A group of scientists working together with the Institute of Optics and Optical Technologies at the Technical University of Berlin claim to have discovered a way to store 500GB worth of data on DVD-sized discs. The scientists are members of the Microholas Project, coordinated by Dr. Susanna Orlic, which plans to double the storage capacity to 1TB by 2010.
The Project aims to implement a microholographic recording techniques which record data to nanostructures in the recording process. By combining multilayer storage and holographic multiplexing, "microholography" allows data to be stored in three dimensions. The technology works by replacing the two-dimensional pit-land structures currently found on CDs and DVDs with microgratings, which are "holographically induced" using two laser beams. In other words, instead of recording to a series of bumps and pits like standard CDs, the new technology creates three-dimensional holographic grids that can be used for reading and writing data throughout the physical structure of the disc.