UPDATED: 30GB for 50p

New holographic card drive raises some interesting questions.
Update: Toshiba buys into it.

Holographic expert Optware is set to shake up the next gen storage device market with a 30GB card media it claims can be produced for around 50p.


The Holographic Versatile Card (HVC) is designed to be the same size as a credit card (for user’s convenience) and can hold 30GB of data. In theory this could provide a great low cost alternative to Blu-ray and HD DVD, but there’s a snag. Normally, users pay a premium on the media (think games for consoles, printer cartridges for printers), here the opposite is true.

For while 30GB cartridges cost pence, the card reader is likely to be priced at over £1,000 with the writer in excess of £5,000 when the technology debuts at the end of 2006. You’ll be able to buy a heck of a lot of Blu-ray and HD DVD media for that…

This is a shame really as Optware says the technology (which records in both longitudinal or lateral directions) is immensely scaleable, with 30GB cards able to be shrunk to the size of flash memory. Perhaps we are looking at the future of solid state MP3 players in maybe three years time?

But until that heady era, it looks like the future of HVC will be as an enterprise back-up solution where media is chewed through like a cow eating grass.

”’Update 27.07.2005:”’

Toshiba has just invested a “large” unspecified amount of capital in Optware’s HVC technology. Looks like we’ll have another format war brewing in a few years then…


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