Five-Dimensional DVD Could Store 1.6 Terabytes

Data is held in multiple layers, wavelengths, and polarizations

3 min read

20 May 2009—To cram more data on DVDs than the high-density Blu-ray format allows, manufacturers will have to go three-dimensional and stack data in multiple layers. Researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology, in Hawthorn, Australia, have now found a way to add two more dimensions to optical-disc recording: wavelength and polarization. The technique could pack 1.6 terabytes of data on a standard-size DVD, the researchers say—the equivalent of 30 Blu-ray discs. What’s more, it could be compatible with today’s disk-drive technology.

DVDs and Blu-ray discs store data as tiny bumps stamped or burned into the aluminum veneer on a plastic disc. The bumps and flat spots on the aluminum reflect laser light differently, to represent the 1s and 0s of digital data.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
Vertical
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar
DarkBlue1

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

Keep Reading ↓Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":["31996907"]}