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Toward next-generation optical disks

The researchers do state that the written features of the disk have prolonged stability due to  "selecting thermodynamically stable graphene oxide and embedding the nanocomposite into a protective matrix." They don't demonstrate how long the stability lasts and during which conditions. @StDragon mentioned humidity being a factor. We need more data to show the limitations (if any) of this stability as well as length of time.

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6 minutes ago, FakeKGB said:

I know that.

I like the idea of this, I'm just a bit confused why now.

I think people just work on improving stuff and things happen.  Sometimes it’s enough sometimes it isn’t.  Tape has managed to remain useful as a backup device because they keep on managing to expand its capacity.  Attempting to do this with hard drives though with shingling was less successful.   Perhaps it is enough to make optical relevant again.  I don’t know.   Not enough information.

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1 hour ago, AbydosOne said:

That is... a sentence... even my EE background is having trouble parsing all that at once...

Basically it's bunch of magic pixies that carve data into optical discs using really tiny pocket knives.

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I'm actually a fan of optical media as if it's stored properly, it's even more resilient than tape.

Read/Write is slower though and I think they top out at 100GB? For a BDXL archival disk. which is kinda small if im honest.

Cheaper than tape drives and tape though.

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If pricing is alright, this might become the alternative for tape backups for small businesses or home users with a lot of data.

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Part of the problem is that the laser is inducing stimulated emission in those nanoparticles.  This is different than CDs where the laser is reflected off the surface of the disk.  Stimulated emission is not 100% efficient, i.e. light energy into the nanoparticle != light energy out so there will be heat which can wear out the disk.  Also non reflected light is scattered, so much more complex lenses will be needed.  Otherwise the laser needed to read data probably this way will have to be very powerful.

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1 hour ago, StDragon said:

As I understand it, M-Disk format is the way to go for long-term archival followed by storing the media in a sealed container displaced with 100% nitrogen (inert gas)

M-Disks are neat, but slow to burn (as it's essentially etching the bits into stone). *Maybe the tech has changed since I last used M-Disks though*

 

1 hour ago, Radium_Angel said:

I suspect it will depend on how it was stored. I have a number of DVDs burned 20 years ago that are just fine. Hell, I've pulled data off 27 year old floppy drives, that were stored in a damp basement for years, without issue.

 

Media is more resilient than we give it credit for. 

The condition can play a role (direct light will rot disks a lot quicker)...it also depends on the type of disc burned.  Some of the brands later on used worse dyes and such to achieve cheaper costs, but it had the downside that they were more susceptible to CD rot.  (I have a few discs that were burned at roughly the same time, and stored away the exact same...just different brands and some brands just are garbage data now)

 

To the topic, given that this is just a research paper I don't really hold much hope for it.  They would have to mass produce it, and even before that they would need to raise funding (and convince people that discs are still a thing).  Not to mention, that things such as Blu-Rays work because they can be easily stamped from a master reducing the cost to cents to produce)

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Thinking about this, I wonder if all the platter based media is sort of doomed.  The thing that has kept tape relevant is it’s linear.  You can always just add more length.  Platters are effectively a coiled tape. They’re spirals. This makes their length limited and the only way to increase length is to make the track thinner so you can fit more of them on a platter. This is a lot harder than simply adding stuff on to the end. I’m remembering the progression of hard and floppy disks.  Hard disks got bigger and bigger for a while. There were massive platters in multiple stacks.  Then thickness went way way down and they got smaller.  Now they’re running out of space again.  SSDs are starting to kick their butt.  SSD is sort of linear.  Add more chips. My suspicion is nvme SSDs will eventually come in gigantic chunks the size of a standard height (which used to be half height) drives.  They’ve got a long way to travel though. 

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29 minutes ago, wanderingfool2 said:

  (I have a few discs that were burned at roughly the same time, and stored away the exact same...just different brands and some brands just are garbage data now)

Had the same here when I got rid of all my optical discs. Some brands held up just fine and others became useless after a few years... and sometimes it's the cheapo stuff that held and the more expensive brands that failed. So in the end while in theory they can have a long life, in practice you can't count on it since you can't really know in advance what the good stuff is.

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3 hours ago, SkyKnight2 said:

“Lamon et al. achieved an estimated storage capacity of 700 terabytes on a 12-centimeter optical disk, comparable to a storage capacity of 28,000 single-layer Blu-ray disks.”

So 700tb on a disk the size of a normal case fan. Let that sink in

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2 minutes ago, TVwazhere said:

So 700tb on a disk the size of a normal case fan. Let that sink in

 

Was waiting for someone to pick up on that. provided the media isn't overly fragile this would definitely find use in long term backup solutions at as minimum, provided ti can be produced on scale anyway.

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1 hour ago, TVwazhere said:

So 700tb on a disk the size of a normal case fan. Let that sink in

Until it actually leaves the lab (or even a prototype disc/reader/writer) it is just like the battery tech out there...tons of promise but no actual real world results.  The 700 tb, is the theoretical maximum that they could store with this method as well (so gen 1 or gen 2 would most definitly be a lot lower).  It reminds me a bit of the Holographic Versatile Disc that was attempting to be made into production back in 2007 (where they showed a 5TB prototype disc...that cost around $150 if produced, but the reader cost $10k).  It went belly up, but the tech was there...just not really feasible in production/commercial market

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5 hours ago, AbydosOne said:

That is... a sentence... even my EE background is having trouble parsing all that at once...

 

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17 minutes ago, wanderingfool2 said:

Until it actually leaves the lab (or even a prototype disc/reader/writer) it is just like the battery tech out there...tons of promise but no actual real world results.  The 700 tb, is the theoretical maximum that they could store with this method as well (so gen 1 or gen 2 would most definitly be a lot lower).  It reminds me a bit of the Holographic Versatile Disc that was attempting to be made into production back in 2007 (where they showed a 5TB prototype disc...that cost around $150 if produced, but the reader cost $10k).  It went belly up, but the tech was there...just not really feasible in production/commercial market

Even 1 tb would probably be enough if the disks are cheap.  7tb would make it a must have for people that do home level backups.  20 tb might kill tape if it’s archival.  That kind of density is going to require some ridiculously tiny structures though so I’m not too sure about archival. 

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4 hours ago, samcool55 said:

If pricing is alright, this might become the alternative for tape backups for small businesses or home users with a lot of data.

Never used tape for backup: external hdd for many years

 

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700TB for 8.99 at the supermarket? sign me up, also I love discs! (my fav storage medium is MOD [Magneto Optical Disc]) 

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29 minutes ago, Mark Kaine said:

700TB for 8.99 at the supermarket? sign me up, also I love discs! (my fav storage medium is MOD [Magneto Optical Disc]) 

I think the 700TB figure is just based on the number of nanoparticles that can fit on the area of the disk.  Realistically it will be much lower.

 

I am also a huge fan of the MO disk.  Hands down, no media is more robust or has a longer retention time than MDs.  

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5 minutes ago, xentropa said:

think the 700TB figure is just based on the number of nanoparticles that can fit on the area of the disk. 

well my '8.99' figure was also a very optimistic take obviously! 

 

6 minutes ago, xentropa said:

Realistically it will be much lower.

Just wait until they make the double layer versions 😉

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Am I bit nostalgic for optical discs whe I say i hope they don't die off? Not everyone has super fast internet yet and I still love putting CDs and DVDs in my Asus Blu-Ray drive to watch movies on my PC so I guess they should continue to exist in a big way going forward. Problem ofc is capacity. Halo Wars 2 a game for the PC which came with like 4 discs when I bought it which is kinda ridiculous to be honest.

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18 hours ago, FakeKGB said:

It sounds cool and all, but optical discs and drives died in 2013 or so...

I still use them, but I know it's a dead technology.

More importantly what's the R/W speed on this. It may be great for one time archival use and for sweet fuck all else.

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Hi all. Thank you for the great discussion. I am a Biologist and typically read the journal where I got this article for more relevant articles within my field. But I thought this optical disk development was too cool not to share. I posted a direct link to the full text article within the original post for more physics/engineering savvy users.

 

Here it is as well:

 

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/9/eabe2209.full

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1 hour ago, SkyKnight2 said:

Hi all. Thank you for the great discussion. I am a Biologist and typically read the journal where I got this article for more relevant articles within my field. But I thought this optical disk development was too cool not to share. I posted a direct link to the full text article within the original post for more physics/engineering savvy users.

 

Here it is as well:

 

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/9/eabe2209.full

Interesting article.  Reading the abstract it points to small sizes and low energy requirements and talks about poor life of previous advances but does NOT say how archival the system is.  Writing optical would be primarily a backup medium so archival qualities are important.

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I'd imagine if this succeeds the technology would work it's way at some point to future generation consoles as well, since discs are still popular due to the ability to basically sell or trade a game you already played for a different one. Though, outside of maybe consoles and definitely archival storage I don't see this catching on to be a widely used by an average consumer.

On 2/26/2021 at 3:09 PM, SkyKnight2 said:

“Lamon et al. achieved an estimated storage capacity of 700 terabytes on a 12-centimeter optical disk, comparable to a storage capacity of 28,000 single-layer Blu-ray disks.”

well put a few of these discs together in a enclosure, similar to a hard drive and you've got drives that can hold multiple petabytes.

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On 2/26/2021 at 9:21 AM, FakeKGB said:

ape, like cassette tapes?
Dead and gone

Except for large scare backups. The tapes are still a good backup

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