New optical disk offers huge storage

A Japanese electronics giant has developed an optical disk with a storage capacity of up to 510 gigabytes - or just more than half a terabyte.

    Six months ago, talk was of 50 gigabyte disks. But now it is 500

    With its huge storage capacity, Pioneer's 12cm thick silver platter will store the amount of data that would require 100 typical DVDs today. An ultraviolet laser will be used to write to the disk.

    In order to attain such storage capacity, scientists had to develop a new laser technology, which emits shorter wavelengths raised than blue lasers, the type used today for the highest-capacity optical disks.

    The new ultraviolet laser beam allows "data holes," which are used to store data on optical disks, to be separated by only 70 nanometres, about 20 times better than with blue lasers.

    While such a high storage capacity sounds impressive today, it may leave users still wanting more when they find out that such a disk can only hold about 3.5 hours of high-definition television programming.

    It is not yet clear when the new high-capacity disks, or the technology necessary to write to them, will be in stores.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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