Imagine reading texts that were written a thousand years ago without using any methods of visual quality enhancements. Unfortunately, it is not really possible nowadays. But maybe a new M-Disc technology, which promises to store data for up to a thousand of years, will help our descendants to read this story several hundreds of years down the road?
Millenniata, a new optical disc company, recently unveiled M-Disc and M-Ready disc storage technology, which promised to permanently etch data onto the write layer of the disc for use anytime and for generations to come without any data loss. So far Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS) has expressed interest towards the technology.
The materials and the write process used for the M-Disc were chosen with stability and longevity as the primary goals. These new materials enabled the use of a more durable data mark – a physical hole or pit that could be formed in the data layer. A much higher laser-power is used to write or create these physically changed pits in the data layer.
These physical pits have two main advantages over dye and phase-change-based optical media; the permanent physical movement of the material and the permanent optical contrast between light and dark spots. Movement of the material actually enhances the edge of the mark as shown in the nearby scanning electron microscope image. The nanometer scale location of the edges is critical to the retention of data, with the enhanced edges further building-in longevity. The other advantage is the excellent, permanent optical contrast that comes from making a physical mark. The difference in optical quality between the pit, where there is no material, and the areas adjacent to the pit, where the material remains, provides a definite advantage in retention of data and in ease of reading the disc long into the future. Essentially, pits are better and allows for readable data even after hundreds of years.
One M-Disc has a DVD disc capacity of 4.7GB of space with comparable performance. Millenniata is currently working on a Blu-Ray version of M-Disc that will be announced at a later date.
Milleniata has announced a manufacturing and marketing partnership with Hitachi-LG Data Storage to manufacture Millenniata compatible (M-Disc compatible) DVD drives and market them through its sales channels.
Under the partnership, Hitachi-LG Data Storage will manufacture M-Ready DVD drives and market and sell them to its U.S. and international retail channels under its DVD brands. All M-Disc compatible aftermarket drives will include the M-Disc logo indicating compatibility to write to M-Discs. Any DVD drive will read the M-Disc.
“Millenniata’s technology has been tested and proven to provide long-lasting data storage. We are pleased to partner with Millenniata to provide true permanent storage DVD technology that can stand the test of time,” said -Sang Hun Kim, deputy chief marketing officer at sales and marketing division at Hitachi-LG Data Storage.
Millenniata will manufacture and market the M-Disc to the same LG U.S. and international retail channels as well as to its global value-added reseller channels. The drives and discs will be available on Millenniata’s website in September. They will be available at some popular retail outlets in October, the company said. They will be available at an additional growing number of retailers at different time periods thereafter.
“We are very excited to partner with such a strong global presence as Hitachi-LG Data Storage as we introduce M-Disc permanent storage to the world. Millenniata discs capture the essence of how people use their data and information – literally for a thousand years,” said Scott Shumway, chief executive officer of Millenniata.
With a growing need for durable, long-lasting information storage, the M-Disc provides data loss prevention by laser etching data into an inorganic rock-like material that is not available from any other recordable DVD. Other recordable DVDs use organic dyes to hold data, a material that is known to fade and degrade over time.
The M-Disc has the following MSRP:
- One M-Disc: $2.99;
- M-Disc five pack: $13.89;
- M-Disc 10 pack: $26.59.