This DVD-style optical disc could store 200TB of storage, enough for 2000 x PS5 game discs

Researchers develop an optical disc with 1.6 petabits of data, equivalent to 200TB of storage, blowing the 100GB of four-layer Blu-rays out of the water.

1 minute & 53 seconds read time

A new paper published by researchers at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology teases that they've developed an optical disc that's capable of storing up to 1.6 petabits of data, which works out to around 200GB... or enough storage to hold over 2000 x PlayStation 5 games and many, many more PC games.

This DVD-style optical disc could store 200TB of storage, enough for 2000 x PS5 game discs 173

The scientists increased the capacity by leaps and bounds using an optical disc with a 3D planar recording architecture, which uses a highly transparent, uniform photoresist film doped with aggregation-induced emission dye and stimulated by femtosecond lasers. It sounds like a lot of scientific jargon -- and it is -- but this allows hundreds and hundreds of layers to be crammed into a single micrometer apart on the disc at the same thickness as a DVD or Blu-ray disc.

The highest-density Blu-ray disc on the market is a 4-layer Blu-ray, which holds around 100GB of data, but the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology researchers claim this new format could record 100 layers on both sides of the disc for a total capacity of 1.6 petabits, or around 200TB.

Not only are the super-advanced new discs capable of holding up to 200TB of data, but the researchers claim the petabit discs could last between 50 and 100 years.

So, what's holding us up from 200GB discs? Well, the developers could make the new storage with current optical disc technology, but they haven't created a fast, and affordable drive for it. Holding 200TB of data on a single disc would be an absolute game-changer for every industry and person on this planet.

People could hold 200TB of data per disc, capable of seeing families have their own data center in their house, all on some optical discs that we've been using for decades now. You could store every bit and byte of data, every photo and video, any data you might have... on a few, or even a single 200TB optical disc.

Moving into the world of AI the way we are, having your own AI data center at home with 200TB of data per optical disc sounds like a very interesting road to visit over the years. The storage industry would be upended overnight, why are 20TB mechanical HDDs costing so much when 200TB single optical discs are on the market?

The University of Shanghai for Science and Technology researchers aren't the first to tease of next-gen optical disc usage, with researchers from the University of Southampton proposing a "5D" method of storing data on glass discs. This interesting technology used an energy-efficient laser, cramming 500TB onto a DVD-sized disc, but there needed to be improvements in both read and write speeds on this drive (and the new 200TB drive).

Still, very interesting to see that this type of technology is in development.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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