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US firm previews 140GB media disk storage

Based on fluorescent incoherent light technology, of course

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C3D yesterday showed off new storage technology which it says can offer over 100GB of storage on one disk. The US company demonstrated fully-working prototypes of a 140GB, read-only CD-sised disk and a 10GB read-only credit-card sized card (in other words less than half the width of a PC card). C3D now needs manufacturing partners (which will also supply the capital) to help it develop the technology and get it to market within 12 months, according to Patrick Moloney, C3D business development manager. The products are compatible with existing manufacturing processes, so partners need a minimum of retooling to get production off the ground, Moloney says. C3D technology works by using the properties of fluorescent incoherent light -- or light in which the waves are out of step. This affords much better resolution than current optical disk technology which is based on the properties of ordinary light. Effectively, only two reflective layers of information can be packed on existing CD/DVD technology -- any more and the signal to noise ratio ( and hence interference) becomes too great. With C3D's prototype technology, up to 10 layers of information can be read at once. In future, the sky's the limit as far as FMD and multi-layering are concerned. The technology compares well to other storage devices. One side of a 120mm digital versatile disk (DVD) holds about 4.7 GB of information – enough for a two-hour film. CD-ROMs hold just 650MB of information. Dr Eugene Levich, C3D CEO, said: "This technology will spawn a whole new breed of data storage-intensive information appliances capable of replicating today's PC functionality on a palm-sized PDA or mobile phone." Levich said activities such as fast downloading from the Internet, as well as consumer devices such as High Definition TV – which demands up to 7.5GB per hour recorded – and the e-Book, were driving up the need for multi-Gibabyte storage. The Fluorescent Multi-layer Disk (FMD) drives will be backwards-compatible, so users can play their old disks. ®

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