May 21, 2024

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1.6 petabit optical disc provided by researchers – Computer

1.6 petabit optical disc provided by researchers – Computer

The goal is more efficient data storage, in a market where storage space requirements are ever-increasing

As consumers increasingly shift to digital distributions and data center managers experiment with different storage methods, Optical discs have never stopped evolving. Recently published research explains how manufacturers can offer DVD-like optical discs capable of storing data equivalent to hundreds of thousands of Blu-ray discs.

Researchers at Shanghai University of Science and Technology They developed an optical disc With a capacity of more than one petabyte of data, that is, more than 100 terabytes. Although this technology is primarily proposed for commercial use, it will likely become available to consumers once significant hurdles are cleared.

Scientists were able to significantly increase the capacity of the optical disc by implementing a 3D recording structure. This technology uses a uniform, highly transparent photoresist layer, enhanced with a special combined pigment, which is activated by laser beams that emit pulses every four millionths of a second.

This process allows layers to build up to a distance of one micrometer (one millionth of a meter), on a disc that ends up being the same thickness as a DVD or Blu-ray disc. More advanced Blu-ray discs support up to four layers and typically come in capacities of around 100GB. The researchers claim that the new disk will be able to hold 100 layers on each side, resulting in a total capacity of 1.6 petabytes, or about 200 terabytes.

Using many of these disks in parallel could shrink the data centers to a fraction of their typical current dimensions. Reducing the size of servers can also significantly reduce heat emissions and power consumption. In addition, the use of high-capacity optical discs simplifies data transfer, while reducing the need for such an operation. Another potential advantage is longevity, with researchers claiming that petabit drives could last 50 to 100 years.

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Although the new storage medium can be made compatible with existing optical disc technology, researchers have not yet developed a fast and cost-effective drive for this purpose. If such a device were to emerge, each new disc could store as much data as a dozen hard drives, 2,000 PS5 game discs, or the equivalent number of 4K Blu-ray discs.

Looking beyond content streaming, Petabit drives are expected to allow individuals or families to own private data centers, storing all their important information in one place at home, rather than sharing it across different computers and cloud servers.

At the same time, they are also being investigated Other innovative methods Big data storage. In 2021, researchers from the University of Southampton proposed a ā€œ5Dā€ method of storing data on glass disks. Using energy-efficient lasers, this technology can pack 500 terabytes of data onto a standard DVD-sized disk, but as with the method described previously, improvements in read and write technology are required.

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