Spectral multiplexing increases image storage
One of the main problems for designers of imaging systems is memory storage. In remote sensing and medical image processing, images of 2 k ¥ 2 k ¥ 24 bits are common and require large and expensive optical and magnetic-disk storage systems.
Templex Technology (Eugene, OR) plans to change this with a new technology that brings 8 Gbytes per square inch to optical data storage. At the same time, the company is claiming a record density bandwidth product of 100,000 Tbytes per square inch per second.
The new process, called temporally accessed spectral multiplexing (TASM), uses lasers and transparent crystals with trace amounts of rare-earth elements as storage materials. TASM encodes data onto a laser beam (through temporal modulation of amplitude or phase) to give it a unique color spectrum. This color spectrum can then be recorded in the absorption profile of the storage material. Once recorded, the storage material is used as a spectral filter to reflect generic input pulses that provide the same temporal profile as the original laser beam.
Compared to existing commercial optical technology, TASM offers at least eight times the amount of bits per square inch of storage, a thousand-fold decrease in access time, and a ten-fold increase in speeds at which data can be routed, switched, or transmitted, claims Lawrence Brice, president of Templex Technology.
TASM development is based on a decade of research by Thomas Mossberg, chief technology officer of Templex Technology. At present, the company is exploring a number of strategic alliances to provide new solutions to data storage and communications issues.