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Pioneer developed a 500GB optical disc

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 08 Nov 2004 2:40 User comments (44)

Pioneer developed a 500GB optical disc Japanese consumer electronics company Pioneer has, according to Nikkei Business Daily, managed to develop an optical disc that holds 500GB of data each side, making it 20 times bigger than the basic single-layer versions of "next generation" optical discs that are based on blue laser (including Blu-Ray and HD-DVD).
The new technology is apparently based on ultraviolet laser, which has shorter wavelength than the blue laser does, thus making it possible to store data much more efficiently on the disc.

Source: The Inquirer

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44 user comments

18.11.2004 16:00

How do they do it.

28.11.2004 17:20

These guys really think outside the square!!

38.11.2004 18:55

Sooooo... what're they saying here? Don't waste our times with Blu-Ray/HD DVD, b/c the next-next generation discs are already on the horizon??!

48.11.2004 19:59

They are saying that soon, you can backup your ENTIRE DVD collection for only $50-75, that is, the price of one of these bad boys (just an estimate).

59.11.2004 03:28

500GB of data each side? That would be 1TB on a dvd! What would all that space be needed for other than backup storage? No movie or game needs that much space yet. I supose game developers can't begin to design games of such high demand until the media is created. It will open doors and options. Can't wait to see the results.

69.11.2004 04:42

They are saying that soon, you can backup your ENTIRE DVD collection for only $50-75, that is, the price of one of these bad boys (just an estimate).
Try a dollar a gig (just an estimate)

79.11.2004 04:42

I'd be curious to see what the seek time would be on one of these disks? With that much data, will it take 30 seconds to find the file you're looking for?

89.11.2004 07:06

"I'd be curious to see what the seek time would be on one of these disks? With that much data, will it take 30 seconds to find the file you're looking for?" They would make the disc spin faster, a lot faster.

99.11.2004 08:29

Great, just when I was waiting for Blu-Ray.

109.11.2004 11:57

They think ahead... =D But that's about it.

119.11.2004 13:24

@geestar20, i think it will be more like $100-200, a disk but, when they are first released i would say maybe $400 for a disk. Only time will tell

129.11.2004 13:48

@Pop_Smith I really don't care how much it'll cost for the 500GB optical disc...I can't even afford the 8.5gb disc now.

139.11.2004 14:46

What do you think they will call it?

149.11.2004 14:55

As someone said the seek time would be way to long, If you had a game that was that big just imagine how long it would take to load and play, the hardware as we know it now will not be fast enough (image a game that requires a terra bit of space) scarry stuff. M

He who knows little

159.11.2004 19:50

@geestar20, thats the truth, neither can i :(.

"The only people who should buy Monster cable are people who light cigars with Benjamins." - Gizmodo

169.11.2004 21:08

That's just insane Where's the demand for something like this????

179.11.2004 22:02

Possibly nowhere, as said above there is no consumer hardware now, or in the forseeable future, that could utilize this. What boggles my mind is what game programmers could do with the A.I. in a game, with that much space. 500GB's could theoreticall produce a neverending, ever-adapting game. RPGer's would rot into their sofa's and LANparties would become the new brothels. Blu-Ray has got me wondering what game programmers are going to produce with 20+GB's available.....let alone 500!

189.11.2004 22:18

Also, I may be wrong but wouldn't your system need at least above the mainstream amount of RAM that's used now? My PowerMac can accept up to 8GB's but I would think that to utilize a 500GB game to it's full potential that you would need at least 16 if not increments all the way up to 32GB's....not to mention a hellacious amount of virtual memory.

1910.11.2004 05:56

Maybe they'll call it a U-Ray disc. :) Pioneer- "Would you like fries with that? How 'bout the kitchen sink?"

2010.11.2004 07:53

I doubt any game in the near future will even begin to stress the capacity of 2nd generation DVDs (Im thinking Blu-Ray here) so I dont think the game industry should even be involved in the discussion. But how about 500GB discs for backups? That is a whole lot of space. In a few years we will have 500GB+ hard-drives. An entire backup on a single disc would to me be very convenient. Not to mention corporations or the audio/video-industry.

2111.11.2004 05:42

500gb...... hmmmm... how big are hard drives at the moment?.... whats gonna happen to them?... SICK!!

2211.11.2004 06:00

When DVDs were first announced no one knew what they would do with all that space. Even when DVDs became available, it took a year before they became mainstream. People just had no use for them and just kept buyinf CD burners and CD-Rs. Now 4.7GB is getting inadequate. Think back further. There was a big gap between floppys and CDs, but even so, it took a long time for CDs to take off too. OK, so the first Microsoft Office version needed about 20 floppys, but other than that, all games at the time fitted onto a few floppys to install from. And what was the point of this new fangled CD thing? At first the only benefit was to put videos in between levels, but the majority of the game was still pretty small. Now you are all saying "I doubt any game in the near future will even begin to stress the capacity of 2nd generation DVDs", well d'uh, not in the near future, but in 3 years time we'll be frustrated by BluRays small size and in 5 years we'll be filling up 500GB discs and be looking back thinking "by golly, once upon a time I used to fit a game or an office suite on a single DVD". I used to have a computer that had more memory imaginable, it had a whole 1MB!! I couldn't beleive how much memory 1024KB was, kicked ass over the 64KB machines. Now 1GB is becoming the norm. It's not unreasonable to think that 512GB of RAM will be standard by 2010 or so. With entry level servers having 16GB of RAM today, 512GB of RAM is not that far away, and I am used to expecting my storage media to have plenty more storage capacity than my RAM. So by 2010 I'd think a 500GB optical disc will be so "yesterday".

2312.11.2004 06:18

500GB, wow!@! hmm. i wonder if that disc could replace harddrives in years to come

2412.11.2004 06:23

Probably not too logical of an idea as I don't see removeable media drives ever surpassing or even equalling the access times and read rates of a hard drive. You'll probably see a 1TB HDD within the next 5 years and a 500GB disc would only be used for archiving.

2513.11.2004 08:39

The thing is, hd improvements haven't been that great in the past year or so as far as performance and storage increases, aside from the new serial port. I have yet to see a big advantage of that compared to the parallel ports of "old". Maybe it's the magnetic technology. Maybe they should move away to electric or photokinetic technology to improve hd performance and capacity. (Oh, wait, that's lasers, nevermind that last one. ;) ) I am impressed how far they've gone with magnetic platters though.

2614.11.2004 03:27

I seem to remember asking exactly this same question some 10-12 years ago when I ordered a MASSIVE 512MB hard drive for my new 486 computer system. "What can I possibly ever do with that much storage?" Nobody knew then either. Of course the question is still applicable to that drive. The only difference is that now there is an answer. "Use it as a paperweight"

2714.11.2004 04:17

Hey, I still have a working Nokia PC at my summerhouse. 40MB of storage!

2814.11.2004 05:15

Hey, I don't dispute that the old stuff still works with the software that was designed for it. However, based on the fact that we're both on and discussing 500GB disks we may both want to do more than these old systems can handle. If you've been around computers long enough to still have a 40MB hard drive you have seen that whatever size is available some software guy will need it all and ask for more. It'll all get used in fairly short order.

2914.11.2004 05:20

cwoodell, and when you say "massive", you probably don't mean in physical size as well - would the 500MB drives have been "half-height" drives (which at about 1.5" high and 5.25" width - the same size as CD/DVD drives today) would be big compared to today's 1" high standard 3.5" wide drives or laptop 1cm high and 2.5", 2" or even 1.8" wide drives. But if you want to talk about a paperweight, a 1.5" high drive were called half-height drives for a reason - the original drives were about 3" high by 5.25" wide. Now THEY were massive. I had a 40GB full-height drive. Wow, the capacity it had! I could copy dozens of floppy disks onto it (5.25" floppy's of course - I think they held 320KB at the time).

3014.11.2004 05:48

You are correct "MASSIVE" referred to the data storage capacity not tne physical size. It was, and still is, a half height drive. I too remember putting many of my old floppys on the thing and thinking how amazing it was that they all went on it with lots of room to spare. But while we're reminiscing don't forget that those 320K floppys were double sided double density. The single density single sided disks in my old Atari 64 were 180K and that was the ONLY mass storage the machine had except of course for the even older cassette tape drive.

312.12.2004 22:12

500GB...thats alot of storage. Exactly what is the full need of this type of optical disc besides backups and so forth is still uncertain for common use. I guess its like a life long continuance of keeping whats yous.

3210.12.2004 19:37

Well, I bought a 250GB extetnal hard drive recently for storage of files so I would have something with a little extra room. Well, 6 months down the road I ran out of that room. I have been in consideration of a terabyte drive, and I still remember when my 800 MB external seemed massive. I think converting my music collection changed all that.

3312.12.2004 01:38

Well that sounds good but that would mean the whole dvd structure would have to be re-confiqured to be compatable with these new 500GB optical disc. Dose that mean dvd become obsilet and replaced by optical dvd.Another new collection to be collected dame still getting use to the idea when I decided to change from collecting VHS to DVD wow.So whats that mean about 65 movies on 1 optical Disc not depending on the price and weather the conversion software from DVD to optical is free of course but wait lets not forget about the copy wright laws ahh dam well thats technology for ya keep up or get left behind good luck all and have fun with it before it changes again.

3427.12.2004 03:27

Believe it or not you'll need all that space and more. I remember when the massive 40MB hard drives came out and people said exactly the same things about it as there're saying about Pioneer's 500 GBdisk.

3528.12.2004 06:21

500gb is about right for an 'accurate' digital projection of a movie originally shot on 35mm film. The best scans at the moment of top hollywood films, (recently with the newly-bought James Bond back catalogue) have been done using 4000x1000 resolution for each frame, which some people think gets all the information/'grain' for each picture. These scans are to make digital master copies, not for plain old DVD! So that's 4000x1000 = 4mb 4mb x 24 (frames per second) = 96mb per second 96mb x 60 (seconds per minute) = 5,760 mb (6gb) per minute 6gb x 60 (minutes per hour) = 360 gb per hour. Sorry for being a smarty pants- I just love seeing all those exact numbers :) So anyway, if you're looking at these numbers, and thinking, wow, so a DVD is between 4.5 and 9 gb, how can they do the film right with that little data? The answer is, that they don't. VHS seems to get more data in a film, than DVD, indeed, a simple TV transmission (8mb per second) gets way more in the frame. still all fairly nice to watch though! Cheers, J

3628.12.2004 08:55

so, you're saying that vhs has higher quality than dvd, but dvds don't wear out, and normal tv transmissions are way better than dvd? tv transmissions also have audio in them as well. You have to take into account that a good portion of space is dedicated to audio as well. stereo audio nonetheless. dvds, I thought, were/are supposed to peak at 1mb of data per second. naturally, a lot of them don't, and that's supposed to include audio, no? so, anyways, 4mb doesn't even include audio. That's why dvds use a compression algorithm in order to compensate for its size. High quality audio is a very important factor too. You can understand my concern why they should dedicate more space to better video and audio rather than extra features and the like. (Lossy codecs realistically don't compensate for much anyway, in my opinion. Not that I don't use them myself, mind you.) @360 gb per hour, a typical movie would be 540+ without even including, say, dts quality sound, but I guess since they usually keep that on separate cds/dvds anyways, it wouldn't be that big of a deal for archiving. Besides, that's not really important right now to consumers, since the highest resolution for HDTV is 1080x1920; roughly half that size. Even the best lossless algorithms wouldn't be able to cut that down all the time and still maintain a 1000x4000 picture for later generations. But hey, that'd leave plenty of room for extras, eh? (egh.) 'course, talking to a photo representative just briefly, a true comparison of an actual 35mm snapshot photo to a digital one would have to be an estimated 25gp. Translate that one! (hehe. :)) sorry for the long post.

3728.12.2004 21:25

erm, correction, 25MP

3829.12.2004 09:32

Thankyou I to like to see the correct numbers or facts but didnt think I would need to go into great detail Nice one though.

3929.12.2004 12:37

hey, who knows, maybe the movie industry'll eventually decide that 35mm video is not good enough, and use a newer analog standard so that you'll need at least a 500+ terabytes of storage space instead of 500+ gb. Heh, that would be the day.

4029.12.2004 13:04

DAMN! WE ARE REALLY LIVING IN THE INFORMATION AGE! 500 GB might not be enough LOL!! Perhaps 1000 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte of storage...

~Much luv for my D.C. Honiez

4115.1.2005 06:25

Wow is all I can say. But like each person has thier own views, I agree with all sides. At this time it is hard for us to comprehend a 500 gb video or game. But like others say 10 years ago my 486 was a 5k machine with beuty and a whopping 515mb of storage. So in 10 years 500gb may be like cds are today for storage or even floppys. In the mean time though Im gonna stick with Blu-ray. Im pretty sure thatll be the next mainstream standard and cost about the same as dvd's do today. 25GB seems good enough for me for both storage and video quality. I wish dual layer dvd-rs would come down in price :) so i can utilize 8.5gb

423.4.2005 05:44

Who remembers those old cartridge games that had 500+ games? Like the old NES HoneyBee and stuff like that. In the near future, are we going to have U-Ray "Mega Game Disks"? I can see the tag line now: "Play all the oldy but goody games of times long passed. See what it was like to play before integrated neuro pathway synaptic synchronization imaging!"

433.4.2005 07:50

On 10 Nov. 2004, (5 months ago) Ghostdog posted to this thread the following. "In a few years we will have 500GB+ hard drives". Just to show how fast technology sometimes moves Hitachi has announced the release of a 500GB hard drive. A few years comes awfully quickly!!,aid,120102,00.asp

443.4.2005 10:57

Yep, apparently people cant get enough of that sweet storage space.

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