Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Doh! New format could store all of Homer’s life on one optical disk

27.09.2004


Physicists at Imperial College London are developing a new optical disk with so much storage capacity that every episode of The Simpsons made could fit on just one.



Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Data Storage Conference 2004 in Taiwan today, Dr Peter Török, Lecturer in Photonics in the Department of Physics, will describe a new method for potentially encoding and storing up to one Terabyte (1,000 Gigabytes) of data, or 472 hours of film, on one optical disk the size of a CD or DVD.

All 350 scheduled episodes of The Simpsons, totalling 8,080 minutes of film, could be easily stored on the new disk, dubbed MODS - for Multiplexed Optical Data Storage - by the Imperial College team.


The 1TB disk would be double sided and dual layer, but even a single sided, single layer, MODS disk could hold the Lord of the Rings trilogy 13 times over, or all 238 episodes of Friends. (See Notes to Eds for more comparisons).

MODS disks will not be the first to challenge DVDs’ domination of the audiovisual optical disk market. BluRay disks, which have five times the capacity of a DVD at 25GB per layer, are expected to be released towards the end of 2005 for the home market.

The Imperial researchers, working closely with colleagues at the Institute of Microtechnology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, estimate that MODS disks would cost approximately the same to manufacture as an ordinary DVD and that any system playing them would be backwards compatible with existing optical formats – meaning that CDs and DVDs could be played on a MODS system. Dr Török believes that the first disks could be on the shelves between 2010 and 2015 if his team are able to secure funding for further development.

“According to our experimental results, we can optimistically estimate that we will be able to store about one Terabyte per disk in total using our new method,” said Dr Török, leader of the research. “This translates to about 250GB per layer, 10 times the amount that a BluRay disk can hold.”

The Imperial researchers and colleagues at Neuchâtel and Thessaloniki filed a patent covering their ideas in July 2004.

Under magnification the surface of CDs and DVDs appear as tiny grooves filled with pits and land regions. These pits and land regions represent information encoded into a digital format as a series of ones and noughts. When read back, CDs and DVDs carry one bit per pit, but the Imperial researchers have come up with a way to encode and retrieve up to ten times the amount of information from one pit.

Unlike existing optical disks, MODS disks have asymmetric pits, each containing a ‘step’ sunk within at one of 332 different angles, which encode the information. The Imperial researchers developed a method that can be used to make a precise measurement of the pit orientation that reflects the light back. A different physical phenomenon is used to achieve the additional gain.

“We came up with the idea for this disk some years ago,” says Dr Török. “But did not have the means to prove whether it worked. To do that we developed a precise method for calculating the properties of reflected light, partly due to the contribution of Peter Munro, a PhD student working with me on this project. We are using a mixture of numerical and analytical techniques that allow us to treat the scattering of light from the disk surface rigorously rather than just having to approximate it.”

Increasingly manufacturers are looking at miniaturising the size of optical disks, says Dr Török. “Multiplexing and high density ODS comes in handy when manufacturers talk about miniaturisation of the disks,” he says. “In 2002 Philips announced the development of a 3cm diameter optical disk to store up to 1GB of data. The future for the mobile device market is likely to require small diameter disks storing much information. This is where a MODS disk could really fill a niche.”

Imperial College Innovations Ltd, the College’s wholly owned technology transfer company, managed and helped to prepare the patent application.

Abigail Smith | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Taking a spin on plasma space tornadoes with NASA observations
20.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth
17.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>