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.