Mempile preps terabyte optical disc

An Israeli firm called Mempile is developing an optical storage technology that will cram a terabyte of data onto a single disc. The key to this high storage capacity is a disc made from a custom polymer that is essentially transparent to the laser used by the drive. This allows Mempile to pack roughly 200 virtual layers onto a single 1.2mm disc, with each of those layers capable of storing 5GB of data.


Mempile estimates that its disc technology will retain data for 50 years, but prototypes aren’t expected for a year and a half. Drives and discs wouldn’t be available to consumers until a year after that.


Soaring hard drive capacities have made backup via optical media difficult at best, so the prospect of terabyte recordable media is certainly tantalizing. However, by the time Mempile gets its TeraDisc technology out the door, terabyte-capacity might not be as impressive as it is today. You can read more about Mempile’s TeraDisc here.

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    • Iddo
    • 14 years ago

    Hello,
    Just letting you know that we added another Q&A Mempile was kind enough to do for us. Many of the questions people asked are answered (at least partly in this one):
    §[<http://www.tfot.info/news/41/follow-up-mempile-answers-your-questions.html<]§

    • Opios
    • 14 years ago

    I searched the journals and found the relevant publication. The technique seems to work in the laboratory, but its commercial viability is still questionable. The current bottleneck is in the writing process. In its unwritten form, the disc is always ‘on’ and the writer burns dark spots within the disc. Due to the nature of the dark patches, they are only noticeable within a few microns of the laser focus. This allows the laser to pass unperturbed through higher layers and to accurately focus on a layer deep within the material. A multilayer DVD on the other hand doesn’t work this way. The dark spots on these layers will affect laser as it passes through, distorting the beam and preventing a good focus. This limits you to a few high density layers or many layers where the density drops with each layer. Either way, you can’t scale DVD’s up to TB levels. This is where Mempile’s technique really shines.

    Unfortunately, the Mempile technique requires a high peak power laser to ‘burn’ the disc. Rather than using a cheap $5 laser diode, they need a more expensive solid state laser. These lasers cost somewhere between a new car and a small house, so they’re not quite practical yet. Personally, I think laser diodes will improve in power before Mempile will be able to engineer their system to write at conventional diode power levels. Given the several orders of magnitude gap between these levels, I think 1.5 years might be a little optimistic.

    ====================================================
    Japanese Journal of Applied Physics
    Vol. 45, No. 2B, 2006, pp. 1229-1234
    URL : §[<http://jjap.ipap.jp.proxy.lib.umich.edu/link?JJAP/45/1229/<]§ DOI : 10.1143/JJAP.45.1229 A New Medium for Two-Photon Volumetric Data Recording and Playback Andrew N. Shipway*, Moshe Greenwald, Nimer Jaber, Ariel M. Litwak and Benjamin J. Reisman Mempile Israel, Ltd., Kiryat Hatikshoret, Neve Ilan, DN Harey Yehuda 90850, Israel Abstract: A new optical data storage media has been developed, which allows three-dimensional serial data storage and retrieval by two-photon excitation. The disk is essentially of a monolithic structure, and utilizes a proprietary photochromic organic fluorophore as the data storage element. This new data storage chromophore has very small linear optical differences between its two states, allowing massively multilayer data storage, and has a large Stokes shift of over 100 nm, allowing its use in very high concentrations. The thermodynamic energy barrier for isomerization in the ground state is 90 kJ mol-1, giving adequate thermodynamic stability, and the two forms of the chromophore have large differences in their two-photon-excited fluorescence intensity, allowing data readout by two-photon microscopy.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 14 years ago

      Pow. You are win.

    • lethal
    • 14 years ago

    That doesn’t sound that hot to me. How much time would it take to burn a TB? What about Coasters? that would be fun… spending a whole day burning a bad cd. I’m not sure if optical media is the best solution when you are backing up that much data.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 14 years ago

      I guess that’s a good point. On my Intel Macbook, it takes 12 minutes to burn 4.1 GB of data onto a blank DVD (not including verification.) I suppose 1000GB would take a pretty long while.

      4.1 dividedby 12min = ~3mins per GB?

      1000GB times ~3min (*assuming similar write speeds) = 50 hours… without verification. Hmm.

      These optical drives would have to have dramatically increased write speeds over their predecessors (/[

    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    1.5 years instead of 5 years…a step in the right direction for the typical awesome storage tech that’s not released announcement.

    • nagashi
    • 14 years ago

    Less talk, more discs =/

    I need this yesterday.

    • UberGerbil
    • 14 years ago

    Mempile? Mem*[

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 14 years ago

      “Do not die on me private Piles. I would be devastated!”

      • sigher
      • 14 years ago

      What’s your point? the data pits are piled on top of eachother, makes sense.

    • albundy
    • 14 years ago

    sounds like it will be cartridge based like magneto optical tech. a little scratch and there go a few layers of readability.

    • bhtooefr
    • 14 years ago

    If this were Slashdot, I’d be tagging this “vapor” right about now. 😉

    • Starfalcon
    • 14 years ago

    Heck, what happened to the holographic media they were talking about 6 months ago? They were taking like it was the next big thing, I guess it is just another storage format that never will come out.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 14 years ago

    What happened to FB-ROMs ? Did I get that right? F-something-ROMs. Maybe it was FMD… anyhow it was an optical disc media after DVD but before HD-DVD and before Blu Ray. Multiple prismatic layers. The laser would be broken up into a different color depending on layer. Sensor read the color and hey presto! mass storage.

      • Justice
      • 14 years ago

      Read my post prior to yours.

    • Justice
    • 14 years ago

    I wondered what happened to the FMCD. I guess someone bought out all the tech from CCCD and now we go from 20 layer 140GB discs to 200 layer 1TB discs.

    Constellation 3D was the company that did a proof of concept demo of writing 10GB of data to a 25 cent roll of clear scotch tape. (CCCD was their trade symbol)

    [Edit] §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_Multilayer_Disc<]§

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 14 years ago

      Oh right. How bout that.

    • mongoosesRawesome
    • 14 years ago

    From the sound of the technology, density won’t be very high, just many layers, so unless it can read/write to mult. layers at a time, this won’t be any faster than a DVD’s write/read speeds.

    • ew
    • 14 years ago

    Yawn… ‘optical drive technology of the future’ of the week.

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