According to a new article in Nature magazine, as reported by the ever-reliable Dark Horizons,  Chinese boffins have created a DVD-like disk, but with hundreds of layers. This extends the disc capacity to the petabit level.

Researchers at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology announced their results a few days ago. By making use of a 54-nanometer laser, they managed to record hundreds of layers of data onto an optical disk, with each tier of the three-dimensional stack separated by just one micrometer.

It means an optical data storage medium the same size as a DVD, but with the capacity of 1.6 petabits. According tot he report, this is 200 terabytes (Tb) or 200,000 gigabytes (Gb).


For context, a DVD is 4.7 Gb on a single layer. BluRay ups this to 25Gb for a single layer, but 50Gb for dual layer. 4K UHD is 100Gb in a multi-layer format. As an example, the Dark Horizons report states that Blade Runner 2049 on UHD has a file size of around 70Gb.

This would mean a single disc could hold thousands of 4K feature-length movies. Applications for this technology could be far-reaching for defense purposes, where data storage vs. space, weight and available power is often a compromise. Also in the field or archiving and research.


Be afraid…


It also means Wang, selling DVD’s out of his bag in the car park of the local bar, will need to carry less stock.

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