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posted by requerdanos on Thursday February 04 2021, @05:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the angular-wizardry dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

Purdue University innovators have created technology aimed at replacing Morse code with colored “digital characters” to modernize optical storage. They are confident the advancement will help with the explosion of remote data storage during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

[...] Rather than using the traditional dots and dashes as commonly used in these technologies, the Purdue innovators encode information in the angular position of tiny antennas, allowing them to store more data per unit area.

"The storage capacity greatly increases because it is only defined by the resolution of the sensor by which you can determine the angular positions of antennas," said Alexander Kildishev, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in Purdue's College of Engineering. "We map the antenna angles into colors, and the colors are decoded."

[...]This new development not only allows for more information to be stored but also increases the readout rate.

"You can put four sensors nearby, and each sensor would read its own polarization of light," Kildishev said. "This helps increase the speed of readout of information compared to the use of a single sensor with dots and dashes."

Future applications for this technology include security tagging and cryptography. To continue developing these capabilities, the team is looking to partner with interested parties in the industry.

Journal Reference:
Maowen Song, Di Wang, Zhaxylyk A. Kudyshev, et al. Enabling Optical Steganography, Data Storage, and Encryption with Plasmonic Colors, Laser & Photonics Reviews (DOI: 10.1002/lpor.202000343)

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04 2021, @03:55PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04 2021, @03:55PM (#1108940)

    I'm pretty skeptical that we'll ever see this in a commercial product. Enhancements to optical media are always announced and seemingly never released. I'm still waiting on the "Holographic Versatile Disc" that was announced 15 or so years ago that would hold terabytes, for example. There were many other new formats like that announced and never released. It's 2021 and you have to pay an arm and a leg to import 128GB bluray discs from Japan and that's the largest format you can get. It's hard to back stuff up to an optical storage when we're working with terabytes these days and even if you do the discs might not last very long.

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday February 04 2021, @04:22PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday February 04 2021, @04:22PM (#1108949) Journal

    I remember the 6 TB Holographic Versatile Disc, and other stories about 1 TB Blu-ray discs in the lab. It could have been great.

    Archival Disc of at least 300 GB is around, but not at a good price: []

    The problem is that there probably will not be another consumer-oriented optical disc format. There's a faint possibility of getting one with a capacity bump (300 GB?) for the purpose of storing 8K movies, but with discs on the decline it's seeming less likely:

    An 8K disc format is unlikely. Here's why []
    Mixed Signs for the Future of Movies, TV on Disc []

    Optical isn't necessarily dead. If some technology can put 10 TB on a disc, and several discs are put in an enclosure, suddenly you have a viable competitor to HDDs for bulk storage. But like the Archival Disc, it won't be aimed at consumers.

    There's definitely a need for a couple of new technologies to reach consumers. Something holographic, ideally rewritable, that could store at least hundreds of terabytes. And some kind of universal memory that can replace DRAM and NAND, or at least a decent NAND replacement that is as cheap, but faster and more durable. 3D NAND has set back the search for a replacement by 10-20 years.

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04 2021, @08:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04 2021, @08:04PM (#1109024)

      It's all a big maybe.

      Optical discs took off originally because people needed that much data and couldn't store or transmit it any other way. 600MB CDs vs a 56k modem that would have taken a full day to download the same amount of data, not to mention the hard disk space needed to store it. DVD and Blu-ray didn't quite keep pace with the increasing power and capacity of computers, but they still kept up with the data they were used to hold.

      The real difference is that suddenly there was a huge increase in Internet speeds. But nobody can promise that will keep happening forever. A blu-ray delivering 100mbit is in the same ballpark as most people's Internet download speeds. I recently got gigabit, but I don't expect faster Internet than that for a decade, if not longer.

      Optical will come back if there's a need for faster data than that... And the other technical risk to streaming is data caps. If Internet backbone speeds become the bottleneck, data caps are going to stay a thing. We might even see the return of software (at least, games) on physical discs if computer storage capacity continues to climb into the dozens of terabytes while monthly data limits stay in the 1TB range.

      There's also the chance that optical media is a thing for media again because it's standardized and you don't have to subscribe to ten different services to watch it. This has always been true for movies as well as TV shows old enough to be released on disc - old fashioned Netflix by mail gives you ten times the choice at a fraction of the price of streaming - but maybe it will become a thing for current "stream only" TV shows as well. In a lot of ways streaming is just the new theater.