10TB optical discs coming in the next five years


All plans for slightly bigger DVDs have been blown out of the water today with claims from a group of scientists that they can store up to 10TB of data on a single disc.

The team of egg heads from the Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, has added the dimensions of colour and light polarization and employed them to store the huge amounts of extra information. Confused? I’ll do my best to explain.

The colour is the tricky part. How can you store information in colour? I know. Weird. Well, the deal is that the surface is made of gold nanorods and these nanorods react differently to different kinds of light. Colours are, of course, different kinds of light of varying wavelengths, so you can record multiple amounts information on the same nanorods. Capiche? Yeah, bit of a mind melter.

The slightly simpler one to get your head around is the polarized light. You can filter light such that the waves are in a single unified orientation. You can then record onto the discs many time over, each time using light that is polarized in a different direction, and, between these two methods, it takes data storage into crazy land. The Aussie boffins have already been signed up by Samsung and are thought to have produced a 1.6TB version just to prove it works.

A 10TB incarnation could hold something like 300 feature films or a quarter of a million songs – something to terrify and excite pirates and record and film producers in equal measure.

Fortunately, the gold in these nanorods doesn’t seem to make this invention prohibitively expensive with each disc costing a matter of pence. What could be a problem, though, is the kind of hyper disc players we might need to decode all this light and colour nonsense and exactly how long it might take to read and write one of the things. Still, faskinating stuff.

(via PC Pro)