Australia's Swinburne University of Technology today revealed that it has developed an optical disc technology that could hold at least 1.6TB, or 32 times the storage of a 50GB Blu-ray disc. By adding nanoparticles to discs, researcher Min Gu and others at the school successfully recorded data to discs using not only multiple wavelengths of light but to the polarization, or angle, of the light itself. The approach would effectively let a given segment of a disc hold data in five "dimensions" and in many cases layer multiple polarizations on top of each other, all without increasing the disc size.
Current Blu-ray and DVDs only record along basic spatial dimensions of length and width, and only on a single wavelength of blue or red light.
Swinburne warns that it has to further develop the recording speed of the discs but, unlike with most such research, already has a deal to potentially commercialize the technology. Samsung has already struck a deal and may eventually release discs and drives of its own, though neither it nor Swinburne has provided a rough timetable. The university does say that refinements could eventually scale the discs up to 10TB each.