DVD tech breakthrough could produce 1,000 TB capacity discs

Researchers have developed the medium, but how many people will still use DVDs?


Australian researchers have developed a new type of DVD technology that can store 212,000 times the amount of data of a standard 4.7GB disc.

The innovation, developed by Swinburne University in Australia, uses two lasers to write data on a scale of nine nanometres (one ten thousandth the diameter of a human hair), allowing a mammoth 1,000TB to be stored on the hardware.

Previously, it was impossible to write data on a scale less than 500 nanometres, but using two lasers - one for writing data and one for blocking the majority of the beam - the scientists were able to reduce the scale down to nine nanometres, enabling more data to fit on a DVD.

Dr Zongsong Gan, who is leading the project at the university in Melbourne, Victoria, said the tech could allow around 50,000 high-definition movies to be stored on a single DVD.

He explained, although people are moving away from using DVDs in favour of online streaming services, he sees a time when everyone in future will want a hard copy of their data.

"In my mind, I have an vision for our society in the future where everyone will have a data bank account just like we all have a bank account today," he explained to PocketLint.

"We'll save all of our data in the data bank. Everyone no longer needs the same things today as phones, iPads, or laptops. We only need a soft touch screen, any data processing, while storage is done remotely."

Gan has won a fellowship after releasing the work in 2013 and the $18,000 (10,000) reward means him and his colleagues will be able to develop new data storage devices with the help of businesses and other researchers around the world.

"The successful development of our technology will result in possible Victorian owned long-term patents and create a global role for Victoria, reinforcing the state's profile of fostering high-tech industry and an innovative research environment, in particular in optics-based information technologies," Gan said.

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