Proceedings PaperProgress In Optical Memory Technology
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More than 20 years have passed since the concept of optical memory was first proposed in 1966. Since then considerable progress has been made in this area together with the creation of completely new markets of optical memory in consumer and computer application areas. The first generation of optical memory was mainly developed with holographic recording technology in late 1960s and early 1970s. Considerable number of developments have been done in both analog and digital memory applications. Unfortunately, these technologies did not meet a chance to be a commercial product. The second generation of optical memory started at the beginning of 1970s with bit by bit recording technology. Read-only type optical memories such as video disks and compact audio disks have extensively investigated. Since laser diodes were first applied to optical video disk read out in 1976, there have been extensive developments of laser diode pick-ups for optical disk memory systems. The third generation of optical memory started in 1978 with bit by bit read/write technology using laser diodes. Developments of recording materials including both write-once and erasable have been actively pursued at several research institutes. These technologies are mainly focused on the optical memory systems for computer application. Such practical applications of optical memory technology has resulted in the creation of such new products as compact audio disks and computer file memories.