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Spinoff from Computer Consortium To Market Holographic Storage

November 10, 1992

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ The age of the floppy disk could end, computer researchers said Tuesday in announcing the formation of a company to market products that use a holographic storage technology.

Holographic storage allows computers to conveniently store much greater amounts of data on a portable storage medium, said Steve Redfield, founder and vice president of engineering at Tamarack Storage Devices Inc. The data is stored by laser beam in a version of the 3D images found on credit cards.

Tamarack is a spinoff of Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corp., an Austin-based computer consortium created by the industry to develop new technologies.

The technology entails storing a holographic image of computer data on an optical storage medium, such as a crystal, Redfield said. Cynthia Williams, an MCC spokeswoman, said the consortium provided some seed funding to Tamarack and developed some of the technology that allows for the commercial use of holographic technology.

The company hopes to have a prototype system developed by December and have products to market by the end of 1993, Redfield said.

As computers have become more popular, the demand for data-intensive programs, such as graphics or computerized audio or video presentations, has increased, Redfield said.

″Right now, there’s not a convenient storage method for that,″ he said.

Floppy disks are not capable of storing large amounts of data and magnetic tapes are slow to access. Computer compact disc storage allows sufficient data storage for software developers, but it is a read-only system currently - it does not allow users to store their own data on the discs, Redfield said.

The holographic storage technology will solve those problems, he said.

Redfield said the company has not made firm decisions on what products will be marketed first, but he said the company will initially concentrate on developing products for businesses.