back to article Boffins light way to photonic computing with 1PB DVD tech

Successive generations of optical media generally rely on a new laser and a medium capable of responding to the new laser's qualities. And so it is with a new piece of research, titled Three-dimensional deep sub-diffraction optical beam lithography with 9nm feature size [PDF], revealed today that it may one day be possible to …

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Joke

Forget the sharks

Now we're gonna get evil tadpoles with frikkin' laser beams on their heads!

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I look forward to payin £20 per disk for this sort of technolgy

but not the extra £30 for some form of blue ray licensing fuckup

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I look forward to payin £20 per disk for this sort of technolgy

And since it is recordable media don't forget the "think of the poor starving musicians" tax many countries charge.

Does anybody still copy music tracks to CD's or DVD's?

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Black Helicopters

Re: I look forward to payin £20 per disk for this sort of technolgy

"Does anybody still copy music tracks to CD's or DVD's?"

Yep, and pictures too.

Admittedly I'm a paranoid SOB who wants a hard (well, physical) copy of his data in case the internet breaks at the same time as my laptop. Or, more likely, my backups on the cloud are lost/deleted/corrupted/seized-by-the-feds, and I only find this out when I'm trying to restore everything after my laptop gets nicked/burnt/dropped/hit-with-an-EMP.

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Re: I look forward to payin £20 per disk for this sort of technolgy

You do know that, unless you use an archive-quality medium, those discs will fade over time. Found that out the hard way as a collection of recorded DVD have slowly begun to deteriorate (thankfully they're low-priority backups these days so I could tolerate the loss of the data within).

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Silver badge

Re: I look forward to payin £20 per disk for this sort of technolgy

If you avoid flexing them at any point they last a lot longer.

If they're backups you care about you'd have multiple copies anyway :)

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Alert

Re: I look forward to payin £20 per disk for this sort of technolgy

Unfortunately I too have found DVDs do deteriorate with time and become all but impossible to read. If caught early enough one may find that GNU DDRescue might help you out of a tight spot and manage to retrieve your photos, data etc from a going bad DVD backup. A useful tip is that if you make two (or more) identical DVDs at the time of doing the backup then DDRescue stands a better chance of restoring one identical merged copy from the failing copy/s.

I wonder when this new technology (if it ever reaches mass production) will have to use GNU DDRescue or not (It would be great if the media were to be a lot more resilient to bit rot ! ).

Note: that there are similarly named DD Rescues out there and the one that works for me is the GNU version DDRescue (note no space between DD and Rescue).

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Any chance the technology could be used in material science to analyse stuff?

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High capacity optical discs = snore

I'll believe it when I see it.

Look at Holographic Versatile Disc.

We were promised 6TB discs well over 5 years ago, that all disappeared.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: High capacity optical discs = snore

I know, I really want some kind of high capacity optical storage... I need regular backups and we rotate HDDs for this purpose, simply because DVD/Blu-Ray is not high enough capacity

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Re: High capacity optical discs = snore

Forget discs? What about crystalline storage? Hadn't they had working prototypes of the like back in the 90's (http://news.stanford.edu/pr/94/940804Arc4171.html). What happened to it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: High capacity optical discs = snore

"Forget discs? What about crystalline storage? Hadn't they had working prototypes of the like back in the 90's (http://news.stanford.edu/pr/94/940804Arc4171.html). What happened to it?"

A crystalline entity formed and wiped out all the scientists.

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Facepalm

Coat's First Law Of Optical Media

Any new and larger optical drive will only have enough capacity to back up the hard drive space you had five years ago.

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Happy

Re: Coat's First Law Of Optical Media

There must be a similar observation regarding tapes as well...

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Joke

Re: Coat's First Law Of Optical Media

Yes, it says something about station wagons.

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Re: Coat's First Law Of Optical Media

Yes, it says something about station wagons.

I think that one relates to data transfer rate rather than capacity?

And sadly in some rural (and even a few urban) areas it still applies, although the station wagon may need replacing by a 4x4.

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Thumb Up

You're looking at writing a 20nm line with a 800nm laser

This uses both a very clever computer generated hologram (optical phase plate) to give the doughnut beam and also some very clever chemistry to deliver 2 separate photo activated reactions.

Note that's lambda/42 and that's without a)UHV system and b)a $10m+ synchrotron.

The downsides are you can't write 2 lines very close together and its direct write (serial) processing.

OTOH what if you write a 300mm wafer with a 100 simultaneous beams?

The holy grail of optical storage? I think not. But damm clever and with lots of potential. Worth a thumbs up.

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Anonymous Coward

9mn, 9nm

nothing like a good old 9mm

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Terminator

Re: 9mn, 9nm

Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range?

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in with the obligatory Simpsons quote

Donuts---is there anything they can't do?

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Joke

Re: Donuts---is there anything they can't do?

Yep. Be doughnuts :-)

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Childcatcher

Don't Take Just Part

The first beam (red, in the figure right) has a round shape, and is used to activate the recording.

If you are going to cut 'n' paste quotes, please make sure to also grab the referenced pic.

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Anonymous Coward

Size of ... an electron!

To understand why that's worth considering remember that Intel proudly talks up its 22nm manufacturing process and innovations to extend its life, but has to contend with the fact that electrons won't get smaller any time soon which makes it hard to build chips on smaller scales.

The concept of 'size' is pretty patchy when talking about quantum mechanical objects like electrons, but nanometres are probably somewhere between six and eleven orders of magnitude bigger than anything you could call the 'size of an electron', so it's not really relevant as a limiting factor on current photolithographic fabrication techniques.

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Anonymous Coward

Heh

I "invented" a primitive version of this a while back, at the time it was intended to get around a limit on etching of materials for 3D printer uses.

My version used local heating combined with a BRD laser to spot heat materials in order to ablate the surface with a cheaper laser, avoiding the need to buy multiple $100+ 600mW diodes and expensive optics.

AC

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