Holographic storage isn’t a new idea…I remember reading articles about it in PopSci like 20 years ago and the idea has been around at least since the ’60s…but it seems to have taken a back seat to less exotic technologies. Until now.

G.E. claims to have made a breakthrough in holographic storage that could yield 500GB on a disc the size of a CD, DVD & Blu-ray disc. What’s more, they see the cost per GB to be much lower than with something like Blu-ray, which was about $1 / GB when launched a few years ago, and now has already fallen to about 50 cents / GB.

The holographic storage G.E. is working on, by contrast, would start at around 10 cents / GB and fall after that, which is very cool.

Holographic storage works in a somewhat similar fashion to CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray and other optical media, except that data is stored on the disc in three dimensions rather than just one per layer. This allows for data to be packed much more densely, yielding the higher capacities.

NY Times