Technology, Economics - mostly around East Asia

Chinese Academy of Sciences Unveils A New Optical Storage Solution

Published on March 20, 2024

In a groundbreaking development, researchers in China have created a new optical disk format that can hold up to an astonishing 125TB of data. This innovation, known as the 'Super Disk', is set to revolutionize data storage, particularly for data centers managing large volumes of information.


The 'Super Disk' is outwardly similar to previous Optical Data Storage (ODS) formats like Blu-ray disks. However, its storage capacity is exponentially larger, equivalent to 100 commercial hard drives. This leap in storage capacity is achieved through a multi-layered, three-dimensional architecture that allows data storage across hundreds of layers.


The key to this breakthrough lies in overcoming the optical diffraction limit, which has traditionally capped commercial disk capacities at around 500GB. The Chinese team applied the concept of super-resolution in laser writing technology, a concept pioneered by Nobel Laureate Stefan W. Hell in the 1990s. This dual-beam control technique allows data to be densely packed into nanoscale points, enabling storage in points that are merely 54nm in size and spaced only 70nm apart.

The 'Super Disk' is set to be a game-changer for data centers. Traditional optical data storage is cost-efficient and durable, but has been limited to single-layer data storage, significantly capping its capacity. The 'Super Disk', with its petabyte-level capacity, offers a solution to the increasing demand for efficient storage solutions, with global data volume projected to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025.

While the 'Super Disk' represents a significant advancement in data storage technology, it's important to note that the technology is still in its developmental stages and won't be commercially available for some time. Nevertheless, the 'Super Disk' holds great promise for the future of data storage, potentially reviving optical media as a cost-effective alternative for long-term storage.

In conclusion, the 'Super Disk' is a testament to the relentless pursuit of innovation and the limitless potential of technology. As we continue to generate and store vast amounts of data, advancements like the 'Super Disk' will play a crucial role in shaping the future of data storage.