The holographic disk has finally gone beyond the stage of prototype and seems to be available for sale. However, the costs of producing a reader for the 300GB disks are pretty high and it also takes a lot of time to build the machines. Inphase, which is the holographic technology developer, after shipping some samples at the end of 2006, has signed an agreement with Germany-based DSM in order to mass produce Tapestry drives.
According to the agreement, DSM will build Inphase's Tapestry 300R holographic drives and offer the devices as a storage option to its main enterprise customers. Among them Deutsche Bank, European Space Agency, Siemens Medical and VW are included. Inphase said that the new manufacturing capacity will "enable the delivery of the first holographic archival systems [to] customers in the broadcast, government, medical, and I.T. markets." The OEM 300R drive is identical with the samples released by Inphase and is capable of storing the expected 300 GB of data on a single 5.25" disc. The data transfer rate is around 20 MB/s meaning that it will take about 4 hours to complete a 300GB backup.
At first, there was no information regarding the price of the unit and the disks; but recently, some rumors started to emerge from sources close to Inphase. The voices suggest that Tapestry 300R drive will carry a price of $18,000 while the 300 GB media should sell for $180 per disk. The expected prices are comparable to those that have been announced by Inphase in 2006.
I have to say that this product would be perfect if it weren't for the price. As a reminder, a Blu-Ray burner costs about $1000 and a BD-R 50GB double layer disk has a price tag of $35. 6 disks can hold the same capacity as the holographic media and cost slightly higher ($210 vs. $180) but the Blu-Ray burner is much cheaper. Motive for which I don't see how such a storage device could ever become popular.