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back to article Scientists devise 260GB CD-size glass disc storage tech

Superman's "memory crystals" have flown out of the realm of fiction into fact now that boffins have found a way to store 50GB of data in a disc of glass no bigger than the screen of a basic mobile phone. The memory is highly durable. It is able to survive heat of up to 1000° C and is resistant to the knocks and bumps that would …

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Meh

260Gb on a CD?

Meh. That's barely enough for a development PC.

Wake me up when they invent something with 1Tb+/cm2.

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FAIL

Too small!

Yeah, that's why I haven't bought a BLU-ray writer yet, they just don't hold enough to even build a decent development PC on.

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Paris Hilton

@Chandy

"Meh. That's barely enough for a development PC."

Why would you need to boot a machine from a CD? Or rather, why would you want to?

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WTF?

@Chandy

What kind of crazy development environment do you run? My dev system fits in 90GB, and that includes 15GB for a Linux VM to test code on.

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Devil

@Chandy

You're right. There's never enough storage.

But why the hell would someone down-vote you here?

The strange creature needs to explain.

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Flame

@Anonymous Coward -- Uh? You're being perverse.

Surely you're being perverse or are just buying an argument?

I won't even waste my time with examples.

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Odd units of measurement

"a disc of glass no bigger than the screen of a basic mobile phone". I don't quite understand - surely you mean with a diameter of about one fifth of a linguine?

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Surely that's about...

...one pico-football pitch?

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Go

Cool, now gizit on a thumb drive

now!

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Cue format war

Where $BIG_COMPANYA and $BIG_COMPANYB both back subtly different versions of this technology and everyone loses out for a couple of years.

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Thumb Up

It is able to survive heat of up to 1000° C

Useful when I'm falling into an active volcano.

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Bronze badge

Eggzellent!

So we can write vast amounts of data that will survive unfeasably high temperatures. However retrieving said data will be 'difficult'.

Brilliant.

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Happy

Pfft

My 2 year will have this destroyed in under 30 seconds. 'Durable' they won't be.

Besides...my favourite sci-fi memory storage thingies have got to be memory 'crystals' - approximately the same size, but cube-shaped. Naturally they will all be unlabelled because we all know the contents just by looking at it, don't we?

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Angel

Easy

All your toddler needs is a few sharpie pens, and your data is well and truly corrupt.

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Happy

Forget pens...

...she'll just use her teeth.

...or her mind. She has an uncanny ability to merely stare at a pile of toys, and within seconds they are distributed evenly within a 100m radius. I think she's a scanner...or a jedi.

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Bronze badge

I get your point

but I'm still trying to work out how to label microSD cards.

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Pint

Didn't HAL....

.... have transparent memory banks in 2001?

**Runs off to find if it was first described in the original book or just in the film**

Gotta love those ale containing memory modules.

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Happy

@Ian Halstead

Can't look it up as someone borrowed my copy, don't remember who (but I've still got 2010 in my library).

Put Clarke and Kubrick in the same room and brilliance had to flow. Now if we made some big assumptions by extrapolating the storage area/density of that 260GB device then worked out how many times bigger all HAL's 'glass' memory modules were we'd get a rough idea of HAL's memory capacity.

From this, perhaps in 20 to 50 years or so, we might be able to figure out whether HAL as depicted by Arthur C. and Stanley K. had the right 'capacity' to carry out the tasks it was assigned to do. I wouldn't be surprised if it were.

I remember the week 2001 hit the cinemas, we all skived off a physics prac. to go and see it. Some days later the instructor made the sarcastic comment to the effect we'd all better first pass his coursework or we'd not have a hope in Hades of studying space science.

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Shatter proof?

So long as you don't drop it. Can they use bullet proof glass for us clumsy people?

If I were to throw it into the artic waste would it instantly grow into an ice fortress? I bet it won't. There goes the double whammy of storage for all your photos and a house all in one.

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Silver badge

Nice try

But why does Maxwell appear to be wearing the ghost of Newton's hair? looks like they haven't completely decoupled the different properties they are encoding information into yet.

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Silver badge
Boffin

I will have to assume

the images shown were stored analog. With digital encoding, the shaddow seen would be below the bit-change thereshold.

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Ghosting

I can see some ghosting of the right-hand image on the image in the middle. Doesn't really matter too much for a picutre, but how will that affect 1s & 0s of digital data?

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Silver badge

units!

thats about 2.3 femtowaleses...

i think

praps DRoCs are a better unit??

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Coat

>"strength of retardance"

I thought that was the SI unit of measure of trollishness among forum posters....

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Thumb Down

I remember

I remember an older post about, a german (I think) who though he would be able to write 1TB of information onto a blueray disk. As I remember he had written already 500TB onto a blueray, so this story isn't all that good.

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Silver badge
Coat

That's nothing!

Permanent markers are available with really fine tips these days, I reckon I could write at least 99999999999999999999TB onto one blueray disc.

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DJV
Alert

Powerful laser

Just how powerful is that laser? If I dismantle the drive can I use the laser to knock planes out the sky?

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Silver badge
Gimp

@ DJV

Then, if this device uses a powerful laser... mmhh... shoebox sized... ... ... SHARKS!!!

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oh, a title

If the US experiments with jumbojet-sized lasers for such, i doubt a shoebox device (LED laser source?) is sufficient. Of course there is a possibility they choose to use the big ones for show effect.

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Terminator

Well

"Decoding the light that has passed through the cell is tricky, though, and the team says much of the work going forward will attempt to simplify the system sufficiently enough to enable it to be commercially viable to produce."

Unusable @ this point. How can they verify the data integrity then??

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Sigh

yet another format to buy my music collection on.

Fantastic concept though!

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Bronze badge
Thumb Down

I don't get it

We already have flash memory smaller and able to hold data of equal (if not more so) density. We don't need more spinning media k thx bye.

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Boffin

Well,

flash has an unpowered storage life measured in years (around 10 for SLC, considerably less for MLC). So it is a fairly crap archival medium (as are writable CD/DVD/BluRay for the same reason - similar life for consumer-grade media to 50 years tops for the expensive archival-quality stuff).

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FAIL

Whoopie

I fell for the hype once with CD/DVD now half of mine have at least one point on them that wont play

NOT AGAIN!

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Headmaster

management speak

The Reg. needs a feature in their article editor that flags management speak.

"much of the work going forward will ..."

you mean ..

"much of the ongoing work" or "much of the future work"

It's shorter and grammatically correct.

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