CPU (January 2007)

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And next-generation optical disc technologies (HD DVD with at least 15GB and Blu-ray with at least 25GB) could make DVDs obsolete. But now Harvard University researchers (led by Professor Federico Capasso and Assistant Professor Ken Crozier) are developing a laser nanoantenna that could blow those storage technologies away with the strength of a Category 5 hurricane. The laser nanoantenna, also called a plasmonic laser antenna, could eventually lead to a storage capacity of 5TB on an optical disc the size of a DVD or CD.

Especially with large OEMs and ODMs being able to bundle both motherboard chipset and processor features together is obviously a more compelling business model; compared to having to send your customers to third-party manufacturers such as Nvidia or VIA, for example. Also, when AMD acquired ATI, it picked up the third-largest chipset vendor, behind only Intel and VIA. Intel has about 57% of the chipset market while VIA clocks in around 15% and ATI around 12%. Comparatively, Nvidia and SiS have about 9% and 6%, respectively.

During demonstrations of the laser nanoantenna in late 2006, Harvard Assistant Professor Ken Crozier said the researchers used an infrared laser with a wavelength of 830nm. “In principle, the antenna would work with any laser,” he says. But to make the laser nanoantenna work for optical disc storage, Crozier and fellow professor Federico Capasso say they need to develop a writing medium for the laser that could hover 10 to 20nm above the surface of the optical disc. ) “I would expect that if it were possible to use the laser nanoantenna for optical disc storage, one could use discs made of similar materials to CDs and DVDs, but the design of the discs would need to be changed,” Crozier says, “[because] the writing medium would need to be in very close proximity to the laser nanoantenna.

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