Pioneer on a roll, develops 500GB optical disc

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pioneer_16layer_disc.jpgOnly last month we were heralding Pioneer’s development of a 400GB optical disc, and just a month later its researchers have popped on another four layers and 100GB of storage to create a half terabyte disc.

In actual fact, to be fair, Pioneer has simply confirmed the “viability” of such a disc, which may or may not exist in a laboratory somewhere. The company believes that the technology, based on the same techniques used to make current 25GB and 50GB Blu-ray discs, is easier and cheaper to produce than holographic discs.

Pioneer has done a lot of whizzy stuff to ensure that crosstalk between each of the twenty layers is minimised. Not only that, but “Pioneer achieved stability in the playback of recorded signals by employing a wide-range spherical aberration compensator and light-receiving element that can read out weak signals at a high signal-to-noise ratio in the optical pick-up mechanism”. So there you are.

Not everyone believes optical discs are ideal for mass storage, but Pioneer seems to. “While Blu-ray discs … are sufficient for users’ current demands, we envision the need for a technology that can support far greater capacities as HD streaming in particular becomes commonplace and users build larger files of digital content. The multi-layered method is compatible with Blu-ray devices providing a long term future for the technology,” said Brendan Sheridan, Product Manager, Pioneer Europe NV, Multimedia Division.

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Andy Merrett