Petabyte disc?

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by gilaet, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. gilaet

    gilaet Brad's mom Staff Member

    Aug 23, 2010
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    More data storage? Here’s how to fit 1,000 terabytes on a DVD

    We live in a world where digital information is exploding. Some 90% of the world’s data
    was generated in the past two years. The obvious question is: how can we store it all?

    In Nature Communications today, we, along with Richard Evans from CSIRO, show how
    we developed a new technique to enable the data capacity of a single DVD to increase from
    4.7 gigabytes up to one petabyte (1,000 terabytes). This is equivalent of 10.6 years of
    compressed high-definition video or 50,000 full high-definition movies.

    So how did we manage to achieve such a huge boost in data storage? First, we need to
    understand how data is stored on optical discs such as CDs and DVDs.

    The basics of digital storage

    Although optical discs are used to carry software, films, games, and private data, and have
    great advantages over other recording media in terms of cost, longevity and reliability, their
    low data storage capacity is their major limiting factor.

    The operation of optical data storage is rather simple. When you burn a CD, for example, the
    information is transformed to strings of binary digits (0s and 1s, also called bits). Each bit is
    then laser “burned†into the disc, using a single beam of light, in the form of dots.

    The storage capacity of optical discs is mainly limited by the physical dimensions of the dots.
    But as there’s a limit to the size of the disc as well as the size of the dots, many current methods
    of data storage, such as DVDs and Blu-ray discs, continue to have low level storage density.

    To get around this, we had to look at light’s fundamental laws.

    In 1873, German physicist Ernst Abbe published a law that limits the width of light beams.

    On the basis of this law, the diameter of a spot of light, obtained by focusing a light beam
    through a lens, cannot be smaller than half its wavelength – around 500 nanometres
    (500 billionths of a metre) for visible light.

    And while this law plays a huge role in modern optical microscopy, it also sets up a barrier
    for any efforts from researchers to produce extremely small dots – in the nanometre region
    – to use as binary bits.

    In our study, we showed how to break this fundamental limit by using a two-light-beam method,
    with different colours, for recording onto discs instead of the conventional single-light-beam method.

    Both beams must abide by Abbe’s law, so they cannot produce smaller dots individually.
    But we gave the two beams different functions:

    The first beam (red, in the figure right) has a round shape, and is used to activate the recording. We called it the writing beam

    The second beam – the purple donut-shape – plays an anti-recording function, inhibiting the function of the writing beam

    The two beams were then overlapped. As the second beam cancelled out the first in its donut ring,
    the recording process was tightly confined to the centre of the writing beam.

    This new technique produces an effective focal spot of nine nanometres – or one ten thousandth
    the diameter of a human hair.

    The technique, in practical terms

    Our work will greatly impact the development of super-compact devices as well as nanoscience
    and nanotechnology research.

    The exceptional penetration feature of light beams allow for 3D recording or fabrication, which
    can dramatically increase the data storage – the number of dots – on a single optical device.

    The technique is also cost-effective and portable, as only conventional optical and laser
    elements are used, and allows for the development of optical data storage with long life
    and low energy consumption, which could be an ideal platform for a Big Data centre.

    As the rate of information generated worldwide continues to accelerate, the aim of more
    storage capacity in compact devices will continue. Our breakthrough has put that target within our reach.
  2. P-B

    P-B Honourary Canuck Gold

    Dec 14, 2011
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    Do you really need that much porn?
  3. Capn Crud

    Capn Crud The pride of Cucamonga VIP Gold

    Dec 13, 2011
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  4. boxers

    boxers Guest

    Can I get that from Netflix?
  5. boxers

    boxers Guest

    Holographic storage will be the future
  6. beatlejaws

    beatlejaws nowhere poster

    Dec 13, 2011
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  7. DogStar69

    DogStar69 Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2010
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    Cool idea until you have to pay $1000 for a DVD+R writable disc.
  8. Skyway

    Skyway New Member VIP

    Jan 16, 2013
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    If your dog gets a hold of your only petabyte disc and uses it for a chew toy you're REALLY fucked.