Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology may already be on their way towards revolutionizing data storage forever. They have claimed to have developed a new technique for recording media on optical discs, which will record as much as 1.6 terabyte on a single disc of the size of an ordinary DVD. They explained that the additional boost in storage capacity has been brought about by adding extra dimensions to the surface of recording of the disc.

They have stated that the technology is far from becoming commercially available. Still, it is only possible to cram that much data into a disc in the lab, using a prototype disc and under specific conditions.

In the technology, the extra dimensions of recording are polarization of light and wavelength. The resulting combination of the two new dimensions and the usual three dimensions create a true 5-dimensional recording technology. This leads to the availability of much more space to record data, hence the humongous storage capacity of these discs.

An article published on the invention in the Nature magazine read, “The new system makes use of surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-mediated photo-thermal reshaping of a substrate of gold nano rods immersed in a polymer layer. Crosstalk-free readout is via two-photon luminescence. Immediate applications can be found in security patterning and multiplexed optical storage.”

A report aired by BBC revealed that the research team from Australia is working with Samsung for developing a new kind of drive that would support both the read and write operations of the new technology.

James Chon, one of the co-authors on the research commented, “The optical system to record and read 5-D is very similar to the current DVD system. Therefore, industrial scale production of the compact system is possible.”

Hard drives have already hit the 2 TB mark, and with optical storage discs crossing the 1 TB threshold, the “glorious revolution” in the field of digital data storage is not too far off.

The manufacture of discs for the new drive will require installation of new prototype equipment. Hence, the resulting cost is sure to prove a huge deterrent for the widespread adoption of this fascinating new technology. The researchers, however, have pointed out that Blu-Ray had also received lukewarm reception at the beginning, due to the high cost involved. So, this new technology, they hope, is also going to walk a similar path.

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