The Channel logo


By | Austin Modine 5th June 2008 19:53

Holographic storage kingpin turns staff and product into an illusion

InPhase still InDenial

Holographic storage developer InPhase Technologies has been promising the imminent arrival of its 300GB Tapestry drives for three years. But the constant setbacks and delays have now forced the Longmont, Colorado-based firm to cut a substantial amount of its workforce, according to several reports.

InPhase was formed in 2000 as a spin-off venture of Lucent, with a bold prognosis that 3D storage would offer densities well beyond anything seen in current technologies. At the time InPhase dismissed the slow advancements in the medium as a result of funding and material issues. And with backing from three venture capital firms, InPhase promised some real results.

The firm expected to debut its 300GB Tapestry disks and drives by late 2006 as a premiere offering. That date was later pushed back to February 2007. Then May 2008.

Apparently the delays have forced InPhase to cut a substantial amount of its workforce. According to an anonymous tipster, the Longmont, Colorado-based company fired "roughly half" its 130 staff on May 30 in both engineering and research.

InPhase would not return our call, but a report from a local paper, the Longmont Times-Call, cites CEO Nelson Diaz claiming the portion was "less than 40" people.

Our source blames the product delays on management setting unrealistic time goals, and Diaz refusing to listen to any realistic reports or roadmaps from the engineering team.

"They might be able to get enough money to finish, but it's going to take significant time still," we're told.

Meanwhile Diaz told the Times-Call that the company now expects to ship the Tapestry drive by December.


The first products are supposed to consist of 120mm (~4.75-inch) diameter clear plastic disks inside a cartridge case. Data is stored holographically in the depth of the disks surface using a blue laser at a write speed of 20MB/sec. The first drives are supposed to be priced at $18,000, and the disks at $180 each in volume.

Our source said the environment of InPhase is unfortunate because the science behind holographic storage is sound — if given enough time and money.

"There are still issues that need to be resolved, but they are solvable." ®

comment icon Read 14 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe