For data archiving thrones, 100TB cartridges are set to compete with tapes, hard drives, and DNA

For data archiving thrones, 100TB cartridges are set to compete with tapes, hard drives, and DNA ...

While cloud storage remains the most visible part of consumer storage across the tech world, the bit that requires the most capacity remains hidden. Over the past decade, hyperscalers and service providers have gathered indifference, as more of our lives - especially over the COVID lockdown - took place online.

The value of tape, exotic media (like silica or DNA) and hard disk drives in the hotly contested area of archiving has been in the shadows. However, one newcomer, Folio Photonics, wants to deliver the goods faster than everyone with a fresh approach to existing optical technology.

The start-up company, which was formed by the Center for Layered Polymeric Systems and a National Science Foundation funded Science and Technology Center, is a newcomer in a complex marketplace and weve met (virtually) with its CEO, Steve Santamaria, to discuss the future of this exciting technology.

While maintaining yields and margins, commercially manufacturing of 1TB discs using the traditional spin coating method is difficult to do. Folio''s breakthrough is as much about the co-extruded film manufacturing process as it concerns advanced material science. The manufacturing process allows Folio to deliver high optical capacity at a fraction of the usual optical storage costs.

Both are correct. This will be a market/business decision. Folio intends to have the lowest amount of current storage media when we ship the first item, but we recognize that the data archive storage is a commodity and will manage our price and roadmap accordingly to deliver the best value to our customers and investors.

Traditional Bluray discs are three or four layers and have been for 20 years, thus the Archival disc will have 8 layers per side, giving us a 16 layer double sided disc. This means that there will be no increase in areal density (more data per layer) but the secret sauce is Material Science + extruded film-based manufacturing.

Our belief is that the customer''s needs are evolving. So much of data being archived are "objects" and by definition Object data needs to be immutable. WORM is the best technique to achieve data immutability.

We are working with a number of library organizations that offer robotics as well as a robust SW layer. Cartridge vs disc carousel, vs. disc tray will be chosen to help with the various market use cases and determined by the library vendors.

At this time, we are not disclosing performance metrics, but are comfortable pointing to the SONY ODA statistics as comparable. The library vendors'' timing and the amount of drives they commercialize will be determined.

The 10TB discs are the target, but they will be determined by the market. Folio''s manufacturing process allows us much greater control of costs, and we commit to delivering the best value to our customers and investors.

It''s still too early to talk about the pricing of our drives, especially since we will be competitively positioned somewhere between today''s Blu Ray and LTO Tape drives.

Folio Photonics was founded by Dr. Ken Singer, a professional photographer who uses layers of paper in a textbook format. This is where "Photonics" is the physical science and application of light (photon) generation, detection, and manipulation. Next, "Photonics" is the use of photonics in conjunction with our latest material technology and technologies.

Yes, in our technology roadmap, we expect to reach 32+ layers by 2030. With that being said, our manufacturing process of co-extrusion has demonstrated the ability to achieve significantly more than 32 layers. This will allow for 32 layers on each side. 167GB x 64 Layers is upwards of 10.7TB. That is how we expect to achieve it by 2030.

As we progress down our technology roadmap, we are envisioning that our first generation discs will be in the range of standard optical areal density/layer today. Which is in the range of 25-33GB/Layer depending on the media examined. Optical technologies have demonstrated the capability to achieve upwards of 88-167GB/layer.