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University boffins squeeze 500GB onto a DVD

Aiming for a terabyte

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The University of Berlin, with partners Budapest University of Technology and Economics and Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Italy, has managed to work out how to store 500GB of data on a regular HD DVD or Blu-ray disc.

The Microholas project developed a microholographic recording technique, using nanostructures inside the disk rather than on the surface as in conventional optical storage systems.

This allowed for an increase of the storage capacity far beyond the limits of today's red-laser DVDs and next-generation blue-laser discs.

A single-layer Blu-ray Disc can hold 25GB. A dual-layer disc holds double this amount. Single- and dual-layer HD DVDs hold 15GB and 30GB of data, respectively.

By applying wavelength multiplexing techniques to multi-layer disc structures, very high storage densities can be achieved, Professor Susanna Orlic told German site Pressetext. The 500GB prototype has 50 data-storage layers.

Orl said the technology has the potential to store one terabyte (1TB) of data.

The idea is not to stash away a thousand movies on a single disc, but to use the technology for secure long-term storage, the Prof said. ®

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