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New Optical Disk That Holds 140GB

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the looks-like-vapor-smells-like-vapor dept.

Technology 128

NoCashValue writes "There is an article on Wired News about a new optical disk that can hold up to 140GB of data on a disk the size of a CD ROM." Still pretty vaporouus, but they claim a demo is forthcoming at Comdex.

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Re:Wow! (1)

SetiAlphaOne (247934) | more than 13 years ago | (#631543)

Can you imagine 140 Gb of porn, that would take a life time of surfing to appreciate

I could clear my entire cd rack by pressing my collection to one of these?... well, let's be honest... maybe two of these :) :) :)

Re:what about recordables? (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 13 years ago | (#631544)

I bet the recordables will be like CD-Rs. The whole disk will be flouresced, and the laser will simply burn the floursecense away to record a binary 0.

Re:Smaller overall would be better... (3)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 13 years ago | (#631545)

Just because they could make the media smaller and still hold a relatively obscene amount of data does not mean they can necessarily make the reader correspondingly smaller...

Even if you have a really small CD I doubt you could make a reader the size of a Palm (at least for any reasonable sum of money).

Re:Smaller overall would be better... (1)

cwebster (100824) | more than 13 years ago | (#631546)

>Then you could do one of those mandrake full installs of 2gigs+ :)

if you think that is big, try a full install of SuSE. 6.4 was 5 CD's of programs and one of source, or a DVD with everything on it. A less than full install of mine, clocked in at well more than 2 gigs.

Imagine the demo! (2)

rkent (73434) | more than 13 years ago | (#631547)

Oh, man! Just think how easy it would be to fake a demo of this thing! Because, I mean, who's going to verify that it actually has 140G of *anything* on it? That's enough space to store many libraries' books, many galleries full of visual art, weeks and weeks worth of music, or several days of high-res video. The simplest thing that comes to mind is an uber-DVD with 20+ movies on it. But you couldn't watch more than a few clips of each at a convention; it could be easily faked with a custom made DVD.

(Please note, this isn't an accusation of fraud or conspiracy; I'm just curious what an adequately convincing demo would be like)

repetitive (1)

two_tone (74882) | more than 13 years ago | (#631548)

This is like the third time within a year this story has been posted. And it is not vaporware the technology has been around for years. tml

Been watching this technology for over 1 year now (1)

FKell (253556) | more than 13 years ago | (#631549)

I saw this technology a LONG time ago. The company has had working models since last April/May. They have been sort of sitting on it though because they did not want to just license the patent rights to other companies to actually manufature it. Instead, they have been spending the last year making deals to aquire manufacturing facilities and buying other companies so that they themselves can make this product (they want their cake and eat it too). In the past 2 months they seem to be making deals to license this technology with 2 or 3 of the major manufacturers, but will also be makeing them themselves. This tech is FAR from vaporware. It really does do what they say, and may become the new standard in the next few years. They have 2 different versions of it actually. One is a CD-ROM sized solution that has the 180 GBs on it, the other is a mini-disk sized solution that has more space then a standard DVD. It may well become the new digital movie format to use. The only problem that I can see is that it does not, or has not, seemed to be completely backwarde compatible without adding a seperate standard laser used by a normal CD-ROM and when doing so, it will only be as fast as a standard CD-ROM, not having the major bandwidth improvement that the layered CD medium that the high capacity disks will use (they have a greater read spead because it can read several layers at the same time, but this is not a necessary part of the technology as it would quickly max the system bandwidth to the device on todays standards). I actually made some good money on their stock last December thru January. I got in before a 3:1 split and they the stock jumped up 30 points after the split.

Not Cheap (3)

maddogsparky (202296) | more than 13 years ago | (#631550)

The website for Constellation 3D states [] that the cost will be not much more than a CD or DVD. Unfortunately, that is probably the manufacturing price:

The FMD/C technology is presently protected by over 70 Japanese, European, and US patents, approved and/or pending, dozens of priority establishing disclosures, and the exceptional know-how of an unprecedented group of physicists cooperating across the world.

To me, this means over 70 different royalties that consumers will have to pay when purchasing the media and readers. Suppose we'll have to pay higher pre-sale taxes on the readers for the government to distribute to copyright holders (since we can copy so much more copyrighted material)?

HDTV storage (1)

Adler (131568) | more than 13 years ago | (#631551)

if there was only a way you could you use this to store from your HDTV card while its recording, kind of like TiVO records as it comes in.

That clear disc... (2)

Gendou (234091) | more than 13 years ago | (#631552)

There's something about that clear disc beind held up on the products page that just makes me think, "gee, that looks a lot like a single CD-ROM disc outer covering". Their prototype modle at the bottom of the page also looked rather, uhm, complete for being a prototype. Well, as for the company I work for, our prototype devices look like hacks - not like they just came off the assembly like.

Seems kind of fishy, but I guess we'll see when the product comes out. :-)

Re:Data transfer technologies (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 13 years ago | (#631553)

Let's take it on good faith that this is not vaporware and will actually ship within the next 5 years--a fairly reasonable timeframe I think. That means that finally removable storage density has caught up with hard drives, and that it doesn't take 10-100 disks anymore to backup a modern HD.

Not for long. Hard disk capacity has been doubling every year for at least the last 5 years and it looks like that trend will continue. Here's what that looks like for the next 5 years:

2000: 80GB @ $300
2001: 160GB @ $300
2002: 320GB @ $300
2003: 640GB @ $300
2004: 1.3TB @ $300
2005: 2.5TB @ $300

These optical drives are going to need to come out pretty quick to ever match hard disk space and even then, they will probably be quickly left behind.

As for storage interconnect technologies, I wouldn't be surprised to see disks with native Infini-band interfaces by 2004. (Infini-band is the newest, just recently specified, mesh interconnect that is expected to replace PCI/PCI-X in the high-end).

Another old story? (3)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 13 years ago | (#631554)

This 140 GB disc wouldn't by any chance be the
same technology described in this story [] ?


Has Wired Gone Magnetic? (1)

DuBois (105200) | more than 13 years ago | (#631555)

Compact Disc (CD) and Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) use single and dual magnetic layers, respectively, to store data in pits and grooves, similar to the way grooves store music on vinyl records.
Hmmm... So Wired thinks that CD and DVD are magnetic media? I thinks they've got a few more thinks coming.

Re:Another old story? (1)

epodrevol (219315) | more than 13 years ago | (#631556)

Look at the first reply to the last story, it references ANOTHER old article.

...Slashdot now in triplicate??

Reporter is clueless (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 13 years ago | (#631557)

Compact Disc (CD) and Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) use single and dual magnetic layers, respectively, to store data in pits and grooves, similar to the way grooves store music on vinyl records.

CD & DVD magnetic? Grooves? The reporter is obviously clueless. No point in reading any further.

(BTW: This storage medium was announced two years ago.)

Re:Data transfer technologies (1)

Bjrn Stenberg (32494) | more than 13 years ago | (#631558)

Let's assume a very optimistic 10MB/s

So it would take me about four hours to fill that disk with data. [...] What I'm saying is that we're approaching storage densities where our current data transfer busses simply can't reasonably cope anymore.

Actually, our busses are fine. SCSI runs at 160 MB/s (14 min for 140GB), ATA is at 100 MB/s (23 min for 140GB). You're referring to the storage devices, which currently peak at somewhere around the 20 MB/s mark. Nevertheless, the busses will improve, too. Serial ATA [] promises 6 gigabits in the not-so-distant future and surely there will be competitors.

Re:Data transfer technologies (2)

uradu (10768) | more than 13 years ago | (#631559)

> These optical drives are going to need to come out pretty quick to ever match hard disk space
> and even then, they will probably be quickly left behind.

Well, you're probably right about that. History certainly would make you think so.

> I wouldn't be surprised to see disks with native Infini-band interfaces by 2004.

Never heard of that. Which means I must get off my behind and do some storage tech reading.

S'Not Vapor. HOWEVER. . . (2)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 13 years ago | (#631560)

I've been following the development of this product for some months now. And I must say, from my point of view, it appears to have all the earmarks of 'The Next Big Thing.'

That is, it's not a Cool Idea being worked on by some small and unknown company anxiously seeking investors. It's not some guy in a Japanese garage with a flying car design, or some once-great game consol company desperately trying to hype up their next box before their upstart competitors snatch the limelight with some asshole in a coyote suit.

This disk tech has some real money and a technology sound enough to convince other companies to retool in order to produce the materials needed to go full steam ahead.

My question is this:

I need WAY more than 650 mbs of recordable disk storage. In my line of work, I fill many, many CDR's with hi-res graphics. And I know many other people who are also feeling the pinch.

But I wonder if we're actually going to get a useful consumer level recordable version of this new product. We haven't got a decent recordable DVD system, and with all the concerns of the MPAA, I wonder if this tech won't be shafted too. I have honest files I need to back up and move quickly between often changing companies, and it's stupid having to blow ten or more CDR's to do it. We NEED a standardized, inexpensive large format read/write system for PC's, and if the movie industry puts a choke hold on it, then I'll be about ready to start pulling my hair out. Or start lobbing bricks.

-Fantastic Lad, the most pissed off lad of them all!

Gentlemen, we have the technology to rebuild this man, but if we can make more money by only doing a half-assed job while hitting him with an endless stream of service charges and repair fees, then that's exactly what we will do! It's the American Way!

Re:Cheese lover (1)

tewwetruggur (253319) | more than 13 years ago | (#631561)

Go and take your cheese and smell it somewhere else where people care. I really like the BeeGee's and could really truly use a big-ass drive of some sort to store all the MP3's I have of them!

Gouda head.

what about recordables? (1)

Espresso_Boy (225886) | more than 13 years ago | (#631565)

The article mentioned that the existence or nonexistence of florescent materials in the layers determins whether data is there or not... How easily would they be able to make devices for home users to record there own disks? I go through a 50 pack of cd-r's in about a month. If I could burn these disks then I could save alot of money.

Re:If that's vaporware, check this... (2)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 13 years ago | (#631566)

The new disk of Ph.D. Pavel is like a regular CD but slightly thicker. It is 10 mm wide and it 120 mm in diameter; but it becomes a
tridimensional optical memory, multi-layer, which means, more specifically, that one can record, at atomic level, on ... 10,000 layers and it has a recording capacity of 10,000 Gigabytes!
An eloquent comparison which any expert can understand: if at the Library of the Romanian Academy, one should record the 1.6 million books and all the other printings, one should
need about 80,000 regular CDs; if everything is recorded on Hyper CD - ROM, then only five CDs are enough! This disk invented by the Romanian Pavel would have a longer lifetime,
at least 5,000 years, the stocked memory can never be lost - one knows that a magnetic CD loses the information after 2-5 years!

Heh, now talk about your hyperbole...

Yes, I'd love it if this were true too, but I highly highly doubt it (and even if so, not for years).

Re:A little more info.. (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 13 years ago | (#631567)

But.. they're 5 inches across still. When are we going to get something smaller? Why not stick 30Gb on a 2 inch disc? That'd be a killer for portables.

As soon as it's financially feasible for companies to make them. Let's face it, right now there are way too many choices for hand-held geek toys for any one format of a 2" disc to be financially feasible. Now, odds are that some of these geek toys won't be around in six months, while some more will have been added. But once the market for the geek-toy-of-the-week calms down and standards can actually be predicted, we should have a 2" disc for data storage. There's no reason other then money and standards not to do it.


Re:Hmm. (1)

wsdorsey (179663) | more than 13 years ago | (#631568)

Or This [] ?

It's called FMD-ROM and is is slated to be ready for production before the end of this year. The 12mm (CD-ROM/DVD-ROM) disc version of this memory will store up to 140GB!


THe Horse's Mouth (5)

c_monster (124327) | more than 13 years ago | (#631569)

The site for Constellation 3D, the company producing the FMD drives, is [] .

Re:What kind of drive? (1)

JurriAlt137n (236883) | more than 13 years ago | (#631570)

It begs the question, how big are towers going to get for End Users?

Although I'm anything but an end-user, the computer of the future as I have it in mind is an easily upgradable Motherboard-like-thingy which is conveniently hidden somewhere with a nicely stylished USB2/FireWire Hub somewhere in which you can plug your just as nicely stylished drives. Although I'm a hardly a fan of the I-Mac, but IMHO it did revolutionize computer design. Now how long until Joe Schmoe can buy a desk with an integrated computer in it and the Firewire hub somewhere on the back?

Webpage (2)

swoogan (198744) | more than 13 years ago | (#631571)

Their page is []


And their marketing pitch will be... (1)

baitisj (64922) | more than 13 years ago | (#631572)

"Scratch once, lose eighty times the data!"

Re:Vaporware Alert! (1)

swoogan (198744) | more than 13 years ago | (#631573)

You might be interested in reading this article [] (notice it was posted amost exactly a year ago) on the Register.
So, the ignore for six months part is over. This should actually be ready now.


demos (1)

doormat (63648) | more than 13 years ago | (#631574)

It isnt vaporware anymore, comdex is next week, and they also have a demo scheduled this month in conjunction with Miramax Films for the premiere of the movie Bounce delivered via satellite. From what I have heard with interviews with the company, the ROM drives should be out by the summer next year and the WORM(write-once-read-many, basically like a CDR) should be out 6 months later. If this technology is viable then it would be a great way to make backups of data (an entire system backup on 1 FMD disk, or maybe every simpsons episode ever made).

Note: I have invested money in Constellation 3D, I am biased, so dont take my word as gospel.

Vaporware? (1)

Kendroid (85323) | more than 13 years ago | (#631575)

Vaporware? on Slashdot?! Never...

Data transfer technologies (3)

uradu (10768) | more than 13 years ago | (#631576)

Let's take it on good faith that this is not vaporware and will actually ship within the next 5 years--a fairly reasonable timeframe I think. That means that finally removable storage density has caught up with hard drives, and that it doesn't take 10-100 disks anymore to backup a modern HD.

This brings us to another important topic, data transfer rates. Most decent removable drives connect to IDE, SCSI, USB and parallel port. Forget the last two, they offer only convenience but no performance. Even with IDE and SCSI all current removable drives peak at way below their top rates. Let's assume a very optimistic 10MB/s (which is closer to HD transfer rates than removable drives) and do the math for a 140GB disk:

140GB * 1024MB/GB = 143,360MB
143,360MB / 10MB/s = 14,336s
14,336s / 3600s/h = ~3.98h

So it would take me about four hours to fill that disk with data. In a couple of years my main HD will be about that size, and it will take me 4h to do a full backup. For backups that might be somewhat tolerable, but these disks will be hawked as super floppies. Pop it in, drag that HDTV movie onto it, wait a couple of hours, remove it and run to your friend's house to play it. What's wrong with that scenario?

What I'm saying is that we're approaching storage densities where our current data transfer busses simply can't reasonably cope anymore. We really need gigabit level transfer rates, and media that can cope with that kind of read/write speed. I simply can't see sequential technology like HD and CD-ROM keeping up. We need either new materials that can write MUCH faster or new parallel access technologies that read/write multiple tracks at once. And the transfer technology that goes with that--maybe gigabit ethernet, 1.6Gb 1394 or who knows what.

deja vu (1)

tombou (233875) | more than 13 years ago | (#631577)

didnt slashdot speak of these disks a while back? Interesting, but we still havnt seen them on the shelves yet.

Non-laser long term storage... (2)

NecrosisLabs (125672) | more than 13 years ago | (#631578)

I am keeping an eye on Norsam's [] storage. Uses an electron beam instead of a laser, and an electron microscope to read the pits. 200GB per 5 inch disk; 10 of these stack in a cube, and then a wall mount of 30 cubes. 60 terabytes. mmmmm. Obviously these would not be form home use. These are still in vapor, but Norsam has some cool stuff they are doing now. They use licensed LANL tech to do nanotyping and create permanent analog storage discs that are read with an electron scope.

Re:Commercial availability is another thing (1)

Bruce Hollebone (22155) | more than 13 years ago | (#631579)

Note that STUPID Canadian tax on media!

Enlighten me, please: What tax?
Blank CD Cursor 80 Minute 12X CDRs - 50 pack spindle (NA), $44.75(CAD)

Do you mean the $1/CDR tax they never got around to passing?

Kind Regards,

Re:Make it scratch proof damnit..... (1)

baxissimo (135512) | more than 13 years ago | (#631580)

Remember 5.25" disks? Remember how we used to accidentally get dust and thumbprints on the exposed magnetic media and lose our data? Remember how happy we were when 3.5" disks came out and we no longer had that problem?

Re:Vaporware Alert! (1)

aanantha (186040) | more than 13 years ago | (#631581)

So one year is always enough to go from announcement to release? How long was DVD worked on before it was released? Years. It's not enough that the technology works. It has to actually get accepted. The 140GB format requires a bluer, more expensive laser. They came out with a 25GB format months after that which would work with normal DVD lasers. But you still need to convince people to burn and sell FMD discs. The drive is useless unless there is FMD media people can use. It's not going to be a writable media in the beginning. And they also don't plan on making the drives themselves, they want to license the technology to the big CD/DVD drive makers. That requires a lot of convincing. The DVD consortium members (especially Sony and Toshiba) get royalties off DVD. Those companies won't like the idea of losing that revenue stream. FMD could be a competitor to HD-DVD, and they may not like that.

Oh, good! (2)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 13 years ago | (#631582)

Nice big optical storage. Now we can rest assured that the install image for Windows "Whistler" will still fit on one disc. :)

Re:A little more info.. (2)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 13 years ago | (#631583)

DVD killer? No... in order to get studios to agree to support a format, they want there fingers in it, a la DVD, given CSS, Macrovision and region coding, yet this time they will tighten their hold even further if they can.

As for the 5" (actually spec'd as 12cm, 5" is close enough), the DVD consortium deliberately chose CD size so that they can use and convert existing machinery and infrastructure. They at one time hoped to use CD jewel cases I think, but gladly the keepcases prevailed.

I still consider this vapor. The company's sample FMD in their web site's picture appear to be the protective clear blanks that you get at the end of CD-R spindles. I don't know if flourecents can have a quick enough response time to be usable as a compact storage medium, or be manipulated at a such compact level. They are welcome to disprove me, but in 5 years they will be competing with other technologies as well, assuming this is real.

Popular science (1)

Keighvin (166133) | more than 13 years ago | (#631584)

had an article on these a while ago. One of the coolest things about them was that since the lazer's got to read through several layers, the whole thing is clear.

Re:Make it scratch proof damnit..... (1)

esonik (222874) | more than 13 years ago | (#631585)

Fingerprints, etc. don't disturb that much on CDs and this FMD because they are not in the plane of focus of the optics (The plane of focus is inside the media where the pits are, not on the surface).

This is similar to the situation when you wear glasses (if you do): you normally don't see the dirt because you can't focus on it (it's too close), it only makes your view a little blurry. Once you take your glasses off, you can see the dirt clearly, because you can focus on it.

What kind of drive? (1)

JurriAlt137n (236883) | more than 13 years ago | (#631589)

What kind of a drive are we going to need to read these things? And more importantly, will we able to buy said drive next Christmas incorporated into a PS3?

Sorry, couldn't resist...


tewwetruggur (253319) | more than 13 years ago | (#631590)

Too bad it can only store GB's, bacause I'm a big fan of the BeeGee's, and I'd love to be able to listen to all the MP3's I have of their music! Maybe if I hook it up backwards it'll work for my evil purposes!?!?

Maybe (2)

ZanshinWedge (193324) | more than 13 years ago | (#631592)

It's been in the "real soon now" stage for a while. I'd like to see some progress (not everything, but something demonstrating they're closer). Perhaps if they really do have something at Comdex that'll be cool, I'll certainly stop by to see it.

Vaporware Alert! (4)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#631593)

Okay people, here's the standard procedure for dealing with a story about vaporware:

Be impressed with the technological feat.

Ignore it for the next six months (or in Daikatana's case, three years)

When the subject gets out of the vaporware stage, become amazed again; even more so than before since it actually exists.

Wow (1)

Mr. Buckaroo (75837) | more than 13 years ago | (#631595)

It's impressive how portable information is getting.

As a cd sized thing:
I used to be able to carry a lot of text
Then I could carry a long book
Then I could carry an album
With Mp3's I can carry all of a groups works
With Dvd's I could carry a whole movie or a mess of books
With this thing I could carry around 18 movies or around 97 thousand books.

Technology rules sometimes.

I volunteer to demo this, thx : )

Just before anyone else posts it... (1)

darylp (41915) | more than 13 years ago | (#631597)

Imagine how much [____] I can store on this!

Where you can fill in the gap with any or all of the following exciting words:

Pr0n, mp3s, Divx rips, Warez, Source code, Grits.

Thank you.

Oh yeah, and it'll work REALLY well in a fucking beowulf cluster too!

So... (5)

Millennium (2451) | more than 13 years ago | (#631598)

What will it be called anyway? OAS-ROM (Obscene Amounts of Storage Read Only Memory)?

Or maybe MS-ROM, because this'll probably be the only thing big enough to hold a full installation of Windows 2010.

Uhm... (2)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 13 years ago | (#631600)

The FMD stuff has been around for a while.
It's been listed on /. before, too. Basically, its a clear CD where the pits flouresce when the laser hits them. I can't remember, but their webpage I think said 30 layers.

Re:Just before anyone else posts it... (1)

connah (125251) | more than 13 years ago | (#631601)

Grits? Well while we're at it, we could store pictures of Natalie Portman on there...maybe even WHILE she's pouring hot grits down her pants, let's say. Hey, we could even store an entire array of those on a beowulf cluster. ME TOO!


Re:Smaller overall would be better... (2)

sigma (53086) | more than 13 years ago | (#631602)

Sounds like you're talking about their ClearCard, which is a 50mm disc on a credit card. It holds 5 gigabytes of data.

Here's the link for the ClearCard:

http://www.constellation3 d.c om/products.html#clearcard []

Re:Smaller overall would be better... (1)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 13 years ago | (#631603)

Hmm.. maybe this explains why the product is still vaporware.

Because in the article they do mention making credit card sized discs and smart media type cards.

Even if the unit will be too large to fit into the palm, you could easily attach a "FMD-ROM drive" to the back of it and for the larger bulk of the drive you still get obscene amounts of storage.

Smaller overall would be better... (2)

afxgrin (208686) | more than 13 years ago | (#631604)

Unless this product seems viable in a general consumer market this company won't take off. Making just a smaller form of storage in my opinion would be more useful.

Using like mini FMD-ROMs for units such as Palm pilots and digital cameras would be amazing.
Yes the article mentions something similiar but it seems to only be hinting towards smaller discs.

This way you could have a full bootable linux system on this tiny disc that you insert into your Palm and boot off of. Then you could do one of those mandrake full installs of 2gigs+ :)

Re:You covered just about every possible troll... (1)

connah (125251) | more than 13 years ago | (#631605)

Bouillabaisse? Pardon my ignorance...please define Bouillabaisse.


Romanian Scientists and a 10-TeraByte Optical Disc (5)

Lostman (172654) | more than 13 years ago | (#631606)

An article HERE [] Infoworld [] details a 10-Terabyte Optical Disc. The inventor of the disc says that it may become commercially available in a year (it was stated in oct).

An important part of this disc is that it is very stable -- instability occurs only after 5,000 years.

Re:Vaporware Alert! (1)

OmegaDan (101255) | more than 13 years ago | (#631607)

This is true, we've heard abuot this product before as well. Flourscent dies thru an optical disc (I believe someone mentionted this) ...

however, two years ago when they announced it their stock went from .03 cents / share to like 15$ / share ... I suspect their investors are a little bit nervous at this point, 2 years later, with no product to mention.

Storage to end all storage... ? (1)

Brian TNB (225022) | more than 13 years ago | (#631608)

I remember hearing about these flourescent(sp) discs a few months ago (it was vapor then too). But the time has given me an opportunity to think about the nature of storage in the not-so-distant future. Everyone here must have at least a vauge familiarity with the C60 buckyball molecules. Supposedly, if the nanotechnology advances enough, the need of a hard disk or any other type of very-slow-compared-to-RAM will be gone and the computing world will have come full circle. All memory both for storage and So, what I am asking is that will these discs be really necessary by the time they 'mature'? By the time FMD burners become inexpensive enough for the average Joe, will they be ready to go on the shelf? DVD's were around for a few years before they got to the level where they are now, and they still have a long way to go. Even years before they were introduced into the market, they were vapor just like these FMD's are now. I recognize that there will most likely still be a market for (relatively) permanent storage of data without a power source. What I am wondering is if nature might have already shown us something really different. CDs, DVDs, and now FMDs may store using different techniques, but they all use the same idea of using a laser and microscopic pits to store data, and it's fundamentally two-dimensional. Even with 10 or so layers, it's still 2D, just like hard disks and RAM. With C60, it has the potential to be 3D. I just picture being able to do so much more with memorty that way, it might just be that I'm nuts.

Re:Smaller overall would be better... (1)

GMontag451 (230904) | more than 13 years ago | (#631609)

I don't know, have you seen some of the MiniDisc players? Some are only 1/4" x 1/4" x 1/8" bigger than the MD itself. Granted MDs are an entirely different technology, but still.

This is meaningless (1)

Eeeeegon (71595) | more than 13 years ago | (#631610)

So what if it can hold 140 GB?

What are the access times? What about data integrity? What about reliability? How much do the disks cost?

If you get really creative, you can store 140 GB on a CD-rom; the data just has to be ... very compressible (like 99.999% compression; my math is probably a little off). Until I see these things in catalogs or on the store shelves, i give a big 'whoop de doo' in their general direction.


Ultra 160 SCSI (2)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 13 years ago | (#631611)

might be old hat in 5 yrs. Details here [] .

Free, at least? (2) (142825) | more than 13 years ago | (#631612)

At least the company is offering people a chance to look at it, if they work for free for the company.

Or asking for deposits to get on a waiting list to be able to buy it.

Remember the company that was mentioned here twice with the Turbo prop, retinal scanning flying pack?

Fancy (1)

spankfish (167192) | more than 13 years ago | (#631613)

You know, the best application I can think of for one of these suckers is backup.

I just wish somebody would invent similar capacity RAM: fast, cheap, huge, and persistent. Then we wouldn't NEED hard disks.

OS/400, despite having a butt-ugly user interface, is an interesting system in the way that it handles, for example, user spaces, but in particular, memory. It treats memory and disk as just a big bunch of memory (AFAIK).

Man, I want that big, persistent bunch of ram. 100 gigs ought to do. Hard disks suck.


Re:Just before anyone else posts it... (1)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 13 years ago | (#631614)

Well, I did the math, at 128Kbits/Second for MP3s, with about 1% overhead for directories, etc.. you could get 100 continous days of unique music on a single disk!

Imagine my 72 CD pack full of these, almost 20 continous years of MP3.

Another way to look at it, there are about 20 FM stations in Chicago, I could record all of them, continously for 5 days on a single disk.

Mike Warot, Hoosier

So long as there's no region codes and encryption! (1)

StrawberryFrog (67065) | more than 13 years ago | (#631615)

Please, when designing the the data format of these things, just make it a bucket 'o bits.

Don't require special region-unlocking/decryption hardware! Make it simple and flexible.

Re:And their marketing pitch will be... (1)

DanBari (199529) | more than 13 years ago | (#631616)

How'd you know???

Re:Another old story? (1)

DanBari (199529) | more than 13 years ago | (#631617)

Nope sorry Platinum, completely different stuff (at least I'm pretty sure that it is...)

Re:this is old... (1)

DanBari (199529) | more than 13 years ago | (#631618)

Moronic1, you are indeed correct that this is old as I've been wondering what's been going on with this company for over a year now. We found out about if a year and a half ago and thought that it was pretty phat. Yay Physics!

3rd time (1)

naoursla (99850) | more than 13 years ago | (#631619)

This is the third time slashdot has posted this story. The company used to be called C3D. A flourescent effect is used to illuminate individual layers in a multilayer CD. This effect allows a laser to read only that layer.

DVD roadmap indicates this capacity as well. (1)

Angelwrath (125723) | more than 13 years ago | (#631620)

The DVD roadmap has this level of storage potential - I think the spec called for 4 layers of data per side of a DVD disk, and double-sided disks, for somewhere in the 1XX Gigabyte storage capacity range. The rollout wasn't for another 3 or 4 years though.

Re:Storage to end all storage... ? (1)

esonik (222874) | more than 13 years ago | (#631621)

I don't see how the use of C60 should automatically lead to volumetric storage media or be essential to make it possible. Can you give some pointers ? The reason why current media are 2D is that they have to move (rotate) under the reading head. This is important because you want to be able to access the data fast, regardless where on the medium it stored (and the size of the medium is large compared to the size of RAM).

The obvious extension to surface storage is stacked surface storage, which is employed in DVDs and this FMD. Remember that for 3D storage you have to penetrate somehow into the medium to read out the data - to easiest way to do this is to use transparent media and light.


BluedemonX (198949) | more than 13 years ago | (#631622)

And I had only just finished up setting up an optical-laser-writing-to-clear-packing-tape jukebox you mentioned a month or two ago.

Now you're telling me the lastest cool thing is this???

I'm telling you, it costs a lot to be on the bleeding edge... sigh...

Redundant.... (2)

shaidarharan (173219) | more than 13 years ago | (#631623)

Why do I have the feeling that Iv'e seen this before...... 7&mode=nested

Re: 97 thousand books (1)

slackergod (37906) | more than 13 years ago | (#631624)

That gives me an idea...
with such a huge storage medium,
what are the chances of actually getting such a thing?
Imagine a full LIBRARY on a disc...
selling say all the works of a given feild
up to that time (like EE)...
with maybe a little librarian-bot to search it for you. (okay, I stole that from Snow Crash).

Still... the info-junkie within me is reduced
to violent jitters at the idea.

Anyone know a way this could be done legally?
I know that direct publishing of such a thing would violate copyright laws of all the
majors copyright houses... there any way around

Dreaming of "Earth's SF/F, Vol 1: 1900-2000"


Speed (2)

joshuaos (243047) | more than 13 years ago | (#631626)

I haven't looked rediculously hard, but I can't find any mention of how fast this thing is supposed to be. Anyone know?

What we really need is a storage medium that can access fast enough to where access time isn't really an issue, and then we can simply do away with ram, once we can have a solid state storage that accesses faster than RAM does today. That will be a very big technilogical step, IMHO.


Re:Just before anyone else posts it... (1)

jms (11418) | more than 13 years ago | (#631627)

Couple this with the HDTV video card talked about recently in slashdot.

That HDTV card can stream MPEG-2 video to disk at the rate of 7.7 GB/Hour

So one of these disks would hold over 18 hours of HDTV-grade video. VHS, goodbye!

Re:You covered just about every possible troll... (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#631632)

...except one: Bouillabaisse. There, now every possible troll is covered.

Commercial availability is another thing (1)

Conspire (102879) | more than 13 years ago | (#631634)

I love the vaporware like everyone else, but from the drawing board to affordable production to mass market use is another thing altogether.

CDR has finally got to the point that media is a commoditized item. That took a LONG time.

You know... (1)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 13 years ago | (#631637)

that's still only half my pr0^H^H^Hemail.

Whoa...vapor alert (1)

CU-Ballistic (248908) | more than 13 years ago | (#631638)

This is all well and good, and it would be mighty cool if it actually existed. Too bad it doesn't, and we'll have to wait and see if this ever gets off the ground.
I would like to see the prices of the drives/media for this technology. I'm sure they would be through the roof.
Anyway, when it is first released, what would be the purpose? I'd just as soon buy a couple of big SCSI HDD's and store all of my pr0n/warez/divx rips/source code on them, rather than give my left nut for something that won't be compatible with anything anyone else has.

Now what I really want. (1)

JurriAlt137n (236883) | more than 13 years ago | (#631640)

A car stereo using this technology to play a plain and simple audio CD which has 140GB of music and a maximum of say, something like 10000 tracks. With this kind of storage, who needs compression anyway?

A little more info.. (5)

onion2k (203094) | more than 13 years ago | (#631641)

Theres a reasonable Byte article on these things here [] . These things sounds like DVD killers, assuming they're practical. They hold more, they're just as speedy, and they could be made at a good price.

But.. they're 5 inches across still. When are we going to get something smaller? Why not stick 30Gb on a 2 inch disc? That'd be a killer for portables.

If that's vaporware, check this... (1)

pnongrata (225385) | more than 13 years ago | (#631642)

(...I hope it's not)

Re:What kind of drive? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 13 years ago | (#631643)

It probably won't be too long. Hrm... a wired desk with uber-Plug-and-Play.... hey, as long as they come in colours that are not fruity pastels, I got no problem.

Seriously though, I doubt that it's too far off. There has been a lot of focus, MS notwithstanding, towards integration and backwards compatibility. Software and hardware companies are realizing that there is little point to putting out a new product every six to nine months if it won't run the old stuff. (Okay, software companies already knew this. Hardware companies? Who can tell.)

What needs to be done, in combination with these advanced methods of storing data, is one disk with every single device driver ever written on it. (Yeah, like that will happen.) Computer design can only go so far when the End User cannot use the devices he has because the drivers aren't there. And in some cases, it is difficult, if not almost impossible to procur the drivers you need, especially if the drivers are needed to boot the system and they won't fit on a disk. ZIP drives and CDRs helped majorly with this, but is my idea that far-fetched? (I'll answer myself. Yes, it is.)

What I also wouldn't mind seeing is a software system that allows you to disk-swap these 140GB disks as a floating hard-drive. Maybe install one of those 12-CD changers you see in cars as an uber-drive. (Now checking Drives C-N)

And once you make them scratch-resistant...

Just my 2 shekels.


Re:Romanian Scientists and a 10-TeraByte Optical D (1)

flimflam (21332) | more than 13 years ago | (#631644)

In a related story, Bulgarian scientists working on developing practical time-travel have independantly confirmed this news.

Re:Hmm. (1)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 13 years ago | (#631645)

No, that's a different technology completely. Sorry I cant provide any more information.


Re:Make it scratch proof damnit..... (1)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 13 years ago | (#631646)

Remember caddies? Remember how we bitched? Remember how the cd-rom manufacturers removed them? My bet is that a cartridge would make a helluva cry again.


Re:Smaller overall would be better... (2)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 13 years ago | (#631647)

Well ya, I'm not saying there's no technologies for small size mass storage... just that given a technology with storage size A on a normal disc, it does not necessarily follow that you could adapt it to a tenth of the size with storage A/10 or so.

Its so nice to see... (1)

Crutcher (24607) | more than 13 years ago | (#631648)

That slashdot editors dont actually read slashdot.

My proof? This article, which told about the development of this cool-ass tech months ago. []

Vaporware? Can you pass the crack pipe? They've been working on this, and we've be reading about it, for some time.

This stuff is so cool, btw. Why use slow balistic calculations in games, when you've got enough space to store a lookup table! (Okay, that's rediculous, but this is still coolness)

-- Crutcher --
#include <disclaimer.h>

Re:Data transfer technologies (1)

nexthec (31732) | more than 13 years ago | (#631649)

not true, you can do a copy on two SCSI devices, and never touch the PCI bus.

Wow ...this story is old (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 13 years ago | (#631650)

Didn't we see this [] over a year ago?

Are they making progress? (1)

sukotto (122876) | more than 13 years ago | (#631651)

I feel really enthused about the disk and it's potential. But why are they only showing the prototype now? They've had one working for over year...

Anyone else remember this article from Oct 99? /99 /1 0/0 4/1124236.shtml []

I really hope they actually start production on these. wouldn't you love to get one into your TiVo?

Re:Another old story? (2)

MegaFur (79453) | more than 13 years ago | (#631652)

As one of the other replies mentions, it goes back farther.

I can't tell for sure if this story [] refers to the FMD-ROM, but this one [] (the older one) certainly does (we can tell because it mentions the company's name).

Re:A little more info.. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 13 years ago | (#631653)

DVD killers they may well be! Quick! Someone set a standard, create a digital movie format and open source it!!

Re:Vaporware Alert! (1)

swoogan (198744) | more than 13 years ago | (#631654)

First off, I didn't say that one year is always enough. Please show me a quote if I did. Secondly the original poster stated that we would have to wait 6 months. I simply stated that I've already waited a year. Thirdly the DVD took years to release because of the stupid encryption they HAD to have on it, but couldn't agree on how to implement it. Lastly, does it matter if it's accepted? The tech exists.

Minidiscs aren't accepted, but they do exist and therefore aren't vaporware.


Re:Data transfer technologies (2)

uradu (10768) | more than 13 years ago | (#631655)

> 140 Gig, in a couple of years? Only if you don't upgrade.

I don't follow the bleeding edge. Right now I'm still on an IBM 16GXP 16.8GB, and it's far from full. And the computer is a Celly 366 o/c'ed to 460 with 192MB RAM. I'm guessing my next drive will be in the 80-120GB category when it's time to upgrade.

Regarding backups, you're right, people don't do it much anymore. I certainly don't, mainly because it's such a hassle. Removable drives don't cut it, I don't have that kind of patience. Tape would work I suppose, but it's not important enough to me to spend $500 or so. I've been meaning to put a 486 machine with a 30GB drive on the network with some remote backup software to pull a copy of all important data from all machines at night, but that priority is pretty damn low.

Re:Vaporware Alert! (2)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 13 years ago | (#631662)

When the subject gets out of the vaporware stage, become amazed again; even more so than before since it actually exists.
Um, did you do it that way even with Daikatana? It seems most other people didn't; instead, they just pronounced it "crap" and carried on. Or, maybe you were amazed at how lousy something can turn out to be, despite how cool it was as vapour? ;^)

Hmm. (1)

abelsson (21706) | more than 13 years ago | (#631664)

Is that any different from []

A fully working prototype of a 150GByte read-only disk has been demonstrated by C3D Inc. The clever part is their "Fluorescent Multilayer Disk" technology. Rather than having only one or two layers (as per CD-ROMs, DVD) these new disks have 10 layers, which can be read simultaneously giving data transfer rates exceeding 1 gigabyte per second....


Re:Just before anyone else posts it... (1)

JurriAlt137n (236883) | more than 13 years ago | (#631666)

Aside from the fact that you're a troll, why the hell would you compess music with this kind of capacity? Make a plain .wav rip of all your audio CD's and there you go.

Make it scratch proof damnit..... (1)

dsginter (104154) | more than 13 years ago | (#631667)

If this materializes, I would imagine that fingerprints, mouse poop, and/or scratches would render these useless. If someone who has any say in the matter is reading this, please create a sealed cartidge for the finished product so that my music doesn't end up in a useless format on the floor of my brother's car.

Re:What kind of drive? (2)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 13 years ago | (#631668)

No doubt it will have to be a specially configured drive for the OAS-ROM (using an acronym given in a post below). Hopefully, it will be possible for it to read DVDs and CDs as well, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Functionality is nice, but the hardware industry seems to enjoy making us buy as many different toys as possible.

It begs the question, how big are towers going to get for End Users? With this tech, you could have a tower with drive bays for 3.5" disks, ZIP disks, CDs, DVDs, and this new one. If this keeps up, the silly thing is going to either be taller then I am, or it will go double-wide.

Of course, that assumes that all of those methods of storing data stay around. If this new media is not vapourware and it takes off, I could really see current CD drives being dropped. And with a few more years, I don't think we'll be seeing 3.5" drives either.

Just my 2 shekels.


Store the Library of Congress on a PC Card. (2)

frank249 (100528) | more than 13 years ago | (#631670)

Sounds like the story the Register has being following. Last year researchers at Keele University discovered a "three-dimensional" memory system. This, they thought, would enable 2.3 TB of data to be crammed on to a PC card sized device (details here) [] and it would cost about $70. They recently revised that (story here) [] .

The latest figures are in the region of 10.8 TB for a device of that size - more than four times the original value.

According to Mike Downey, head of Cavendish Management Resource, which is handling the commercial issues associated with the technology, the research also applies to DVD style storage media, "That figure has also been revised upwards: to 245GB on a single sided device," he said.

It sounds like I should put off buying a new 20 gig HD.

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