APPLIED OPTICS

Dealing with big data

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Science  31 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6247, pp. 491-492
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6247.491-g

Data generation often occurs at such a high rate that it cannot be analyzed on the fly but must be stored and archived for access later on. While banks of magnetic hard drives are the storage medium of choice at present, the total capacity, recording times, and required energy burden are not expected to keep pace with the data generation rate. Li et al. look to optical recording as a possible solution. Combining superresolution nanoscopy to record tiny binary bits in a photosensitive medium with multifocusing array techniques to access multiple layers within the medium, it should be possible to achieve storage capacities of about 30 terabits per disk and data recording rates exceeding gigabits per second.

Optica 2, 567 (2015).

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