You Tell Us: Is It a Mirage or Is It Holographic Storage?

2 min read

The idea of using holograms to store data on computers has tantalized engineers since the 1960s, and now it finally looks like it’s going to market. Last month, InPhase Technologies, in Longmont, Colo., planned to release a holographic storage drive with 5.31-inch write-once, read-many disks that each hold 300 gigabytes. InPhase, a Bell Labs spin-off, says that by 2010, disks of that size will store 1.6 terabytes of data, while others as small as a credit card will hold at least 20 GB. Shortly thereafter, the company predicts, rewritable holographic media will allow the technology to compete with flash memory.

Today’s media record data in a single layer or, at most, two—giving CDs a 700-megabyte capacity, for instance. By contrast, InPhase’s holographic drive writes in layers all the way through its 1.5-millimeter-thick polymer disks. Instead of registering the data as pits on metal, the drive places them in optical checkerboard arrays that each contain just over a million light and dark pixels.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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