Electronic Design

3D Optical Device Will Boost Digital Storage Capacity

The demand for digital storage capacity and faster data access is accelerating at a feverish rate. By the end of this year, some storage devices will be able to store one exabyte (1018 bytes). In 2002, they'll store over two exabytes. Meeting this capacity through traditional magnetic and optical recording media seems questionable. But a new 3D optical storage technology from C3D Inc., based in Silicon Valley, now offers a viable solution.

C3D's Multi-layer Fluorescent Disk and Card Technology combines three developments: multipurpose fluorescent media that can be implemented in a device containing over 40 layers, multifocal optical equipment capable of reading fluorescent RF signals simultaneously from multiple layers, and drives that operate with very low-power semiconductor lasers. This breakthrough works by leveraging physical properties, such as the superior signal contrast and signal-to-noise ratio of fluorescent incoherent light over that of coherent light, to create multilayer devices.

The technology stores data on multiple layers within a given media. Fast data access is possible since information can be read simultaneously from the device layers. Also, the cost per gigabyte is low.

This advance has been successfully prototyped and demonstrated via a number of different media and associated drives. The company now plans to mainstream and commercialize the technology. For more information, check out the C3D Inc. web site at www.c-3d.net.

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