Terabyte of data on a DVD.. is it possible?

Mempile, a company out of Israel wants to build a DVD that will hold one terabyte of data on a single disk. That’s the equivalent of 200 normal DVDs (not Dual-Layer, HD-DVD or Blue-ray). Wow!

The technology is amazing and includes the use of “light sensitive molecules.”

“…the technology allows for transparent layers where two photons of light can pass through the layers at the same time.”

A Mempile disc contains light sensitive molecules (chromophores) capable of switching between two distinct states upon the application of light. Due to the nonlinear nature of the light-matter interaction, when focusing the applied light inside the material using a lens, only those molecules present near the focal point will interact and switch state.”

This creates a 3D way of accessing and writing data to multiple layers in a DVD… up to 100 layers.

We currently have Dual-Layer DVDs as the current standard (although most people still use the single-layer because the blank disks are still expensive). Dual-layer was a huge jump in storage (from 4.5 GB to 9 GB). We also have Blue-ray and HD-DVD that store and read data using a blue laser rather than a red laser. This allows for better accuracy and thus more “area” to store the data. Blue-ray provides 25 GB per layer and HD-DVD provides 15 GB on 3 layers. And yes, there are dual-layer options for Blue-ray (bringing that to 50 GB for a dual-layer Blue-ray disk).

But this new technology from Mempile will allow for even greater storage capacity through precise reading and writing of many, many layers. Possibly up to 100 layers can be managed using this technology.

Now you ask, “What would I want a terabyte of data on a single disk?” And the answer is multimedia. Think about all the pictures, videos and music you currently have. Now think about in the future when you have more (grand)kids and you continue to take photos and video of them. Eventually you are going to run out of space. Either that or you are going to have a shoebox of DVDs sitting under your bead to be organized (or not) and lost, scratched and used as coasters. All that content on a single medium is ideal. You have one or two disks to archive all your multimedia content.

The technology is cool, but I’m not so sure of the feasibility.  Would I use one of these incredibly high-density disks? Probably. But would my family?  I’m guessing not.

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