New DVD-Like Disc Holds Extra Motion pictures Than You Can See in a Lifetime

This 12 months’s Christmas presents may very well be sorted: scientists have invented a DVD-sized disc that may retailer thousands and thousands of hours of video, sufficient for all of your favourite motion pictures and TV reveals—and way more in addition to.

Present DVDs solely have a storage capability of about 4.5 GB, which might include about 2 hours of video footage.

Now, nonetheless, researchers from China have developed a brand new sort of disc that may maintain as much as a petabyte of knowledge, the equal of greater than 220,000 common DVD discs, in accordance with a brand new paper within the journal Nature.

The event may very well be nice information for lovers of bodily media—as simply certainly one of these “super-DVD”s may include as much as 1,000,000 motion pictures.

The brand new disc could also be harmful, nonetheless, because it may make it a lot too straightforward to binge-watch each episode of Gossip Woman for the fifth time.

A inventory picture of a DVD. Scientists have invented a brand new disc that may maintain thousands and thousands of films.


DVDs have knowledge encoded onto them within the type of microscopic pits and “lands” on the disc’s floor, which characterize binary knowledge (0s and 1s). To learn the information, a DVD participant or DVD drive in a pc makes use of a laser diode focussed onto the floor of the disc.

When the laser hits a pit on the floor of the DVD, it’s not mirrored as strongly as when it hits a land. This distinction in reflectivity is detected by a sensor within the DVD participant’s pickup unit. The sensor converts these variations in reflectivity right into a digital sign, which represents the binary knowledge encoded on the DVD.

Some DVDs are single-layer, and may retailer about 4.5 GB, whereas others have two layers, and may retailer round round 8.5 GB. These discs have a semi-transparent layer along with the reflective layer. The primary layer (nearer to the floor) is fabricated from a reflective materials, whereas the second layer (nearer to the middle of the disc) is fabricated from a semi-reflective materials. This permits the laser to move via the primary layer and browse the second layer.

The brand new disc that may retailer a petabyte of knowledge has achieved this feat by containing 100 layers quite than one or two.

“We enhance the capability of [optical data storage] to the petabit stage by extending the planar recording structure to 3 dimensions with lots of of layers, in the meantime breaking the optical diffraction restrict barrier of the recorded spots,” the authors wrote within the paper.

This was achieved utilizing a particular coating that allowed the etching of knowledge at a nanoparticle scale.

There are some hurdles to beat earlier than the brand new super-DVD might be broadly used, because the writing of the disc is at the moment extraordinarily sluggish and makes use of a number of power. Nevertheless, the researchers are optimistic that these issues might be solved, and that this disc could also be the way forward for knowledge storage.

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