Holographic Data Storage

What is holographic data storage?
Holographic storage is a mass storage technology that uses three-dimensional holographic images to enable more information to be stored in a much smaller space. An entire page of information is stored at once as an optical interference pattern within a thick, photosensitive optical material. The technology uses holograms which are created when a light from a single laser beam is split into two beams: the signal beam (which carries the data) and the reference beam. At the point where the reference beam and the data carrying signal beam intersect, the hologram is recorded in the light sensitive storage medium. A large number of these interference patterns can be superimposed in the same thick piece of media and can be accessed independently, as long as they are distinguishable by the direction or the spacing of the patterns. Such separation can be accomplished by changing the angle between the object and reference wave. To read the stored holographic data, the reference beam is deflected off the interference pattern reconstructing the stored information. This pattern is then projected onto a detector that reads the entire data page of over one million bits at once.

The requirements of fixed-content data are: i.Need for holographic storage? A study conducted by the University of California at Berkeley. entitled "How Much Information" states that the world produced nearly 12 billion gigabytes of information in Information" states that the world produced nearly 12 billion gigabytes of information in 2003 of which more than half does not change. Analysts predict that this so-called fixed-content information will grow faster than that of traditional transaction-based and file-oriented storage. expanded data access and Longetivity of the stored information. assured data permanence. iii. . ii.

these affects are limited. etc tend to affect the surface only and since a hologram is recorded as a complex interference pattern in the bulk of the material. data is stored in all three dimensions of the material and not just the surface. Unlike current storage technologies that record and read one data bit at a time. Requirements The basic components that are needed to construct a holographic data storage system (HDSS) are : y y y y y y y Laser beam Beam splitters to spilt the laser beam Mirrors to direct the laser beams LCD panel (Spatial Light Modulator) Lenses to focus the laser beams Crystal or photopolymer Charge-coupled device (CCD) camera . holographic memory writes and reads data in parallel in a single flash of light. Moreover. The bit rate error is also decreased considerably because error causing factors such as scratches. dust.fast enough to transfer an entire DVD movie in 30 seconds.Holographic Storage Devices can have storage capacities of 1 TB and data rates of more than 1 GB per second -.

Recording Data .

Each data page is located at a unique address within the material. many different holograms can be recorded in the same volume of material. Where there is destructive interference. each with their own unique address. The positively charged vacancies they leave are called holes. The second is the pseudoforce of diffusion that encourages them to move to areas where electrons are less dense. They will experience two opposing forces that determine how they move. The process for encoding data onto the signal beam is accomplished by a device called a spatial light modulator (SLM). are recorded in the same location of the medium. Where there is constructive interference the light is bright and electrons can be promoted from the valence band to the conduction band of the material (since the light has given the electrons energy to jump the energy gap). By varying the reference-beam angle. causing the hologram to be stored. A chemical reaction occurs in the medium when the bright elements of the signal beam intersect the reference beam. At the point of intersection of the reference beam and the data-carrying signal beam. Electrons in the conduction band are free to move in the material.Light from a single laser beam is split into two beams: the signal beam (which carries the data) and the reference beam. The first force is the Coulomb force between the electrons and the positive holes that they have been promoted from. and several hundred pages of data. wavelength or media position. This force encourages the electrons to stay put or move back to where they came from. The SLM translates the electronic data of 0s and 1s into an optical "checker-board" pattern of light and dark pixels. . The data is arranged in an array (or page) of approximately one million bits. The exact number of bits is determined by the pixel count of the SLM. the hologram is recorded in a light-sensitive storage medium. This leads to a change in the index of refraction due to the electrooptic effect. The hologram is formed where these two beams intersect (interference) in the recording medium. There is a permanent space charge field between the electrons that moved to the dark spots and the holes in the bright spots. there is less light and few electrons are promoted.

Reading Data .

reconstructs an object beam that also propagates backward toward its original source. and rewritable media (where the change is reversible). ii. the data rates for input and output. iii. . only the reference beam is necessary. The stored interference pattern is illuminated with the reference beam that was used during recording. The reconstructed object beam is imaged onto a detector (CCD camera) that reads all of the one million bits on the data in parallel.When the information is to be retrieved or read out from the hologram. Properties of foremost importance for holographic storage media can be broadly characterized as : i. optical quality recording properties and stability These directly affect the data density and capacity that can be achieved. some of this incident light is diffracted by the stored pattern in such a fashion that the object beam is reconstructed. A backward-propagating or phase-conjugate reference beam. illuminating the stored pattern from the back side. Holographic Storage Media Holographic media is divided into write once (where the storage medium undergoes some irreversible change).

limited shelf life of unexposed (unrecorded) holographic media. causes faint images of all the files recorded to be called up even when only one is being accessed. Drawbacks of Holographic Data Storage y y y y y y The challenge is to find the right recording material a photosensitive substance that is both stable and cheap enough to use commercially. spatial light modulators in a low-cost system Holographic recording is also very data sensitive. It's not appropriate for partial recordings. . the traditional choice for holography. as it is known. exhibits the dimensional stability required for digital data storage. You have to keep the data streaming. Problems with parallel recording.Lithium niobate. Photorefractive polymers have shown promise as holographic media. Photo-chromic materials can be used for rewritable applications but are characterized by low photosensitivity and limited dynamic range. yet suffers from low dynamic range and poor photosensitivity and typically exhibits volatile readout. Photopolymer materials are suitable for write-once-read-many (WORM). and the unexposed media only has a shelf life of about three years. but require the application of electric fields which become prohibitively large for thick media. Prematurely exposing the holographic disks to light can expose and ruin them. Cross-talk noise.

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