p2pnet.net News:- The one terabyte disks mooted by scientists at Britain’s Imperial College in London will never work, predicts Michael Thomas who says under a system he invented, you could store every file you ever owned on one disc.
And then some.
Physicists at Imperial College, London, are developing a way to “potentially” encode and store up to one terabyte (1,000 gigs) of data on one double sided, dual layered optical disk the size of a CD or DVD, says Dr Peter TÃ¶rÃ¶k, lecturer in photonics in the department of physics, who also says the patent-pending discs could be on the market within five to ten years.
However, 30-year data storage pioneer Thomas, owner of Colossal Storage who in 1974 was making five-meg disk packs – the biggest in the world, at the time – believes the Imperial the concept will fail because the multi-level phase change encryption electronics design concept is prone to complex uncorrectable errors.
“WORM , TDK, Calimetrics, Mitsubishi Chemical Corp and Shinano Kenshi Co started work on a multi-level phase change drive in 2000 saying they’d have a completed product to market in one year,” he says. “Here we are in 2004. But where are they?
“The Imperial College concept is also based on multi-level read/write recording high-speed / high-capacity storage solutions built on the familiar, inexpensive plastic polymer CD-R/RW disk platform.”
Nor are MODS disks the first to challenge DVD domination of the audiovisual optical disk market. BluRay disks, with five times the capacity of a DVD at 25 gigs per layer, are slated for the end of 2005 for the home market.
Imperial researchers, working with the Institute of Microtechnology, University of NeuchÃ¢tel, Switzerland, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, estimate MODS disks would cost about the same to make as an ordinary DVD and that any system playing them would be backwards compatible with existing optical formats – meaning CDs and DVDs could be played on a MODS system.
Under magnification, the surface of CDs and DVDs look like tiny grooves filled with pits and land regions which represent information encoded into a digital format as a series of ones and noughts. When read back, CDs and DVDs carry one bit per pit.
But the UK researchers say they can encode and retrieve up to ten times the amount of information from one pit.
However, Imperial technology is 2D, using reflected surface patterns, Thomas told p2pnet.
“The plastic polymer disk layers are stacked like pancakes. This technology will require complex physics and electronics to select the various layers, at the same time trying to limit read and write errors. This technology will fail.”
Moreover, he points out, it’s WORM (write once, read many times) meaning it wouldn’t be much use to anyone wanting the discs for more than play-back purposes.
“These and others can never surpass Colossal laser write and read frequencies of ultraviolet unless they go to electron beam or X-Ray, which are bio-hazards,” he says, going on, “And unlike Colossal, they’ll never be able to reach ferroelectric switch speeds of <160 picosecond or bistable binary particle size of five nanometers.
“Colossal storage densities, on the other hand, are 200 terabits per square inch in 2D and 40,000 Terabits (or 40,000,000 gigs) per cubic centimeter in 3D.”
He says Japan’s Tohoku University lab work is predicting four peta bits per square inch for ferroelectric BaTiO3 – at least one thousand times Imperial’s maximum density.
Thomas already has a long list of patents for his 3D Volume Atomic Holographic Removable Optical Storage NanoTechnology, and an equally long list of systems he’d create using the technology.
Imagine a disc with almost infinite capacity, he told p2pnet a while back.
On it, you’d not only be able to store every book, DVD and movie you could collect throughout your life, but you’d also be able to use it as a virtual computer to play it all back.
one disc – Every file you ever owned on 1 disc, p2pnet, February 25, 2004
Peter TÃ¶rÃ¶k – Doh! New format could store all of Homer’s life on one optical disk, Imperial College