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Three-Dimensional Optical Storage Technology

By dpreview staff on Oct 4, 1999 at 04:00 GMT

Ok, you can keep your CF cards, your MemorySticks and your SmartMedia... I want one of these in my digital camera... (just one, that's all you'd need...)

C3D Debuts Three-Dimensional Optical Storage Technology

New Card & Disk Technology Reduces Cost and Size While Increasing Storage Capacity Up to 2,500 Times That of Current Systems

C3D, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CDDD - news) today announced it has conducted a successful public demonstration of its revolutionary Fluorescent Multi-layer Card (FMC) and Disk (FMD) optical data storage technologies at the Dan Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel and at its laboratories in Rehovoth, Israel. C3D plans to demonstrate these technologies in Silicon Valley, USA in November 1999.

The event showcased C3D's fully functional prototypes implementing its FMC ClearCard(TM)-ROM, ClearCard(TM)-WORM and FMD-ROM disk technologies. In addition to greatly increasing memory capabilities, C3D's storage solutions will be significantly less expensive than the current magnetic and optical versions, reducing the cost per byte ratio in some cases by ten and hundred- fold. The new technology can be used with existing optical data storage devices with only minimal re-tooling.

Magnetic and optical data storage, in addition to tapes and jukeboxes, are currently the most popular methods of data storage, but the demands of today's information systems are pushing current two-dimensional storage limits towards their natural limits. C3D's technology allows for the exponential expansion of data storage capabilities through the process of multi-layering.

``Storage needs are projected to increase more than ten-fold in the next five years. Multi-layering fluorescent data storage technology has the potential to be a key technology that enables storage devices with dramatically higher capacities,'' says Wolfgang Schlichting, Storage Analyst for International Data Corporation. ``The market potential for this technology will increase substantially once affordable recordable products become available.''

Multi-layering will enable the storage of hundreds (and later thousands) of gigabytes of data on standard 120mm (i.e. CD/DVD-sized) disks. Even greater potential for density memory increase is entailed in ClearCard, C3D's credit card sized carrier, which will have initial data storage capacities hundreds of times greater than similar-sized devices currently available. Data retrieval speeds will also reach unprecedented speeds due to the ability of parallel reading of information. In both card and disk, data will be read simultaneously from the many layers within the media.

The increasing popularity of all forms of information device and our day- to-day reliance on them, together with the advent of high bandwidth data transmission applications such as streaming audio and video, has created a situation in which memory demands are becoming far greater than current data storage technologies can deliver.

``With C3D's new FMC and FMD technologies, gigabytes will replace megabytes as data storage's common currency,'' said Dr. Eugene Levich, president and CEO of C3D, Inc. ``This dramatic expansion in memory capability and concurrent reduction in carrier size will permit all kinds of new devices, such as palm- sized PCs and 'E-books'.''

It will also substantially increase the capabilities of existing devices such as digital cameras/videos and cellular phones, enabling them to become super-compact multimedia information devices. C3D's ClearCard, for example, will hold up to 10 gigabytes (10,000 megabytes) of data on a credit card sized carrier -- compared with the approximately 4 megabyte capacity of current ``Smart Cards''.

``Expanding memory capacity, this substantially will have countless real- world ramifications. Now people will be able to store up to twenty hours of HDTV-quality video on one small card or disk. The concept of E-books can become reality, as one small card can carry numerous volumes,'' said Dr. Ingolf Sander, C3D's General Products Manager. ``Data storage capacity will no longer be technology's limiting factor.''

C3D intends to commence negotiations immediately with several strategic joint venture partners and expects to begin production of the first commercial devices within twelve months, including:

  • a 20-layer FMC ClearCard-ROM in the form factor of a credit card having up to 10GB capacity;
  • a 10-layer FMC ClearCard-WORM (Write Once Read Many) in the form factor of a credit card having up to 1GB capacity;
  • a 10-layer FMD-ROM disk in the standard 120mm (CD & DVD) disk format having up to 140GB capacity;

The planned second and third generation cards and disks will have capacities up to and exceeding one terabyte (1,000 gigabytes). RAM versions of the disks and cards are also planned.

C3D, Inc. has offices and laboratories in New York, California, Israel, Russia, and the Ukraine. Its web site is at http://www.c-3d.net. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of several digital storage memory products based upon its proprietary technology. Research is conducted by an internationally renowned team of scientists that currently holds over 40 international patents in the field of optical data storage.

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