X-bit Labs reports a Case Western Reserve University physics professor and his graduate student have created a company aimed at making an optical disc that can store 1TB to 2TB of data. The disc uses the same hard plastic base as DVDs and Blu-rays, but has an optical film with a whopping 64 data layers, and according to the researchers, only slight adjustments need to be made to a standard disc reader to enable it to probe and read the data on each layer without interference from the other layers.
The product would be offered to companies as an alternative to magnetic discs or magnetic tapes.
“A disc will be on the capacity scale of magnetic tapes used for archival data storage. But, they will be substantially cheaper and have one advantage: you can access data faster. You just pop the disc in your computer and you can find the data in seconds. Tapes can take minutes to wind through to locate particular data,” said Kenneth Singer, the Ambrose Swasey professor of physics, and co-founder of Folio Photonics.
To load what is the equivalent of 50 commercially available Blu-ray discs on a single, same-size disc, the scientists use similar optical data storage technology. But, instead of packing more data on the surface, they write data in dozens of layers; not the two or four layers used in Blu-rays. Using technology first developed by the center for layered polymeric systems at Case School of Engineering, the developers designed an optical film with 64 data layers.