TDK’s monster Blu Ray disc!

After Sharp, TDK has come out with the next generation of Blu Ray. While Sharp simply tweaked the existing 25 GB-a-layer format of Blu Ray and made it possible to make 4 layers on the disc, TDK has changed the game with a disc that has 10 layers, each of 32 GB, to make a whopping 320GB on a single disc. Ow. That’s bigger than my computer’s hard disk, and I suspect that’s one reason why it’s going to look really, really good to a lot of people.

TDK has been hard at work with this, evidently. In 2006, they showcased a 200 GB disc of 6 layers, with 33.3 GB per layer. The reason all these layers are so hard to rack up is that as the laser of any disc, including Blu Ray, gets weaker as it passes through each layer – the obvious solution, of using a more powerful laser, means that your Blu Ray player and disc get really hot, and the disc could even get destroyed.

What TDK has done is reconfiguring the materials that make each of these very special 10 layers so that the existing blue-violet laser of 405nm wavelength and numerical aperture 0.85 (in other words, the good ole Blu Ray laser) can transmit through all 10 layers with ease. Each layer can transmit more than 90% of the laser’s power, while still letting the laser read it. No heat, more capacity, and we can use the existing Blu Ray player technology to read it. Sounds too good to be true?

Check this out.

See, I wasn't kidding?

On the left, a layer of a normal Blu Ray disc; on the right, a layer of TDK's disc. Tada!

That TDK came out with this disc isn’t really a surprise, considering that they debuted their 960GB laptop hard disk drives and 3.2TB (thats 3200GB) desktop drives not so long ago. Talk about thinking BIG.

And for the lets-all-dump-optical-discs-and-happily-stream-video brigade, you’ll remember this as the day you almost caught Captain Blu Ray. One of these days. ;D