Nano Patent Could Increase Storage Capacity

LOS ANGELES – Storage company Iomega, manufacturer of the Zip Drive and other disk and optical storage solutions, has been granted two patents that could exponentially increase transfer rates and space on DVDs.

As a backup solution and a time-saver, the nano patents, whose granting came in part because of a $2.4 billion congressional funding initiative, could increase DVD storage by up to 100 times and increase file transfer rates up to 30 times.

The patents would focus on light redistribution. In the case of storage capacity, the process would be known as Articulated Optical, or AO-DVD. Data transfer would fall in the province of Nano-grating, or NG-DVD.

"Subwavelength optical data storage can provide an array of mechanisms by which the state of a focused spot of light upon reflection can be precisely changed,” said Iomega research and development chief Fred Thomas. “This is the key to new commercially interesting multi-level optical data storage that this technology represents."

The question of data storage is a pressing one for mainstream and adult companies alike. PurePlay’s Marc Thaler, manager of foreign and digital distribution, pointed to a warehouse filled with media of different formats.

“We have not gone to an original VHS master and had it fail,” Thaler told XBiz, “yet.”

Because entertainment companies want to keep making money from their content, most are comfortable with the planned obsolescence of consumer media formats. “You can keep re-selling the same title over the years,” Thaler said. On the other hand, companies want master files that are long-lasting and in a standardized format.

Digital Playground co-founder and Vice President Joone does not trust innovations in optical media. “We need high performance storage, and hard disk is always going to be faster then optical,” he told XBiz. “So for in-house purposes, we use hard disk.”

Many other companies use RAID towers depending on their finances, but Thaler welcomes the day when a single and dependable storage solution can be found, including nano drives.

“We would be much more likely to opt in for this technology,” he said, noting that the section of PurePlay’s warehouse where media are stored needs a constantly-operating dehumidifier. “Those tapes definitely have a shelf-life.”