A new technology has emerged which makes Blu-ray’s 50GB capacity look tiny. Mempile in Israel says it’s able to fit an incredible 1TB of data onto one “TeraDisc” which is the same size as CDs and DVDs. That’s 20 times the capacity of a maxed-out dual-layer Blu-ray disc.

The incredible capacity achieved using this new technology is made possible by employing 200 5GB layers, each one only five microns apart. The discs are completely transparent to the red lasers which are used in the associated recorder.

Prototypes have already been made to store up to 800GB of data, and Mempile says it will crack the 1TB barrier before moving on to build 5TB blue laser disks.
Dr Beth Erez, Mempile’s Chief Marketing Officer says that the first 1TB disks have a lifespan of 50 years and could be on the shelves in two to three years.

“However, many other properties of the material have to be optimised to allow this to work properly. Especially the written points, and written layers have to remain transparent after writing, without which it would be very difficult for the reading process to see the 200th layer through 199 written, non-transparent layers.

“When a red laser is focused to a small spot inside the TeraDisc, we can choose if we probe the state of this material (reading , low power) or alter it (writing at higher power). This is very similar to the way a regular CDR works, except for the fact that this is now done in 3D,” she said.

I have been reading that this new format could end the war between Blue Ray and HD DVD but I personally doubt that, both these formats are developed by the world’s biggest technology firms and I doubt they are going to dump BR and HDDVD technology and start producing TeraDiscs. They would also need the backing from the movie studios.

The main areas I see this taking off are for archiving. I imagine it would not take many of these disks to backup companies’ important files. We have a 100gb archive of data as it is and we are a tiny company. Then there is personal archival, I am a chronic hoarder and I hate deleting things off my computer, especially any files I have paid for, I personally have 1.25TB of Hard Drives which i never thought I would fill up however after building a media server I have run out of space and need to delete things constantly, and have just invested in 2x500gb Hard Drives for my media server, I imagine they will fill up quickly. Therefore being able to back up all the crap that I want to keep but do not really use would be ideal.

On a 1TB disc, you could store:
• 212 DVD-quality movies
• 250,000 MP3 files
• 1,000,000 large Word documents

If you look at DVDs, they are around 10 years old (DVD specification, finalized for the DVD movie player and DVD-ROM computer applications in December 1995) and now are being replaced by Blue Ray / HDDVD. Therefore it is more likely that technologies similar to TeraDisc will be used in the next generation of media. At this time 1TB may not be so huge. Ultra High Definition Video is being developed by NHK of Japan which has a resolution of 7,680 × 4,320. This has 16 times the pixel resolution of 1080p HD and if that equals 16 times the storage then a movie filling a Blue Ray Disk of 50gb will be 800gb on the TeraDisc. Not that I can see much need for 7,680 × 4,320 on any TV ill ever own, but I probably felt the same about 1080p.