New storage medium surfaces with 10 times the capacity of DVD

We have just received some very interesting information regarding a new disc-based storage system that can hold up to 140 GB per disc. That’s almost 10 times as much as current dual-layer double sided DVD-18s can hold!

C3D Inc. announced today that it has conducted a successful public demonstration of its revolutionary Fluorescent Multi-layer Disk optical data storage technologies at The Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California. C3D published a White Paper outlining the scientific principles governing this exciting technology during Comdex week.

Unlike current optical technologies, the CD-sized disc that goes under the name FMD ROM is completely transparent and not based on reflection systems, as current optical media. Instead, it uses fluorescent materials that are triggered by laser beams. Multi-layering will enable the storage of hundreds (and later thousands) of gigabytes of data on standard discs. Current first generation discs use 10 layers to achive a capacity of 140 GB per disc. Another side-effect of the system is that no focusing laser is required and a single laser beam can pass through multiple layers in a single pass, while the drive creates a continuous datastream of the information from all layers, allowing to read data from multiple layers at the same time to significantly increase the medium’s bandwidth.

If production costs are acceptable and the medium proves truly viable, this disc system could be the solution the industry has been searching for to store high-definition HDTV content on.

C3D is no picking up negotiations with several strategic joint venture partners and expects to begin production of the first commercial devices within twelve months. At the same time, plans are already under way for second and third generation discs that will have capacities up to and exceeding one terabyte (1,000 gigabytes), as well as rewritable versions.

Does it mean DVD is outdated now? Certainly not, especially since the first FMD ROMs won’t be available in the market before the end of 2000. In the long run however, it could indeed be the storage answer to the high definition future of television and home video, once it takes a full grip on the world.

If you want to learn more about FMD ROM, please check this interesting article at The Register.

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