Iomega’s 850GB Optical Disc

Is the famous zip drive manufacturer staging a big comeback with a new heavy duty storage media?

Iomega’s zip drives are like a landmark for me in my computer memories. I felt so cool buying one and thinking “whatever will I do with all this space?” Last year someone bought it off me for £5, because he has a love of ”legacy hardware”… I agreed since it had sat in my cupboard for years gathering dust. The same, in a rather brutal way, can be said of Iomega in my consciousness, but could it be on the way back?


The company has just scored a patent for a new technique using “reflective nanostructures” to potentially cram up to 850GB on an articulated optical-digital versatile disc (AO-DVD). This is 200x the amount that can be fitted onto a single layer DVD. Data rates are good too claiming to be nearly 30 times faster than today’s DVDs, while Iomega predicts it will be able to offer the media at similarly low costs.

Normally I would be jumping up and down at this sort of announcement – it even hammers the 100GB four layer Blu-ray disc announced by TDK last week – but the catch is it appears there is still a loooooong way to go before this technology hits the market (or even if it will?).

The timescale for this one is suggested as being a couple of years, which is a shame since who knows what size discs will be around then to compete with it?

I want to welcome Iomega back into the big time since it gives me warm cuddly feelings about my first fondlings (err..) with PCs all those years ago. Come on boys, get your hustle on!

Iomega Europe

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