to provide a venue for technical discussion and information exchange among the disk and device manufacturers to accelerate the development of HVD and develop the marketplace.
The official launch of HVD Alliance will be in Q2, 2005 and Optware has already indicated it plans to release products based on HVD technology before the end of the year.
Optware's development of the collinear technology is part of its effort to make holographic recording technology practical. A patented technology originally proposed by Optware founder and CTO Hideyoshi Horimai, collinear holography combines a reference laser and signal laser on a single beam, creating a three-dimensional hologram composed of data fringes. This image is illuminated on the medium using a single objective. Using this breakthrough mechanism, Optware dramatically simplified and downsized the previously bulky and complicated systems required to generate holograms. Further enhancements were achieved with Optware's exclusive servo system. The introduction of this mechanism enabled reduced pickup size, elimination of vibration isolators, high-level compatibility with DVD and CD discs and low-cost operation, effectively obliterating the remaining obstacles to full commercialisation.
Optware Corp. was established in 1999 as a development venture to find ways of incorporating holographic recording technology - seen as the heart of the high-capacity optical discs of the future - in the world's first commercial systems. The company's arsenal of valuable patents includes collinear holography, a technique which enables great simplification of optical systems.