When the mp3 file format came along, it negated the need to store hundreds of “backup” discs in the glove box of the car. It meant that we could happily record numerous discs onto one mp3 disc and just carry that single CD in the conveniently helpful CD player. Researchers have long struggled to perform a similar miracle with DVDs because of the limitations of diffraction.
While lab tests have discovered methods of counteracting this problem, scientists had yet to discover a means to transform these discoveries into robust and practical everyday solutions. Now, thanks to Hard University scientists, that could be about to change and we could soon be enjoying the same benefits we’ve enjoyed thanks to the compressed mp3 file format.
The new technology could mean a DVD capable of storing up to 3.6TB of data, whereas current DVD discs are only capable of managing 4.7GB – that’s an increase in storage of about 750 times the amount of data.
Another potential use for the science, as reported on the Technology Review website, is in the creation of silicon chips. Because the process involved in etching the chips suffers the same diffraction limitation, with alternatives costing an infeasible amount of money, this breakthrough could lead to smaller chips holding more data and costing considerably less.