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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: 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.

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