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Optical Storage 'Road Map' Unveiled

Photonics Spectra
Apr 1998
Michael D. Wheeler

As multimedia further penetrates business and homes in the next millennium -- from video mail to electronic commerce -- the demands on optical storage will continue to increase.
This is the underlying premise of the Optoelectronic Industry and Technology Development Associa-tion's survey on the future of optical storage. Among the findings: Local area and wide area network servers will be more than 10 times their current size by 2010, translating to local area networks with a capacity of 1 to 100 TB and wide area networks capable of accommodating between 10 TB and 1 PB.
In previous forecasts, the association has predicted the overall optoelectronics market to be worth ¥5130 billion in 1997. By 2000, the market will reach ¥6330 billion.
Such a large-capacity server system, the report says, dictates the need for commercialized optical memories of 100 Gb/in.2 after 2005 and 1Tb/in.2 after 2010. Reaching the first milestone will require engineers to develop multilevel, multilayer recording. To reach an optical memory of 1 Tb/in.2, the survey predicts the need for technology including near-field recording and volume hologram recording.
The latest forecast follows the association's 1996 "road map" for the future of telecommunications, where the group predicted a need for communication capacity of 100 Mb/s for homes in the 2010s and a trunk network with a carrying capacity of 5 Tb/s.
Based on the results of that draft, the group embarked on its latest forecast. The final draft is set for completion later this year.

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