50 terrabyte DVD

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Electro Funk, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. Electro Funk macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    Sydney, Jul 8 (ANI): An Indian born scientist in the US is working on developing DVD's which can be coated with a light -sensitive protein and can store up to 50 terabytes (about 50,000 gigabytes) of data.

    Professor V Renugopalakrishnan of the Harvard Medical School in Boston has claimed to have developed a layer of protein made from tiny genetically altered microbe proteins which could store enough data to make computer hard disks almost obsolete.

    "What this will do eventually is eliminate the need for hard drive memory completely," ABC quoted Prof. Renugopalakrishnan, a BSc in Chemistry from Madras University and PhD in biophysics from Columbia/State University of New York, Buffalo, New York as saying.

    The light-activated protein is found in the membrane of a salt marsh microbe Halobacterium salinarum and is also known as bacteriorhodopsin (bR). It captures and stores sunlight to convert it to chemical energy. When light shines on bR, it is converted to a series of intermediate molecules each with a unique shape and colour before returning to its 'ground state'.

    Since the intermediates generally only last for hours or days, Prof Renugopalakrishnan and his colleagues modified the DNA that produces bR protein to produce an intermediate that lasts for more than several years. They also engineered the bR protein to make its intermediates more stable at the high temperatures generated by storing terabytes of data.

    This, they said, ultimately paved the way for a binary system to store data.

    "The ground state could be the zero and any of the intermediates could be the one," he said.

    Prof Renugopalakrishnan now opines that the protein layer could also allow DVDs and other external devices to store terabytes of information.

    The new protein-based DVD will have advantages over current optical storage devices such as the Blue-ray as well, because the information is stored in proteins that are only a few nanometres across.

    "The protein-based DVDs will be able to store at least 20 times more than the Blue-ray and eventually even up to 50,000 gigabytes (about 50 terabytes) of information. You can pack literally thousands and thousands of those proteins on a media like a DVD, a CD or a film or whatever," he said.

    The high-capacity storage devices will be essential to the defence, medical and entertainment industries.

    "You have a compelling need that is not going to be met with the existing magnetic storage technology," he added.

    However, there's a flip side to it also.

    "Science can be used and abused. Making large amounts of information so portable on high-capacity removable storage devices will make it easier for information to fall into the wrong hands. Information can be stolen very quickly. One has to have some safeguards there," he added.

    The findings were presented at the International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Brisbane this week. (ANI)
     
  2. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #2
    Interesting, when I read this I recalled reading something about a similar (if not the same) computer storage method in a ShadowRun RPG source book. If this can be made commercially available soon, maybe I should place an order for cyber-eyes soon :cool:

    I'd bet there's still a lot of kinks to work out, they mention the media is only viable for 7 years (I think that's still too short). I also wonder about write speed and how many times the media can be written over. But if all that gets solved imagine having your entire CD collection (if AIFF) and all your movies on a single disk!:D
     
  3. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

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    Wow.

    Technology these days... when will they ever just like stop and just be cool with what we have? :eek: :rolleyes: :cool:
     
  4. FoxyKaye macrumors 68000

    FoxyKaye

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    #4
    Not until we hit the singularity.
     
  5. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #5
    Interesting. The stability issues are there now with recordable CDs and DVDs. Magnetic tape is even questionable in the long run.

    We have a ways to go with processor speeds and file structure before this becomes practical. Can you imagine the access time it would take to search 50 TB for your one lousy Word document?
     
  6. gallagb macrumors 6502

    gallagb

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    #6
    w/ spotlight- should be no prbm

    ;)
    i'm sure steve will have something that will work.
     
  7. supremedesigner macrumors 6502a

    supremedesigner

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    #7
    That will be great! We are so fed up with this tape backup for our ad agency. We use xserve but now this 50TB DVD? That will be very good for us so we don't have to delete a lot of files!
     
  8. cait-sith macrumors regular

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    #8
    The real challenge would be making this affordable to the consumer.
     
  9. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #9
    I'm going to wait and see on this. In my business I see a lot of different "alternatives to the Hard Drive", but like the iPod, have yet to see a viable killer.
     
  10. comictimes macrumors 6502a

    comictimes

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    #10
    I'm gonna have to agree with cait-sith, although this is awesome, I feel like genetically engineered proteins could be quite expensive...
     
  11. Electro Funk thread starter macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #11
    couldent agree more with the both of you... if and when this is ever completed and released it will certainly be out of the price range of your average consumer...

    but like most things expensive... the price would eventually come down...
     
  12. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    I couldn't fill 100gb if I tried...though I suppose as media gets more and more lifelike (better games, HD movies, etc) file sizes will grow hugely, and this could be useful. Hopefully huge filesizes and this technlogy will debut at the same time, saving us from a huge disk with nothing to put on it or huge amounts of data with nowhere to put it.

    Although I suppose this could be immediately usefull to replace server farms in big businesses or for photo/video professionals, there is not much of a market with the average consumer...yet.
     
  13. cait-sith macrumors regular

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    #13
    Valid point raised. In 1940, computers were decades away from being consumer goods. This stuff sounds like it could be useful, say, 15-20 years from now.

    Similarly, I was wondering, what the hell would we do with all that data? But then, I thought that about 1 gig hard disks when they were new.
     
  14. Xander562 macrumors 68000

    Xander562

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    #14
    i agree
     
  15. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    RAW files now take up more space than most HDDs 10 years ago could hold, and the people back then could not forsee it. I can only wonder what filetype we will be working in 10 years from now. I supose as the price of RAW capable cameras and HD enabled camcorders go down to consumer levels, the the amount of space needed will rise. File size can only go up from here.

    Also, if BassDrive keeps putting out their 100mb, 2 hour long D&B podcast I will need that 50tb disk just to keep up :D
     
  16. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #16
    The minute these hit the shelves we'll be still crying out because, like now where we have 500Gb drives and 5Gb DVD-Rs, we'll have 50Tb discs and hard drives wandering in to the petabyte ranges... :rolleyes:
     
  17. Electro Funk thread starter macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #17
    really??? i am already thinking about getting an external drive for the iMac and i have a 500GB drive in that... :)
     
  18. Sirus The Virus macrumors 6502a

    Sirus The Virus

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    #18
    Just imagine the piece of mind you could have, not to ever worry about what's on what hard drive, not ever have to worry about running out of space.
     
  19. Silentwave macrumors 68000

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    #19
    All I think when I see this is "how fast." that will determine whether or not it will have a chance of replacing HDs. There are already a few techs waiting in the wings that have great potential to replace HDs with massive amounts of non-volatile easily portable storage- and the one I am keeping my eye on mostly would likely be very feasible because the same technology could be used in both bulk storage and the computer's RAM...or eventually make them one and the same with great speeds. I look at DVDs now and I'm not impressed with the speed of writing or reading compared to a fast HD. If this offers a substantial improvement in speed perhaps it has a chance. Unless it scratches easily. Imagine if you spent forever writing 50TB to a new disc and then scratched it :)
     
  20. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

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    What do you have on it? I know people who need vast amounts of space (I intern for a photographer who has <4TB) but I could never do it. If I rip a movie for a trip I delete it when I'm done watching. I only have 12gb of music and little in the way of photos (what I do have is photobooth and cellphone so they aren't very big at all). Word documents don't take up much and neither do my programs (a few multi-gig games and photoshop, plus ilife and word). My biggest files are probably my photoshop creations and photo edits, but I am never creative enough to fill 100gb worth...
     
  21. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #21
    50TB per one DVD! :eek: That is a whole heck of a lot of storage! :eek: :D
     
  22. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #22
    A year (and a bit more) ago, I had 45GB in in my desktop PC, and connected via dialup.

    Then I brought a Powerbook, and got broadband - first ADSL 512kb, then I joined an experimental ADSL 2+ outfit, and got 24mb/s :)

    I also started filming deaf people using sign language and editing them on the PB, and moving my DVD collection to HD.

    Soon, the 60GB drive on the Powerbook filled up, and I brought a 300 GB external drive, and that also filled up after a few months.

    I then recently brought two more 300GB drives and put them into a RAID5 array with the previous 300GB, inside an old G3 B+W.

    Meant out of the 900GB i lost 300GB to overhead, but I felt it's worth it for slightly higher security.

    So althgether, in 1 year I've gone from 45 GB to about 1TB of raw storage, and that is filling up rapidly. I'll be adding another 300GB to the RAID5 array soon.

    When the 1TB drives come out later this year hopefully that'll bring the 500GB drives to the same price as 300GB currently is.
     
  23. fatandlazy11 macrumors member

    fatandlazy11

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    #23

    I completly agree with you. I have an 80 gb harddrive, I've had the computer for 3 years, and I've only used about 10 gigs. I only have 500 megs of music, and somewhere around 3-5 gigs of movies and videos. The rest is games and applications. Really, I don't understand how you could fill up 100 gbs... unless your one of those huge companies who has millions of files from thousands of employees... Honestly, I don't need 80 gigs.. Thats one reason why im getting a Mac Mini. The low end one has a 60 gig hard drive, and I doubt I'll use 20 by the end of it's lifetime... Seriously, I don't even need that much. I have a Dell Optiplex running Windows 95. I upgraded to a 80 gig HD becasue i thought I would fill up 6 gigs easily... well, I probley would have, but I just need a 15-20 gig harddrive. This 50 Terabyte DVD seems like a waste to me.

    Heres a question: When do you think yottabyte harddrives will arrive? 2100?
     
  24. Electro Funk thread starter macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #24

    most of my drive gets filled with music... (my own)... i spin records and produce my own music... its amazing how much space files can take up after recording a set... importing to production software... adding effects, tracking out...etc...etc...

    not to mention my girl is a scrapbooking maniac.... se we have billions of pics in iPhoto... (ok, maybe not that many :p )
     
  25. Rasheem macrumors regular

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    #25
    I say buy stock! lots of stock! this sounds like it will be a while but if your twenty and you buy a few thousand dollars of this probably cheap stock when your 40 you might be rich!
     

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