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Next-gen storage, online and offline
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Old 27th November 2005, 17:20   #1
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Default Next-gen storage, online and offline

I know we've all been hoping that the Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD next-generation format wars will subside soon, and maybe they will, but two completely new high-density optical formats may muddy the waters a bit for some consumers.

First up from the Inquirer is a short piece on a new Ricoh optical disc format that stores 200GB and may be on the market by 2008. (For reference, Blu-ray discs hold 25GB per layer, with two layers being the current max but four- or eight-layer discs possibly in the works for 2008. HD-DVD clocks in at 15GB/layer, with a three-layer disc currently in the works.) The Ricoh format uses eight lasers to read data, which means that drives will be expensive. However, it's possible that the drives may be able also to read Blu-ray and/or HD-DVD discs.

Even more promising is a roughly DVD-sized, 300GB disc that will go on sale in 2006. The disc uses holographic memory technology, and was developed by Lucent spinoff InPhase Technologies. Hitachi/Maxwell will help manufacture and market the discs, so that means you should be able to get your hands on them. The drive uses a single laser to write the discs, so it might end up being relatively inexpensive.
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