Your Future DVDs Will be Made Out of Paper

A normal DVD holds 5 gigabytes of data, but this new paper DVD from Sony is a so-called Blu-Ray disc, using a blue laser beam is 25 gigabytes. One way to translate that 25 GByte size, by the way, is to note that it's two hours of High Definition TV. Hi-def movies need Blu-Ray. The 25 gigs is greatly appreciated with the new larger hard drives. I recently purchased two external hard drives for backing up my personal data files and they were each 200 gigs. We are getting close to the petabyte drives. (BTW type in "petabyte drives" on Google and click "I'm Feeling Lucky").

Getting back to these new paper DVDs though, the breakthrough here isn't just in the paper. Repeat, the breakthrough here isn't just in the paper. In order to get 25 GBytes on to one layer of anything, the individual bits have to be much smaller than anything previously seen. Of course, the use of paper is cool, too. You can destroy them with scissors, for one thing. They're more flexible. They should be easier to make. Another important point. This great innovation is entirely Japanese. They're not all making comics and inventing new tofu recipes over there.

New Scientist April 16, 2004

USA Today April 19, 2004

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