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Researchers Find Way To Cram 1000TB Onto A Single DVD

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by micropage7, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. micropage7


    Mar 26, 2010
    6,144 (3.55/day)
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    Jakarta, Indonesia

    Now that its bigger brother Blu-ray has stolen the spotlight, paltry 4.7GB DVDs have slowly started to fade into obscurity. But could they be poised for a comeback? A trio of Chinese scientists have discovered a breakthrough process that could, at least in theory, allow a DVD to store a whopping 1000TB — or a full petabyte — of data. Suck on that, Blu-ray.

    The exact science and technology behind the discovery is detailed in this paper, but here’s the gist of it in layman’s terms. The storage capacity of a DVD is limited by the size of the laser beam burning the small pits that represent the streams of data. Blu-ray increased this capacity by switching to even smaller blue lasers, but the storage capacity of that technology maxed out as well.

    You see, back in 1873, a German physicist named Ernst Abbe found that a beam of light focused through a lens could not be any smaller than half of the light’s wavelength. And for visible light, which is used to burn digital media discs, that’s around 500 nanometres. So instead of breaking that law, the researchers found a way to work around it using two beams of light that cancel each other out. And by ensuring the beams don’t completely overlap, a much smaller beam can be created to burn even smaller pits on a disc, massively increasing its capacity.


    There’s a still a lot to be perfected before this technology could reach consumers. Like how these incredibly tiny pits of data can be actually be read after they’re created. And since writing 1000 terabytes of data would take forever, developing faster ways to burn discs will also be necessary before consumers are ready to adopt the new technology. But the prospect of DVDs and Blu-rays taking a quantum leap in storage capacity is still incredibly exciting.


    FordGT90Concept and TRWOV say thanks.
  2. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

    Oct 13, 2008
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    IA, USA
    Let me know when they have a working prototype.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. dark2099


    Feb 20, 2008
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    where everyone wants to be
    And here I was expecting a trolling picture of a DVD with lots of hard drives stacked on it. Interesting to see how this develops with time.
  4. microtrash New Member

    Mar 17, 2008
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    Montreal, Canada
    Well, if they can write at 100MB/sec (which is very fast for an optical storage) it would take up to 115 days to fill the drive...
  5. McSteel


    Nov 19, 2012
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    Useless. Imagine how horribly complex error correction would need to be, and how very prone the whole thing would be to errors in both reading and writing... And that's after ignoring the speed problems in both writing and random reads.

    This is just a for-fun experiment, and thinking about it any other way means you're not delving deep enough into the subject matter.
  6. Steevo


    Nov 4, 2005
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    They also thought that high speed optical CD drives were impossible and there is no way that would ever work. Windows 95 had a 500Mhz limitation as nothing would ever run that fast. Computers will never need more than 640Kb of RAM either.

    Without advancements that people considered impossible many times through trial and error or pure engineering we wouldn't have TB HDD's, such complex CPU/GPU's, RAM, and high speed connections.
    10 Million points folded for TPU
  7. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

    Jun 13, 2010
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    its the chinese XD

    this process does work, in diffraction and such. but as far as i know, it will still only get to half the lights wavelength. dont know if you can cancel out like that with different frequencies, to get smaller in between hole sizes. but then again, im not a scientist :laugh:

    according to the figure, the max rad of the focal spot is still half the wavelength XD
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013

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