1TB optical disks now in prospect

Manufacturers are being offered 1TB optical storage technology to license

Manufacturers are being offered the world's highest capacity optical storage technology to license, reportedly, leap-frogging 300GB holographic disks and offering 1TB in a DVD-size disk. But the technology has not been commercialized and product could be three to five years away.

It uses a 2-photon recording process to record bits in a three-dimensional inside a disk's recording media coating. Multiple layers of information can be stored within the 3D volume with less than a 10-micron layer of separation. This effectively allows the equivalent of 250 conventional DVD layers to be put onto one disk platter. The roadmap lays out fivefold capacity increase through greater layer densities. This could enable a disk to store high definition format movies.

It could also enable movies or equivalent data up to 50GB to be stored on 1-inch optical disks inside PDAs and mobile phone-format devices.

Call/Recall says that another advantage of its technology is its use of affordable, commercially available, off-the-shelf components. This approach allows optical hardware manufacturers to extend the roadmap of their existing technologies, such as DVD and Blu-ray Disc, while maintaining backward compatibility with their installed base. Additionally, other key components are designed as molded/replicated parts, enabling low-cost production on industry-standard production lines.

Call/Recall is a military- and commerce-funded very high capacity optical storage research company. A co-founder is Dr. Peter Rentzepis. He is a former head of Bell Laboratories and, according to the company, a world-renowned scientist who has authored approximately 85 patents; his innovations are referenced as prior technology by 45 of the world's top optical technology providers, including IBM, Panasonic and Hitachi. This gives the technology more credibility.

One storage research analysis has offered an opinion on it. ESG analyst Heidi Biggar said: "Advances in optical technologies, such as Call/Recall's 2-photon 3D technology which promises to offer multiple terabyte data capacities and significantly faster data access than tape, hold new promise for users as they look to build more efficient and effective archives."

This is not exactly fulsome as the same sentiments could be applied to future InPhase holographic disks and blue laser UDO disks from Plasmon. In fact, the delay before any commercialization could give InPhase with its holographic Tapestry disks time to deliver on its terabyte disk roadmap. Plasmon's UDO should also be in the terabyte area by then.

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Chris Mellor

Techworld.com

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