Low-Latency Ultra-High Capacity Holographic Data Storage Archive Library

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Akonia Holographics, LLC
2021 Miller Drive
Longmont, CO 80501
Principal Investigator, Firm POC


Improvements in cost and performance of conventional multi-­‐petabyte data storage systems are failing to keep up with the growing needs of both commercial and government users. The ever-­‐ accelerating demands of big energy data have lead the DOE to solicit proposals for advanced large scale data storage, especially disruptive new technologies which can integrate into the sophisticated and mature infrastructure already in place. Principal existing technologies include magnetic disk drives and SSDs which offer high performance but at high cost, and magnetic tape libraries which offer low initial cost but require special maintenance and suffer shortcomings, especially from data access latency (1 – 2 minutes to find and access a particular piece of information). Akonia Holographics is leveraging its recent advances in holographic data storage (HDS) systems and storage media to develop a commercial technology offering a 10x latency improvement over magnetic tape while matching or exceeding tape’s storage capacity, archival performance, and total cost of ownership. Furthermore, Akonia aims to implement HDS media and drives in a form compatible with existing tape libraries’ media handling systems, thus taking advantage of prior commercial and government investment in these supporting technologies. Specific objectives of this Phase I/II proposal are: (1) to develop a baseline holographic storage archive library design that meets commercial and DOE requirements and provides a detailed framework for development and engineering of subsystems that will be the starting point for Phase III product engineering, (2) achieve and demonstrate R&D advances in HDS storage media and key drive components and subsystems that will enable Phase III productization, and (3) create specialized modeling and design tools to enable more effective R&D, optimization, and engineering of HDS technologies. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Holographic archive storage libraries will compete directly with tape archive libraries, currently a multi-­‐billion dollar market. Due to the 10x advantage that holographic libraries enjoy over tape in terms of latency, there is the additional commercial potential for this technology to capture a large portion of the backup market, which has been moving from tape to magnetic disks over the past decade.