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Samsung Snares 1.6 TB Monster

The monster  “Five-dimensional” discs with a capacity up to 1.6 terabyte was developed by a team from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne and can significantly increase the size of a current disc without having to increase the size.

Already Korean manufacturer Samsung has cut a deal with the team to commercialise their invention which works by harnessing nanoparticles and a “polarization” dimension to existing technology. It is believed that the disc can be manufactured for a cost only fractionally above the cost of a current 500GB disc.

The researchers claim that the technique has allowed them to store 1.6 terabytes of data on a disc with the potential to one day store up to 10 terabytes. One terabyte would be enough to hold 300 feature length films or 250,000 songs.

In a statement issued by the team Min Gu, who worked on the research, said “We were able to show how nanostructure material can be incorporated onto a disc in order to increase data capacity, without increasing the physical size of the disc. These extra dimensions are the key to creating ultra-high capacity discs.”

Reuters wrote, discs currently have three spatial dimensions but using nanoparticles the researchers said they were able to introduce a spectral — or colour — dimension as well as a polarisation dimension.

The researchers, who published their findings in the journal Nature, created the colour dimension by inserting gold nanorods — which form so-called surface plasmons when hit by light — onto a disc’s surface.

Because nanoparticles react to light according to their shape, this allowed the researchers to record information in a range of different colour wavelengths on the same place on the disc.

Current DVDs are recorded in a single colour wavelength using a laser, the researchers said.

“So for example, we were able to record at zero degree polarization. Then on top of that we were able to record another layer of information at 90 degrees polarization, without them interfering with each other.”

Some issues, such as the speed at which the discs can be written on, need further work but the scientists said their research could have immediate applications in a range of fields.

For instance, they could help store extremely large medical files such as MRIs as well as financial, military and security areas by offering higher data densities needed for encryption, they added.