Limits on the bitwise information density of spectral storage

Mark A. Neifeld, Lilin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We compute the mutual information between stored and retrieved signals in a spectral hole-burning optical memory. Under the assumption of bitwise data detection we evaluate the maximum achievable storage capacity and density that can be obtained for both time-domain and frequency-domain architectures. Noise arising from crosstalk in both the time- and frequency-domains is combined with the material shot noise to arrive at optimal system designs in terms of material volume and number of bits per spatial location. Time-domain results demonstrate the existence of an optimum data signal strength and the analogous frequency-domain results indicate an optimal hole depth. We find that realistic information storage densities of 40 bits/μm3 are possible using typical material parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-179
Number of pages9
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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