Travel Adventure Documentary Magazine
Travel Adventure Documentary magazine
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Big Data, Big Storage

Dale Johnson Posted by Dale Johnson in Jump Cuts August 15th, 2013

In this new age of ‘Big Data’, the need for more and more storage continues for what becomes quite massive amounts of data, effecting even small and moderate content and/or TAD producers... such as ourselves. I now have almost three dozen hard drives, most of which are 2-terabyte discs now, containing the files and data I use. This may be a modest amount of storage compared to other readers of this Magazine... but we can all use more.

I have recently become aware of a new method of large data storage on a DVD disc. DVDs are a good method of storage because of their ease of recording and their permanence. But they have always been limited because of the relatively small amount of data that could be stored on one... a bit less than 5 gigabytes. Even a Blu-ray disc can only hold a maximum of 50 gigabytes.
The recording method of burning depressions in a disc to represent data is done with a laser ray (Light Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation)... a red laser for regular DVDs, or a blue light laser for Blu-ray media. It turns out that the size of laser ray is limited by a law of physics. A point of light focused through a lens can not be smaller than half it’s wavelength. That’s about 500 nanometers for a red laser. (For comparison of size, a human hair is about 100,000 nanometers in diameter) 
Using nanotechnology, researchers have developed
a technique to increase the data storage capacity
of a DVD from a measly 4.7GB to 1,000TB.
Photo Nature Communications.
However, three bright young fellows from Swinburne University of Australia have developed an ingenious way of overcoming this limitation. They’ve focused the spot beam, the beam of light that does the recording on a disc, and surrounded it with a donut-shaped anti-recording beam. This arrangement effectively limits the size of the recording beam coming through the donut beam to 9 nanometers. This increases the number of impressions that can be burned onto a disc and makes possible a disc containing about a petabyte of data. That’s a 1000 terabytes of data. A 1000 terabytes would be equivalent to the storage capacity of 500 of my current hard drives... on a single disc. I could use the space.


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