Scientists unveil DVD-like disc that can hold 4,000 times more data than a Blu-Ray

A team of researchers created a new type of disc capable of storing hundreds of thousands of gigabytes of data, or more than 40,000 DVDs.

1 minute & 19 seconds read time

A group of researchers have created a new type of optical storage device that is the same shape as a DVD or Blu-Ray disc but is capable of storing an incredible amount of data.

Scientists unveil DVD-like disc that can hold 4,000 times more data than a Blu-Ray 2621452

With the rise of streaming services, Blu-Ray and DVD purchases have fallen off a cliff, with purchases for both primarily being done by collectors or hard-core fans of that specific media. However, that may change if researchers from the University of Shanghai have anything to say about it as they have created a new optical disc that is capable of holding 1.6 petabits, or around 200,000 gigabytes, which is enough capacity to store more than 40,000 DVD movies or just over 200,000 Blu-Ray movies.

IEEE Spectrum reports the new disc has a capacity that is around 4,000 times the data density of a Blu-Ray, which is approximately 24 times the capacity of a typical hard drive. Typical optical disc drives, while being relatively cheap to manufacture, are limited by their low data capacity, which can be traced by to the technique manufacturers use to make data storage possible. IEEE Spectrum explains data on optical discs is usually stored in a single layer, but now scientists have cracked the code with a new technique that allows data encoding on 100 layers.

"The use of ultrahigh-density optical data storage technology in big data centers is now possible," says Min Gu, professor of optical-electrical and computer engineering at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology

"It has been a 10-year effort searching for this kind of material," Gu says. "The difficulty has been how the writing and reading processes affect each other in a given material-in particular, in a three-dimensional geometry."

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