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TDK develops a 16-layer, 1 Terabyte capacity optical disc

TDK developed an optical disc with a capacity of 1 Terabyte. Demonstrated at the CEATEC trade show in Japan, the unnamed format holds 1024GB, roughly the same as 218 DVD-R discs - opening up new possibilities for high-definition content.

The company achieved this large capacity by including 16 recording layers, each of which has a capacity of 32 GB on each side of the disc. The number of layers of an existing Blu-ray disc is two.
The 16-layer disc is made possible by using material with a high light transmittance. Whereas the light transmittance of one layer is 95.1%, that of 16 layers is 72.6%.

According to coverage of the announcement over on Nikkei’s Tech-On, the technology uses the same laser system as existing Blu-ray players. Observers note therefore that it should be relatively straightforward for manufacturers to upgrade their devices to support the new high-capacity discs.

The only problem that has to be solved is the thickness of the disc, says the company. According to the specifications of the Blu-ray Disc, the thickness of a recording layer has to be 100μm or less, but the recording layer of the new disc is 260μm in thickness. It causes optical lens aberration when reading inner layers.

TDK believes the technology can be scaled down, and hopes it will see commercialisation as a cheap backup system, high-capacity storage for home DVR systems, and even for transportation of footage in broadcasting.

Story filed 20.10.10

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