Proceedings PaperLaser Card For Compact Optical Data Storage Systems
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The principal thrust of the optical data storage industry to date has been the 10 billion bit optical disc system. Mass memory has been the primary objective. Another objective that is beginning to demand recognition is compact memory of 1 million to 40 million bits--on a wallet-size, laser recordable card. Drexler Technology has addressed this opportunity and has succeeded in demonstrating laser writing and readback using a 16 mm by 85 mm recording stripe mounted on a card. The write/read apparatus was developed by SRI International. With this unit, 5 micron holes have been recorded using a 10 milliwatt, 830 nanometer semiconductor-diode laser. Data is entered on an Apple II keyboard using the ASCII code. The recorded reflective surface is scanned with the same laser at lower power to generate a reflected bit stream which is converted into alphanumerics and which appear on the monitor. We are pleased to report that the combination of the DREXONTM laser recordable card ("Laser Card"), the semiconductor-diode laser, arrays of large recorded holes, and human interactive data rates are all mutually compatible and point the way forward to economically feasible, compact, data-storage systems.