A fascintating article over at PhysOrg.com describing the new technology that will make these discs possible within the next 3 to 5 years.
From the article:
Have you ever dreamt of 100 terabytes of data per 3.5-inch disk? New patented innovation nanotechnology from Michael E. Thomas, president of Colossal Storage Corporation, makes it real.
Michael invented and patented the world's first and only concept for non-contact UV photon induced electric field poling of ferroelectric non-linear photonic bandgap crystals, which offers the possibility of controlling and manipulating light within a UV/Deep Blue frequency of 1 nm to 400 nm.
It took him 14 years to find a practical conceptualization that would work to advance the storage industry; 3D Volume Holographic Optical Storage Nanotechnology, for which Michael holds the patents. He was invited to present this fascinating discovery to the National Science Foundation in February 2004.
This invention and patents on a technique for changing matter at the molecular level is one of the World's only new enabling technologies, having many hundreds of electro-optic applications.
Atomic Holographic Nanotechnology will allow for the first time a functional method for programmable molecular lenses that will allow incoming light to be rejected, modified internally, or allowed to pass unaltered through a transparent lens known as disk, tape, card, drum, film, etc.
By being able to program optical lenses, many applications based on light and color can be developed, such as holographic storage, bio-terror detection devices, optical electronics, security products, and hundreds of other products never seen before on the world's markets.
The small size of ferroelectric transparent structures makes it possible to fabricate nano-optical devices, such as volume holographic storage, having both positive and negative index of refraction that will allow molecular particles of an atomic size to be modified, controlled, and changed to perform a specific function, desired task, used for low cost accurate chemical / biological matter detection, and reprogrammed to accept new non-volatile data and molecular functions. "