Wednesday, March 28, 2007

3D Terabyte data storage technology

Mempile has developed a removable optical storage technology allowing for the storage of 1 Terabyte (1,000 Gigabytes) of information on a single inexpensive disc. The device builds on the existing know-how attained through the development of CDs and DVDs, extending it so as to write layers upon layers of stacked information. This quantum leap in storage capacity (viz., equivalent to 200 DVDs on a single disc) will allow it to offer a unique and exceptional solution for the personal video recording, high-resolution TV, and archiving markets. The product itself will look and behave very much like the familiar removable optical devices; the disc itself is 12cm in diameter and made out of an inexpensive translucent polymer.

A Mempile disc contains light sensitive molecules (chromophores) capable of switching between two distinct states upon the application of light. Due to the nonlinear nature of the light-matter interaction, when focusing the applied light inside the material using a lens, only those molecules present near the focal point will interact and switch state. This provides for true three-dimensional accessing of small volumes within the material, allowing the writing of data bits selectively within the bulk of the material. Reading is performed in a similar way, where light that does not result in writing excites the chromophores making them emit light. The amount of light emitted is highly sensitive to there being "written" or "unwritten" molecules near the focal point, allowing this process to be used as a reading mechanism.

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