Mempile Promises 1 TB Optical Discs

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Israeli storage developer Mempile has announced it has successfully demonstrated its new optical storage technology dubbed TeradDisc, which may offer the capability to store as much as 1 TB of data on a single DVD-sized disc.

Mempile says it is using non-linear two-photon technology to read and record data in over 100 transparent "virtual" layers which take up the entire volume of a disc. The approach is radically different from conventional blue-laser technology like Blu-ray and HD DVD, in which partial reflection from multiple layers significantly reduces signal while increasing background noise and interference. Mempile’s technology, conversely, can handle over 100 layers wile providing true WORM capabilities and bit-by-bit recording and addressing.

Mempile recently demonstrated its technology to Japanese consumer electronics manufacturers, who were "amazed" to see that more than 100 data layers could be recorded and read. Mempile’s demonstration packed just under 300 GB into disc 0.6 mm thick; by increasing the thickness of the disc to that of a standard DVD (1.2 mm), Mempile says it will be able to read and write at least 500 GB of data, and expects that future optimizations will enable their technology to record up to 200 layers and pack up to 5 GB in each layer. That would offer optical storage capable of packing one terabyte on a single disc.

"From iPods to Tivo, the amount of digital content that consumers are recording and storing in their homes is increasing like never before," said Avi Huppert, CEO of Mempile, in a statement. "The resulting problem is that the information is stored as ‘islands’ on various devices as well as on home PCs, which often function as a central repository by backing up the content of the devices, with the inherent risk of the hard disk drive crashing. Meanwhile, TeraDisc technology will, for the first time, enable consumers to permanently store one Terabyte of data on a single, removable DVD-size disc at a fraction of the price of alternative solutions on the market."

Even if Mempile’s solution is essentially "bigger islands," the concept of 1 TB optical disc is intriguing. Mempile is working with French chemical developer Arkema and Japan’s Memory Tech on creating an high-density disc drive to be available at consumer prices, although the company is (of course) targeting consumer, government, and corporate sectors. No word on when Mempile technology might hit the streets…so for now, keep backing up early and often.