Pioneer has developed an optical disc that can hold up to 400GB of data.
The new disc packs 16 layers, each with a 25GB capacity, into a conventional 12-cm diameter optical disc. It is similar to Blu-ray Disc technology and slight changes to the hardware on a Blu-ray drive would allow the new Pioneer discs to be used on one.
Currently, dual-layer 50GB discs are the highest capacity discs available commercially.
Getting a clear signal from each recording layer has been a stumbling block for higher capacity discs, but Pioneer says the new disc has a structure that reduces interference from adjacent layers, enabling accurate playback from all 16 layers.
The prototype is a read-only disc but the same technology is applicable to recordable discs.