The HROM medium under development by Hitachi Maxell: It is slightly larger than a stamp.
The HROM medium under development by Hitachi Maxell: It is slightly larger than a stamp.
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Hitachi Maxell Ltd. demonstrated playback of music data read from HROM, a read-only medium based on the holographic recording technology at its booth at CEATEC Japan 2007.

Hitachi Maxell is focused on the development of holographic medium in collaboration with InPhase Technologies Inc., a US venture company. The HROM medium was also developed based on InPhase's proprietary holographic technology.

The optical disc recorder/player under commercialization by InPhase has separate optical systems, one for outputting the reference beam and the other for reading out the reproduction beam, respectively provided on both sides with respect to the disc. Therefore, it is difficult to reduce the size of the optical head.

In contrast, with the provision of a reflection film on the lower side of the medium, two optical systems in the HROM player are collectively disposed on one side with respect to the medium.

"This structure would have been impossible without employing the read-only medium (which requires only a low laser output)," said Hitachi Maxell.

The capacity of the medium used for the playback demonstration and the data transfer rate have yet to be announced. The goal of the development is set at the capacity of 4GB and the data transfer rate of 16 Mbit.

"Still, we need to overcome the challenges we face one by one before the launch of the product, such as providing measures to handle vibrations, extending the operating temperature range and so on," said a demonstrator from Hitachi Maxell.

Asked about the HROM medium production cost, the demonstrator said, "The cost depends on the production scale, but it can be manufactured at about several dollars per piece."