Iomega Moves Forward With Plans for Developing a +800GB DVD (AO-DVD)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Nils Luehrmann, May 29, 2005.

  1. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Iomega was recently awarded two critical patents, one which they claim will help them to encode as much as and possibly more than 800GB of data on the surface of a DVD with data transfer speeds between 5 and 30 times faster than current DVDs and with similar costs.

    U.S. Patent No. 6,879,556 entitled "Method and Apparatus for Optical Data Storage" is the first in a series of nano-technology-based subwavelength optical data storage patents sought by Iomega. The patent covers a technique of encoding data on the surface of a DVD by using reflective nano-structures to encode data in a highly multi-level format. Iomega is calling this new optical disc technology AO-DVD (Articulated Optical - Digital Versatile Disc)

    Nanotech Briefs recently awarded this invention from Iomega with a 'Nano 50'. The Nano 50 awards are given to the "best of the best" in the industry - the innovative people and designs that will move nano-technology to key mainstream markets.

    Iomega went on to say that they are working to investigate the commercial feasibility of this format and other nano-structural data encoding formats. One possibility being investigated, termed NG-DVD (Nano-Grating DVD), uses nano-gratings to encode multi-level information via reflectivity, polarization, phase, and reflective orientation multiplexing.

    Fred Thomas, Chief Technologist, Research and Development at Iomega had this to say about AO-DVD and NG-DVD, "Subwavelength optical data storage can provide an array of mechanisms by which the state of a focused spot of light upon reflection can be precisely changed. This is the key to new commercially interesting multi-level optical data storage that this technology represents. The nano-replication technologies that are used to fabricate these structures at low-cost are just emerging from various labs. I believe the scope of Iomega patents issued and pending in this area, in conjunction with these exciting new nano-replication technologies, will make this a fertile area for optical data storage development and innovation for years to come. As high definition content becomes more pervasive, Iomega sees significant technology partnership and licensing opportunities for this intellectual property."

    Iomega announced that they have plans to commercialize the procedure and are concurrently evaluating and developing appropriate partners to leverage this intellectual property for producing commercial data storage devices.

    They also announced that they will reveal more details about the technology and their future plans for AO-DVD and NG-DVD at the INSIC (Information Storage Industry Consortium) Symposium 2005: Alternative Storage Technologies which is being held at the Portola Plaza Hotel on July 19th as part of INSIC's Annual Meeting in Monterey, California.
     
  2. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    How much video could fit on it?
     
  3. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    That would depend on how the video is encoded. Using current DVD video encoding methods, you could easily fit somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 hours of high-quality video.

    DJ
     
  4. Harold Wazzu

    Harold Wazzu Supporting Actor

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    Imagine having every episode of every season of friends on one dvd, damn [​IMG]
     
  5. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    That would be great for shelf space, but you'd better not lose or damage that one disc - it'll cost you hundreds of dollars to replace it!

    I doubt the studios would ever go to such a packaging model because of the cost vs. perceived value, and the fact that the overall sales would suffer. Paramount is still going to want their $100+ per season of Trek, and few people would be able to drop $700+ at one time.

    Still, the more storage space, the better.
     
  6. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Given the failure rates I'm seeing on my DVD collection, and Iomega's history with flakey quality formats (JAZ anyone?), I'm not holding my breath, especially as a long term storage solution.
     
  7. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    impressive numbers. could work well in a pc environment, too.

    CJ
     
  8. Craig F

    Craig F Second Unit

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    I agree with Jeff, Iomega is notorious for poor quality. When Zip drives stopped selling, they started making CD-R drives. They got the worst reviews. So, No thanks.
     
  9. John_Lee

    John_Lee Supporting Actor

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    That's why I store my DVD backups on 1.44 MB Floppies. [​IMG]
     
  10. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    For those interested click here for a complete text version of Patent No. 6,879,556 entitled Method and Apparatus for Optical Data Storage.

    It gets extremely detailed, but here is the basic description:


    TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

    This invention relates in general to data storage techniques and, more particularly, to techniques for optically storing and retrieving data.


    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

    Over the past twenty years, computer technology has evolved very rapidly. One aspect of this evolution has been a progressively growing demand for increased storage capacity in memory devices, especially where the information storage medium is some form of removable component. In this regard, just a little over a decade ago, the typical personal computer had a floppy disk drive which accepted floppy disk cartridges that contained a 5.25" disk with a storage capacity up to about 720 kilobytes (KB) per cartridge. Not long thereafter, these devices gave way to a new generation of floppy disk drives which accepted smaller floppy disk cartridges that contained a 3.5" disk with higher storage capacities, up to about 1.44 MB per cartridge.

    Subsequently, as the evolution continued, a further significant increase in storage capacity was realized in the industry by the introduction of the removable optical disk. One such optical disk is commonly known as a compact disk (CD). Even more recently, a further type of optical disk was introduced, and is commonly known as a Digital Versatile Disk (DVD).

    The compact disk has an information storage surface with a plurality of tracks that each have therealong a series of optical data pits of variable length. This variable pit length recording is termed run-length-limited (RLL) encoding. By using RLL, present optical data storage products (CD and DVD) are able to encode information onto an optical media with pit lengths shorter than the spot size of a laser stylus used for recording and reading data in these products. In order is used. This rule set for present optical products (CD and DVD) converts data bits into recorded channel bits with a 1:2 efficiency. That is, two optical media recorded channel bits are used to encode one data bit. This is thus part of the factors that define what size media area under present optical data storage standards can be considered to be a single bit optical data element. An optical data element hence is the area required for storage of one basic unit of information on the data storage media. For CD and DVD technologies, this basic unit is one bit ("1" or "0") of data. For example, with the requirements of RLL overhead factored in, the size of a CD optical data element storing one bit of user data has a size of about 1.6 microns by 0.56 microns.

    The DVD disk has either one or two layers of information storage surfaces, only one of which is read or written at any given point in time. Each information storage surface includes a plurality of tracks that, like a compact disk, each have therealong a series of optical data elements reduced in size and configuration from that of the optical data elements of a compact disk. In particular, for each optical data element, which represents a user single binary bit which is a binary "0" or "1", the user optical data element size is reduced to about 0.74 microns by 0.26 microns. The similarity between the formats from the optical data element size perspective is that the approximate ratio in the dimensions is 3:1. The larger of the two dimensions is the data track pitch in both the CD and DVD case.

    Although these pre-existing optical disks have been generally adequate for their intended purposes, there is still a progressively growing demand for increased storage capacity in optical storage media. In addition, there is also a need for an increase in the rate at which information can be read from optical media. Also, to the extent that some form of higher capacity optical media is provided, it is desirable that it have a cost per unit which is in approximately the same range as the cost of existing compact disks or DVD disks. Further, to the extent that some such higher capacity optical media is provided, it is desirable that a detection system capable of reading it be compatible with pre-existing compact disks and/or DVD disks, while having a cost which is not significantly greater than that of existing detection systems used for existing disks.


    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

    From the foregoing, it may be appreciated that a need has arisen for a method and apparatus for storing data on and reading from an optical media with substantially higher storage capacities than exist with currently available optical media. The present invention addresses this need. According to a first form of the invention, a method and apparatus involve: providing an information storage media having a plurality of reflective portions; and configuring each reflective portion to have a selected one of a plurality of predetermined orientations that are different, the number of predetermined orientations being greater than two, and each predetermined orientation representing respective different stored information.

    According to a different form of the invention, a method and apparatus involve: providing an information storage media having a plurality of reflective portions; configuring each reflective portion to impart to radiation reflected therefrom a selected one of a plurality of predetermined characteristics that are different, each predetermined characteristic representing different stored information; allocating the predetermined characteristics among a predetermined number of groups so that each predetermined characteristic belongs to only one of the groups, and so that each group contains more than two of the predetermined characteristics; organizing the reflective portions as a plurality of data elements which each include a plurality of the reflective portions equal in number to the number of groups; and configuring the reflective portions of each data element to have respective predetermined characteristics which each belong to a respective group.

    According to yet another form of the invention, a method and apparatus involve: providing an information storage media having a plurality of reflective portions; configuring each reflective portion to impart to radiation reflected therefrom a selected one of a plurality of predetermined characteristics that are different; organizing the reflective portions as a plurality of data elements which each include a predetermined number of the reflective portions; directing a beam of radiation onto one of the data elements so that each of the reflective portions of that data element produces a respective reflected beam; directing each of the reflected beams from the illuminated data element onto a detector having a plurality of sections equal in number to the number of reflective portions in each data element, in a manner so that each reflected beam is directed onto a respective section of the detector; and determining the predetermined characteristic of each reflective portion of the data element illuminated by the beam in response to outputs from the sections of the detector.
     

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