Rotating Disc Pits

New Scientist Magazine's Invention blog reports that the German company, Thomson, is applying for a patent on a new optical media technology that could potentially result in up to eight times the data density. The method involves the way that optical media is recorded. Optical disks are covered with millions of microscopic pits. In current media, the pits are identical, but Thomson's method involves using an unevenly distributed laser beam to create asymmetrical pits with an orientation. The pits can then be created in up to eight different orientations, resulting in up to eight times the data density.

"A modified reader would be needed to decode the extra information, but an ordinary player could just ignore the shaping and read the pits normally. So, one disc could potentially store both high and low density recordings."
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