EXCLUSIVE PODCAST: Five-dimensional super DVDs waiting for lasers to light up their potential

One of the researchers who developed the technology to boost optical disk storage to 1.6 terabytes says the new storage medium could last "forever", raising the prospect of a new challenger to tape as an archival medium. But he also warns that commercial versions of the lasers needed to read and write to the storage medium he and his colleagues have devised are only on the drawing board.

One of the researchers responsible for last week’s Nature paper about “five dimensional” storage that have the potential to boost optical disk capacity to 1.6 terabytes has cast doubt on the commercialisation of the technology.

Dr James Chon of Swinburne University of Technology’s Centre for Micro-Photonics told SearchStorage ANZ that while the material science to create such disks is well advanced, lasers of the quality required to read and write data to and from the disks are not yet available in a form factor or at a price that makes the medium viable for consumer electronics.

“[Laser technology] is outside of our hands. What we have developed is the recording material … we do not develop laser systems.”

Dr Chon believes that the new technology may, however, become a tape alternative for long term archives, as the way information is written to the disks makes them extremely difficult to erase or damage.

“We do not see any possibility that stored data can be destroyed in any way. I believe this can last longer than 50 years,” he told SearchStorage ANZ. “To me … it [the life of data] is going to be forever.”

Click on the player below to hear SearchStorage ANZ editor Simon Sharwood in conversation with Dr Chon.

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