Feeds

Boffins boost DVD capacity tenfold

Multiplex those pits

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Scientists working at London's Imperial College have come up with a way of radically increasing the storage capacity of optical discs.

The technique is called 'Multiplexed Optical Data Storage' and essentially allows each pit in the disc's reflective data layer to store multiple values instead of just one.

The pits and peaks in today's DVDs and CDs encode a single 1 or 0. Light from a laser is reflected back on to a detector as the disc spins, generating a stream of 1s and 0s.

The base of each pit is essentially flat, but MODS pit-bases contain many faces, at an angle to each other, effectively harnessing the not-quite-flat nature of the pit's base. Angling the laser differently can reflect up to ten different data streams off each of these pit-bottom faces.

The upshot is a disc that can theoretically hold a hundred times the data than a current DVD can, though in practice the results yield a lower increase - from 4.7GB to around 250GB. Boost the number of layers within each disc, and the capacity grows even further.

Imperial College's Dr Peter Torok detailed the technique at the Asia-Pacific Data Storage Conference 2004, held in Taiwan last week. While the idea was conceived some years ago, only now has Torok and his team been able to calculate precisely the properties of the reflected light, in order to determine how much of it can be used to carry the digital signal.

That said, the team estimate that it could take five more years to perfect the technique in the lab, with further work then needed to commercialise MODS. ®

Related stories

FalconStor wants to WORM your disk arrays
Blu-ray group mandates Microsoft codec for BD-ROM
DualDisc roll out challenged by Euro patent holder
Forum approves Apple music format for DVD Audio
Blu-ray founders rename, open group to new members

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
IT crisis looming: 'What if AWS goes pop, runs out of cash?'
Public IaaS... something's gotta give - and it may be AWS
Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it
CEO says it will be 'undisputed leader' in enterprise cloud tech
BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE
Just need to bring the fibre box within 19m ...
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.