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Plexiglass-like DVD to Hold 1TB of Data 166

jcatcw writes "Lucas Mearian at ComputerWorld has a story about a company that plans to demonstrate a new DVD-format at the January CES conference. The .6mm thick disc stores 500GB of data by writing 5GB of data on each of 100 layers within a polymer material similar to Plexiglass. The Israel-based company, Mempile Inc., said its TeraDisc DVDs will offer 1TB of storage for consumers in the next few years, but it's also targeting corporate data archive needs with the new technology that write bits at the molecular level on the florescent-colored polymer. The company plans to sell its first product, a 700GB disc for $30."
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Plexiglass-like DVD to Hold 1TB of Data

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  • wow (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    so much porn...

    and I'm spent.
  • Dammit (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thewils ( 463314 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @04:55PM (#21784264) Journal
    ...and I just bought myself a Blu-ray :(

    Bloody typical.
    • Re:Dammit (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Friday December 21, 2007 @05:29PM (#21784698) Homepage Journal
      You do understand that that is how progress happens? When the number of people who have just bought a technology exceeds the critical threshold, new products are announced. Who'se ever heard of a new product announcement for something that hasn't just been bought? How often do you hear of a breakthrough that never led to a product, all because there were too few who has just bought the last generation? You are to be honored, for you are of Those Special Buyers who exceeded the threshold for optical mass storage.
      • by thewils ( 463314 )
        Say, you don't happen to work for Sony, do you?
        • Re:Dammit (Score:5, Funny)

          by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @07:21PM (#21785996) Homepage
          Say, you don't happen to work for Sony, do you?

          Naw, you can tell because he said you were to be honored, and that you're special. If he worked for Sony, he would have called you an ingrate for complaining in the first place, and lazy for not getting a second job to buy the newest mega-storage format.
          • ...and possibly questioned his motivation for buying one, he might use it to copy those discs, after all.
      • that is how progress happens? When the number of people who have just bought a technology exceeds the critical threshold, new products are announced.

        Not quite. That's how commercial progress works under capitalism. It's one of the reasons I prefer Free Software development.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by jd ( 1658 )
          Then why are new kernels always released -after- I finish compiling the last one? :)
    • Don't worry, it's just an announcement. It won't hit the stores in a while.

      But I guess that is obvious.
  • by schnikies79 ( 788746 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @04:56PM (#21784282)
    until they have a cheap (burner AND media) version for the desktop.
    • So the LTO tape libraries I purchased at my last employer are worthless?

      These will have a huge value in corporate backups (if they are as reliable as tape) and for media production (uncompressed HD)

    • I tend to disagree.

      I think that the trend is to move to online content with attitudes more on the lines of:
      I'll just download that from the internet whenever i need it rather then burn a DVD of it.

      I wouldn't be surprised if in a decade or two, all of your "large" personal media files (photos and videos) would be stored in a HD format somewhere online for easy access.
      Desktop CDs/DVDs/Whatever burners will be a thing of the past.
      All other "small" personal data (code, documents, etc..) would be stored on flash
      • by Feanturi ( 99866 )
        Desktop CDs/DVDs/Whatever burners will be a thing of the past.

        I sure hope not. Sure it would be convenient to be able to get at my media collection from various computers, but I'd be worried about the times my internet isn't working and I want to watch something but I can't because none of my media is physically present. I would also be concerned about losing everything I've collected if the hosting company folded. Or if something I enjoyed got onto a banned list somehow and was permanently removed from the
        • It's all a matter of quality of service.

          Within a few years, to my prediction, the internet would become a necessary commodity as electricity is today.

          Having your internet "not work" will be simply unacceptable.

          Regarding data reliability, one can assume a detailed contract with the hosting company that would force them to create hourly backups or whatever...

          I think the demand for such a high-quality, high-reliability service would be so great that all the technical/legal/privacy problems you're talking about
      • Why pay? just get the hardware yourself and then you can take care of the encryption yourself. Personally, I am waiting for this technology to pass over into the harddrive arena. If they can make it read-write, it would be great. If not, we still have holographic storage.
    • Currently, LTO4 supports 1.6TB/800GB. The plain drives go for close to 5k and the media runs at about 80-90 bucks a pop. I figure it will cost about that initially and need a high end SAS or Fiber connection. Did I mention that an LTO4 can write at close to 100-150MB/s (not counting compression). Fastest a DVD can write at is about 20-30MB/s. Thats one LOONG backup.

      Hell, look on eBay for a PV132T with an LTO2. You can get that library for under $1,500 and it holds close to 4.8TB uncompressed. Even
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @04:57PM (#21784290) Journal
    No format war. Please!
    • by antek9 ( 305362 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @05:13PM (#21784502)
      There'll be no format war. The first retail product exclusively using this disc format will be Duke Nukem Forever, which will settle any wars, and at the same time, time will have run out for good.
    • It looks like it's just another archival format, and not a distribution format. Competing formats for backups isn't a bad thing. Competing formats for video distribution is a different issue.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Colin Smith ( 2679 )
      Oh, FFS. You just wait till one side wins, let the early adopter retards pay all the development, marketing costs and take the risk.

  • $30 ? (Score:5, Funny)

    by fishybell ( 516991 ) <fishybell&hotmail,com> on Friday December 21, 2007 @04:58PM (#21784296) Homepage Journal

    The company plans to sell its first product, a 700GB disc for $30

    Unfortunately their second product, the disc burning drive, won't be available for several years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jd ( 1658 )
      No, the second product is the disk reading drive. The third product will be the disk writing drive, and the fourth will be the drivers needed to use the second and third products.
      • Each sold separatly. IF that writing device will ever be available to the general public. After all, you could use it to copy content.

        What? You think it's so unlikely that there'll be pressure that writer devices are outlawed?
        • by jd ( 1658 )
          Nonono. The writers will be legal, but the lasers they need will only be sold on the black market as an add-on.
  • by gbulmash ( 688770 ) * <> on Friday December 21, 2007 @04:59PM (#21784304) Homepage Journal
    They're not planning to hit 1TB until 2011. With all the companies in the storage race, I don't see this horizon representing any special accomplishment. It's a neat way of doing things, but so are some of the other contenders in the race.

    What I wonder about is the archival quality of their material. How long before it oxidizes or otherwise brittles itself into uselessness? I remember when everyone was saying that CDs would last forever, unlike cassette tapes, and then we found out that CDs were not eternal. Their plastic might take forever to biodegrade, but their data integrity would degrade within 10-15 years. So, even if this turns out to be the winner in the race to a Terabyte disc, how long will it maintain data integrity for archival purposes?

    - Greg
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cbreaker ( 561297 )
      That 10-15 years is only on burned media. But I'll tell you, I have plenty of CD-R's that I made in 1996 and they all work great, so maybe there's a huge variation between who made the discs?

      Either way, tapes aren't that fantastic either. Currently, the best way to archive data for the long term is to keep it on live, spinning disks in RAID sets. As the disks fail, you replace them, and you have your data perpetually available; and it's online, too.
      • How resistant are RAID arrays to the collapse of the building holding them ?
        What about massive vibration from a large earthquake ?
        • Might ask yourself how resistant RAID arrays are to 36 firmware updates for the controller,
          then firmware updates for the drives, and then the SCSI bus deciding its cheaply made
          parts are going to start spewing noise on the bus.

          RAID is not a backup solution, proof of this is that google has moved away from it
          and just keeps multiple copies of the data.

          RAID hardware is more about selling hardware, now SANs are a different ball of cheese
          as they offer speed as well as some data integrity.
    • And, for that matter, how fragile will these discs be?

      Even with the larger-than-DVD dimensions outlined in the article, that's a huge density of data per disc.

      It doesn't matter how many GB each disc can store if it all gets corrupted every time your dog barks too loudly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2007 @04:59PM (#21784306)
    I can then fit my entire pr0n collection on just 4 discs!
  • by computerchimp ( 994187 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @05:05PM (#21784394)

    "Mempile's DVD drives will initially retail for between $3,000 and $4,000, and a 700GB platter -- the first model expected out around 2011 -- will sell for $30"
  • I really hope that if TD-DVDs catch on, we don't have the stupid situation now where folks refer to the discs themselves and the common codec used for commercial movies with the same terms.

    (Can you tell that I'd prefer 'Some Mega High Quality MP4-or-something Files on a DVD/HDDVD/BluRay' rather than this 'You can fit so many minutes of movie on a disc! Yes, it's true!' baloney?)

  • More Vaporware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by asphaltjesus ( 978804 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @05:06PM (#21784426)
    The problem the company has is not technical. They could have the technical and mass production issues worked out and yet not a single disk will be made.

    It didn't come from the companies mentioned in the wikipedia article, [] so they cannot possibly get OEM/IT/Entertainment industry adoption. Furthermore, "Not invented here" is the typical media conglomerate response to all of these innovations.

    There's no real-world scenario where this thing sees the light of day. Something like it and most likely quite inferior and more expensive from the DVD cartel? Sure.
    • I don't care if they never have video hit the device, I want it just for data storage and transfer.

      Though honestly Blu-Ray might be close to it by the time it comes out with data discs that have more layers... I'm still thinking a Blu-Ray burner (when they get a little cheaper) is the best bet for large data storage over the next few years.
      • Bluray still isn't that big... you can't backup a network on it.

        1TB is approaching what you'd need today. Of course by 2011 or whatever we'll need 10TB.. sigh.
  • hmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by wwmedia ( 950346 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @05:11PM (#21784490)
    1. make a press release 2. get slashvertised 3. wait few years to actually develop the technology at affordable prices 4. profit??
  • Yet another format to have to buy all our stuff in, again.

    I guess thats one way to keep the MPAA in business, every 10 years or so have to repurchase our movie collection.
  • Hopefully this will be the blank media that The Dethemberween Thnikkaman puts in my slippers this year. []
  • riiight. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by apodyopsis ( 1048476 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @05:22PM (#21784614)
    Its not a format war, its a new format. But it *will* be a format war if any of the large firms thinks there is any money in it.

    Remember "DataPlay"? A small format optical disk (with an elaborate and complicated DRM system btw) in the early 2000s - they had a new and innovative format. They even got the record companies on their side until the big players (in this case Philips) looked at them, saw they had a business model and crushed them to develop small-form factor optical (SFFO). Of course, SFFO vanished as soon as cheap flash memory was available (low power, no moving part) but the point remains. A single isolated firm will be destroyed by a large multinational as soon as they prove they have a business case. And I bet my metaphorical hat that any array of patents will not affect that outcome in any way.

    More information on Dataplay/SFFO available on net, here one's link: []

    Besides, I've seen a number of multi terrabyte, multi layered optical systems paraded over the last few years - I label this vapor ware until I see it on the shelves. And even then I would not trust my data to it until its been proven in the corporate world.
  • does this seem like making a vhs that can hold 40 hours of video? Cd/DVDs are on the beginning slope of the trash shute, SSD and other technologies are the things up and coming. But on the other hand dvd, Hddvd and bluray are here to, so who knows, but if it were me Id be working on an organic memory cube that measures the size of my fingernail and that I can download the contents of my brain onto... I for one welcome our brain downloading overlords?
  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Friday December 21, 2007 @05:32PM (#21784746) Journal
    When I saw this on Maxconsole about 12 hours ago, I though to myself - I hope slashdot don't report on that stuff, those guys have a bit more sense, the more technical types know vaopourware when we see it.

    but no........

    Most of us enthusiasts and techs on this site have been reading about 'magical future disc formats'!!! since about when the CD came out for PC's well over 10 years ago, it's all bloody rubbish until their is one on shelves, period.

  • The company wants investors []. In my opinion, the investors page is written in a curious way, giving the impression that some of the companies listed may not actually be investors, but associated as suppliers, or not associated at all.

    Slashdot has a long history of running articles about risky or even fraudulent companies that want investments, in my opinion. I think Slashdot editors should be required to run conflict-of-interest disclaimers, to give legal assurance they were not paid to run an article.
    • However, even the present NTSC resolution is enough for most TV watching.

      In a "640K should be enough for anyone sense", perhaps.

      It seems doubtful that displays with more resolution than HD DVD will become common.


      Also, HD displays are far more expensive.

      Eh. Moderate sized 1080p displays can be had for ~$1000 and falling. 720p displays and 1080i seem to be beginning to get squeezed out. because of the lack of room for intermediate resolutions in the prices in the market.

      Would people actually want to pay m

      • You're right, not always.

        48kHz DVD audio sampling rates really SHOULD be enough for anyone. Nobody can hear 24kHz.
  • by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @05:39PM (#21784830)

    fluorescent-colored polymer

    Hmmm, what color is that exactly?

  • I wonder if a product like this (I'm not saying this will actually be the product, mind you) will end up being the death of Blu-Ray and/or HD-DVD? It's always seemed to me like the new HD formats aren't a compelling enough leap in technology to warrant a "standardized" format shift (and the fact that we have two competing standards), since many people already have pretty significant DVD libraries (I know I do). Maybe consumers will simply wait for the next technology to emerge, or at the very least, for
    • Actually, I think one thing we could see very soon is the use of variable pit depth mastering for optical discs. Combine with with the HD-DVD format and we could at minimum triple the storage capacity of HD-DVD from 15 GB to 45 GB for single-layer disc, which is far more than enough for a two-hour movie at 1080p 24-frame format encoded with VC-1 or AVC (H.264) formats and the Dolby Digital TrueHD format audio track.
  • For a 10000 dollar device.
  • by KonoWatakushi ( 910213 ) on Friday December 21, 2007 @06:32PM (#21785504)

    Unless they have found a way to record 100 layers at once, it will take nearly forever to record a disc with this new format. For the same reason, the proposed 3+ layer HD DVD and Blu-ray discs are also not very interesting. More than likely, these efforts are merely for marketing purposes: to show that HD DVD can match Blu-ray, and that Blu-ray has a bright future. Unfortunately, these are both specious arguments, and it is best to judge them on their initial implementations.

    One of the few alternative approaches that looks very promising uses co-linear holography on an optical disc. The advantage is that it can record multiple bits in the same area (volume actually) at the same time, so it scales much better with both density and speed. It may be a ways off yet, but one thing is for certain: an optical disc can only spin so fast, and recording bits one at a time simply doesn't scale well.

    Blu-ray is the best we can hope for it the near future. From a data storage perspective, it is far superior to HD DVD, and will remain so until they are both obsolete.

    • I have an archive of ~5TB, currently on DVD for the most part. The current archiving process requires me to get off the couch every 6-8 minutes to catalogue the burned disc, label it, archive it, put in the next disc, start burning. So if I move to triple layer HD-DVD or Blu-Ray discs, and I get to burn ten DVDs worth of data on a disc, do you really think I'm going to suffer here, because of all the layers? No, I'll have to get off the couch LESS often, and still get more burned in less time on fewer discs
  • Great! So now I can destroy even more of my data with a single scratch.

    Beware the power of the fingernail!

    • This technology is less vulnerable to scratches because the data layers are inside the disk, not on the surface underneath a thin layer of paint.
  • Looks like those formats might become obsolete before they have even become mainstream. I am suddenly glad that I don't have a player for them yet.

    Also, it is very nice to have a new data format developed by the tech industry, rather than the movie industry. Archival quality is going to be a more important aspect than copy protection.
  • Scam? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RenHoek ( 101570 ) on Saturday December 22, 2007 @12:25AM (#21788008) Homepage
    This reminds me so much of the Fluorescent Multilayer Disc (FMD) that was announced in 2000, which turned out to be a scam [].
  • There was an Israeli company several years ago called Constellation 3D (originally TeraStor) promising the same things based on the same fluorescent multilayer buzzwords. They failed, and there were a couple of scandals including one about a rigged demo. None of the names I see on the Mempile website ring a bell, but I still don't think I'll hold my breath waiting for this crew to deliver the goods.
  • There is only one s in Plexiglas®. It's a trademark of the Rohm and Haas company. I am rather startled that everyone seems to think it's "plexiglass". Guess there are fewer plastics geeks out there than I thought.

    I have just one word to say to you, Ben...

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong