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Nanotechnology researchers working toward storing a petabyte on one DVD

Nanotechnology researchers in Australia are developing a format for optical disk recording that they expect will be able to store as much as a petabyte on one disk—20,000 times as much as on one Blu-ray Disc—and which they say could be in commercial use within 10 years. Using metallic nanorods in the disks, they expect to be able to store data in up to 300 layers and in five dimensions—three spatial dimensions, plus color and polarization. From a Swinburne Magazine article written by David Adams via ScienceAlert Australia & New Zealand “Future CD’s to be a digital Aladdin’s cave“:

Imagine being able to put your entire DVD collection on a single disc. And not just your collection, but also that of your family, friends and neighbours … the contents, in fact, of as many as 200,000 DVDs.

It sounds a stretch of imagination, but this is the aim of Professor Min Gu and his team at Swinburne University of Technology’s Centre for Micro-Photonics.

They are three years into a five year project that is looking at how nanotechnology — particularly the use of nanoscopic particles — can be used to exponentially increase the amount of information contained on a single disc.

…”The idea is to incorporate nanostructured material and to increase the data capacity without necessarily increasing the size of the CD or DVD disc,” says Professor Gu, who is director of the Centre for Micro-Photonics and leading the $1 million project.

Professor [Richard] Evans, who has provided components for some of the specially manufactured nanoparticles for the project, says there is also great potential for the technology within homes, particularly given the growing trend for people to make digital records of so much of their lives. “People are becoming digital ‘completists’ in their lives,” he says. “They want to document basically everything … and people will make use of whatever data space you can provide.”

Of course the real problem with putting your entire DVD and CD collection on one disk is likely to be the encryption scheme on all the originals to protect the copyright.
—Jim

10 Responses to “Nanotechnology researchers working toward storing a petabyte on one DVD”

  1. aloysiusmiller Says:

    Well the goverment will truly become big brother, Where you you on Sept 3, 2019? They will know and they’ll track the route you took coming and leaving. What would Hillary do with something like this?

  2. Imagine the storage possibilities... - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio Says:

    [...] Speaking of storage capacity, check this out…. Nanodot: Nanotechnology News and Discussion

  3. Crafty Hunter Says:

    Well, another problem is that actually transferring even 40,000 DVDs onto a single medium would take a year, working full time with no off days or vacations and assuming a reasonable eight minutes each. I wouldn’t mind having a burner and a decent supply of such media anyway. :)

  4. Orion Says:

    What this meens is that optical discs will whrink from 5 1/4″ platters to 3 1/2″ or even 2″ platters. Whatever’s the smallest size that’s convenient to handle. Notebook PCs will be even smaller and slimmer, workstations will have massive backup capacity, and entertainment centers will have one storage drive that never needs to be erased or written over during its expected lifespan. Cool.

  5. Matthew Says:

    Oh no, it’s retrevial. That much data would take a very long time copy. Even if they could make such a disc, it would be of no use unless it’s reliable. How about cost?

  6. e Says:

    Well we are waiting.

  7. Fran Johnson Says:

    I look forward to the day when all rotating media are history. Disk drives, no matter how dense, still remind me of 33-1/3 RPM vinyl records.

  8. Nate Says:

    This for first replier, Mr. Miller: You should focus on the technology instead of people.
    Man what should I say this is only a “$1 million project” and can produce such a miracle, but just image what a $2 million project will do for humanity? Besides, this article is written just one day before April first. I wonder what type of metallic can be used to produce such a predicted capacity. In ten years we will increase the capacity of the DVD by 20 times not 200,000 times as imagined in article by Prof. Gu. It is OK to dream sometimes, and walking on the clouds is not a bad idea. Afghanistan is bordering China.

  9. Dennis Says:

    From the Kiplinger Report: “A new black gold rush is under way, this time in North Dakota. The potential payoff is huge — up to 100 billion barrels of oil. That’s twice the size of Alaska’s reserves and potentially enough to meet all U.S. oil needs for two decades.” From Nanotech: Nanotechnology leads to better catalysts… and Nanotech: Nanotechnology produces electricity from nuclear waste. Add to this the breakthroughs in Medicine and computing and What a wondrous time we are living in on this small planet. What a world on beauty we will leave the next generation. “God is not malicious He is Subtle. Let everyone enjoy the future and celebrate today.

    Bless the tallent of the Nano and Micro researchers.

  10. Tom Jones Says:

    by 2012 we’ll all be dead anyway, remember? That whole Mayan Calendar thing?

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