On April 19, Hitachi Maxell, Ltd. announced the development of new volume optical storage technology that can provide terabyte-level storage capacity in a compact device. Relying on unique nanoimprint technology, the company has succeeded in reducing the thickness of DVDs to 0.092 mm (92 micrometers) -- which is 1/13th the thickness of current DVDs -- while maintaining the standard capacity of 4.7 GB.

Hitachi Maxell's thin DVD

The system features what the company calls Stacked Volumetric Optical Disc (SVOD) technology, which consists of 100 ultra-thin optical discs (12-cm in diameter, the same as current DVDs) loaded into a 6.5-cm (2.5-inch) thick cartridge. The result is a compact optical disc library system (1/10th the conventional size) capable of combining random access memory and long-term storage.

When laminated on both sides, disc capacity will reach 9.4 GB, bringing the 100-disc cartridge up to near-terabyte level with 940 GB of storage. The company claims that next-generation blue laser technology could boost cartridge capacity to 5 terabytes (50 GB for each double-sided disc).

According to Hitachi Maxell, potential applications of this storage media include library systems for business and institutions. While continuing to investigate other applications, the company aims to cultivate the market by presenting this technology at academic conferences and exhibitions.

The discs will be priced at under 40,000 yen (US$325) for a stack of 100.

[Source: IT Media, Hitachi Maxell press release]