200 TB storage disc: How AIE-DDPR technology can disrupt CD and DVD market

Devdiscourse News DeskDevdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 21-05-2024 19:38 IST | Created: 21-05-2024 19:38 IST
200 TB storage disc: How AIE-DDPR technology can disrupt CD and DVD market
Representative Image Image Credit: Pxhere

Researchers in February, from the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, and other Chinese institutions have announced a groundbreaking advancement in optical storage technology. They demonstrated a method to store over a petabit (125 terabytes) of data on a single optical disk, surpassing the storage capacity of the world’s largest hard drive, which holds 100 terabytes.

Traditional optical storage media like CD-ROMs, DVDs, and Blu-rays store data in up to four layers. However, the researchers have utilized an innovative ultra-transparent film called "aggregation-induced emission dye-doped photoresist" (AIE-DDPR) to achieve data encoding on up to 100 layers, resulting in a storage capacity of 1.6 petabits (200 terabytes) on a standard-sized optical disk.

How does AIE-DDPR work?

The revolutionary potential of AIE-DDPR lies in its application with dual laser technology. Here's how it works:

  • Multi-Layer Storage: AIE-DDPR allows data to be stored in up to 100 distinct layers within a single disc. This is a massive leap from the few layers (usually one to four) that traditional CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays use.
  • Overcoming Diffraction Limits: The material, in conjunction with dual laser technology, can encode and read data at points roughly one-tenth the wavelength of visible light. This is a significant improvement over traditional optical storage methods, which are limited by the optical diffraction limit (around the size of the wavelength of light used).
  • Precision Writing and Reading: By tightly controlling the timing and firing of the lasers, the technology ensures that data can be written and read accurately without interference between the layers. This precision is critical for achieving high data density and maintaining data integrity.

How AIE-DDPR technology is capable of disrupting the CD and DVD market?

Traditional DVDs hold up to 8.5 GB of data, while Blu-rays can store up to 100 GB. Aggregation-Induced Emission Dye-Doped Photoresist (AIE-DDPR) enables a single disc to store up to 1.6 petabits (200 terabytes) of data. This unprecedented capacity makes these discs viable for applications requiring massive data storage in a compact format.

The new discs can be produced in about six minutes each using processes similar to those for DVDs. This efficiency in production ensures that the technology can be scaled quickly and economically, making it feasible for mass-market adoption.

With storage capacities far exceeding those of current optical media and even many hard drives, AIE-DDPR discs could bring about a renaissance of physical media. This is particularly appealing for users and industries that prefer physical backups or have limited access to high-speed internet for cloud storage.

Cost Efficiency: 

For any new technology to be widely adopted, cost efficiency is a critical factor. Considering various aspects including manufacturing, storage capacity, longevity, and potential savings. Initially, the cost of producing and purchasing AIE-DDPR discs and compatible devices may be higher than traditional optical media. However, as the technology scales and becomes more widespread, prices are expected to decrease.


The re-emergence of CDs and DVDs, powered by cutting-edge technology, illustrates how innovation can revitalize seemingly outdated mediums. While streaming and cloud storage will continue to dominate everyday use, these new high-capacity optical discs might carve out a significant role in the future of data storage. As technology advances, the humble CD and DVD may once again become a key player in our digital lives, albeit in a vastly more powerful form.

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