Las Vegas (NV) – Sure CDs, DVDs and HD-DVD discs can hold a lot of data, but an Israeli start-up claims their discs can hold much more information. The company says it has developed a “TeraDisc” made of transparent yellow plastic that can hold one terabyte of data and more. Holding a mockup of the disc, Mempile founder and CTO Ortal Alpert gave us some juicy details.
Unlike typical DVDs which have only one or two layers, the TeraDisc has 200 layers. “Each layer can hold almost a DVD’s worth of data,” said Alpert. He added that the first commercial drives and discs will probably store data in the .7 to 1 TB range per disc.
Since there are hundreds of layers in the disc, Mempile is using a height-adjusting red laser to read and write the data. A tracking laser helps the main laser find the exact data layers to read and write. The dyes in regular DVDs generally turn opaque when written to, but Alpert told us the TeraDisc layers stay transparent. “The toughest part about this technology was finding the right plastic. The lasers were no problem,” Alpert said.
But having enormous storage capacity is just one part of the equation for many consumers, after all what good is 1 TB of data if you can’t read or write to it quickly enough. According to Alpert, the first drives will have speeds comparable to DVD drives and will eventually scale up, resulting in the 2X, 4X, 8X, etc speed drives.
Unfortunately, Mempile didn’t show us a working drive and the yellow discs around their table were just mockups. Alpert did assure us that the first drives should be available in about a year. No word yet on pricing.