The rapid progress in computer performance and widespread use of broadband networks has facilitated the
transmission of huge quantities of digital information, thus increasing the need for high-speed, large-capacity
storage devices and leading to studies on holographic data storage (HDS). Compared with laser disks where the
recording density is limited by optical diffraction, HDS provides ultrahigh capacity with multiplex recording and
high-speed transfer greater than 1 Gbps; it has excellent potential for optical memory systems of the future .
To develop HDS, a design theory for element technologies such as signal processing, recording materials and
optical systems is required. Therefore, this study examines technology for simulating the recording and
reproduction for HDS. In simulations thus far, the medium for the recording process has usually been approximated
as laminated layers of holographic thin films. This method is suitable for systematic evaluation because the
computational cost is low and it allows simulation in the true form of data, that is, in two-dimensional digital data
patterns. However, it is difficult to accurately examine the influence of film thickness with a two-dimensional
lamination simulation. Therefore, in this study, a technique for analyzing thick-film holograms is examined using
the beam propagation method. The results of a two-dimensional simulation assuming laminated, holographic thin
films and a three-dimensional simulation using the beam propagation method are compared for cases where the
medium need not be treated as a thick film.