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IBM Patents Optical Disc With Embedded Flash Memory

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

Just about when the HD wars were settled between HD DVD and Blu-ray, IBM submitted a patent for yet another disc format.

The company imagined a next generation optical disc to integrate flash memory to enable stronger interaction features between content and the content consumer.

For those who remember, Toshiba conceded the HD battle to Sony on February 16, 2008 when it was clear that even $300 million marketing campaign could not help the format prevail. A month earlier, on January 18, 2008, IBM filed a patent application entitled "disk with embedded flash memory and disc drive", which addressed the lack of interactivity between the user and data in evolving content scenarios. For example, a game disc could directly store game progress on the disk, rather than on a game console, which would be rather handy when a game would be used in another console.

The idea was to embed flash memory near the center hole and add electrical contact to the opening, which would connect to contacts of a disk player. The patent also noted that the flash memory could be removed and inserted in another disk in the case the disk gets scratched and needs to be replaced. As neat as the idea was, as difficult may it have been to pitch it in 2008 when flash memory prices were still in a different universe and even small amounts of flash memory may have increased the cost of a media disk by a factor greater than 10x.

The patent frequently refers to HD DVD as an example recipient for the technology and this may be just one indication how old the idea really is. Could this disk succeed today? Unlikely. We are used to having our game data in the "cloud" and prefer accessing the data whenever and wherever we want, even if that is not always as convenient as it sounds. 

 

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  • -1 Hide
    pjmelect , August 3, 2012 10:10 PM
    Why not instead of using flash memory simply make a small area of the disc R/W?
  • -2 Hide
    pjmelect , August 3, 2012 10:10 PM
    Why not instead of using flash memory simply make a small area of the disc R/W?

    Maybe I should patent this idea?
  • 8 Hide
    freggo , August 3, 2012 10:14 PM
    pjmelectWhy not instead of using flash memory simply make a small area of the disc R/W?


    prob too difficult to manufacture as the two types use different storage substrates.
  • Display all 28 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , August 3, 2012 10:21 PM
    Indeed... Too expensive and pure flash would be better if and when? it would be possible to compete price wise with optical disk. And that can take many, many years...
  • 2 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , August 3, 2012 10:47 PM
    There goes at least $10,000 in filing fees !
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , August 3, 2012 11:03 PM
    " And we currently backup all our data to 2 copies of blueray disks, for long term storage. Way more cost effective and accessible than anything else we could find. So disks are not going anywhere."

    Blueray for backups? Eww.....just buy a couple usb flash drives and backup to them, faster, easier. But the real reason to use flash drives instead is you don't have to worry about the cds delaminating and destroying all your data, the flash drives are going to last a hell of a lot longer. Blueray hasn't been out long enough to see how fast this will happen yet; however it happened FAR FAR sooner for rewritable cds then the companies advertised. I wouldnt trust it at all for long term storage.

    Sure USB flash drives cost more, but they are still cheap as hell. Like $10 for 16 gigs, $20 for 32 gigs.
  • 7 Hide
    ram1009 , August 3, 2012 11:11 PM
    Who's used to having game data in a cloud? Not me.
  • -2 Hide
    pjmelect , August 3, 2012 11:25 PM
    Quote:

    Why not instead of using flash memory simply make a small area of the disc R/W?



    prob too difficult to manufacture as the two types use different storage substrates.


    Then why not simply make one layer R/W that way you can use existing DVD/ blue ray players. If they must go and use SSD then it would be better to use electromagnetic induction rather than contacts.

    I place all of my ideas published here in the public domain.
    The point is, is that they patent all sorts of silly ideas just in case someone tries to use it in a product.

    Here is another idea, why not provide a link or switch on a hard drive to securely delete the data on the hard drive including backup sectors?

    I can come up with ideas for patents like this until the cows come home, it maybe a good idea for Tomshardware to have a forum for people to post computer related ideas, which will be in the public domain and so stop companies from patenting them and stifling innovation in the computer industry.
  • 0 Hide
    izajasz , August 3, 2012 11:33 PM
    pjmelectWhy not instead of using flash memory simply make a small area of the disc R/W?

    Yeah , why not use next gen flash cards that sotre 1tb for example ? and just insert them in the reader to oad a movie for example xd lal
  • 9 Hide
    memadmax , August 4, 2012 12:19 AM
    Cloud? Slow and takes up bandwidth, but acessable. Good for docs, pics, etc etc.
    FlashDrives? Fast and somewhat high cap, but, I question reliability. I have had a few flashdrives suddenly lose all their contents on me for no reason at all.
    DVD? The old standby, burn and turn. Somewhat slow, but good capacity.
    NAS? This is my preferred method. Fast, high capacity, and if built right, very reliable.
    DVD with flash? The perfect anti-piracy disk if used right and gets popular.
  • -4 Hide
    fb39ca4 , August 4, 2012 12:28 AM
    Don't you just hate how all these new patents are basically combining two existing things together?
  • 0 Hide
    fb39ca4 , August 4, 2012 12:30 AM
    alk2kl2lkl2kCDs(and DVDs) have their place in history, but they are a dead tech. Time to let them die.Its been several years now since the last time i bought anything on a disc. Digital downloads for the win! And if you really want a physical copy, they should just stick it on a cheap USB flash drive.DVDs are just too slow and limited storage.Blueray, is just garbage in every sense. It's way too expensive, way too slow, and stuffed so full of DRM that it makes using them very annoying. Sticking a new blueray into your player and having it not work due to a new form of DRM has happened far too many times. Even when they work, they load way way too slow, and the interface locks you into watching all their previews and crap when all you want is the movie.Time for spinning disk media to just die.

    It's called unauthorized Bluray players *cough* *cough*
  • 0 Hide
    dalethepcman , August 4, 2012 12:32 AM
    I don't understand why they don't "rent" movies on flash media. Pay $20 up front for each 8GB (dvd) or $40 for each 32GB (bd) movie flash chip.

    When you rent a movie, its yours for one set price with no late fees, bring it back in and exchange it for another movie (swap your drive for an in stock one).
  • 3 Hide
    alidan , August 4, 2012 12:53 AM
    pjmelectWhy not instead of using flash memory simply make a small area of the disc R/W?


    far to limited on the number of tines you can do that.

    5kisssss" And we currently backup all our data to 2 copies of blueray disks, for long term storage. Way more cost effective and accessible than anything else we could find. So disks are not going anywhere."Blueray for backups? Eww.....just buy a couple usb flash drives and backup to them, faster, easier. But the real reason to use flash drives instead is you don't have to worry about the cds delaminating and destroying all your data, the flash drives are going to last a hell of a lot longer. Blueray hasn't been out long enough to see how fast this will happen yet; however it happened FAR FAR sooner for rewritable cds then the companies advertised. I wouldnt trust it at all for long term storage.Sure USB flash drives cost more, but they are still cheap as hell. Like $10 for 16 gigs, $20 for 32 gigs.


    i have an 8gb flash drive, i used it twice for moving large files a dvd couldn't burn, the second time, i lost files because the damn thing corrupted. i have burnt over 500 dvds, and over 700 cds, i can put the first cd i ever burnt int my dvd player right now, and the thing will still read it all. so long as the burn was good and verified, i never had a problem with dvd, but i have had more than 1 flash drive/device crap out on me, for no real reason. so i don't trust flash as much as i trust dvd for storage.

    right now blurays are about the same price as dvds, at gb per $ level, in a year or so, i will probably get a bluray burner and move some of my old dvd backups to bluray.

    and a side not for anyone, if you back up data... make sure its a redundant system, anything important have 2 coppies.
  • 2 Hide
    kyuuketsuki , August 4, 2012 1:20 AM
    alk2kl2lkl2kAnd if you really want a physical copy, they should just stick it on a cheap USB flash drive.
    Even the cheapest flash drives are still much more expensive than optical discs. No one is going to distribute software on flash drives unless you're willing to stomach another $20 hike on the price.
    Quote:
    Blueray, is just garbage in every sense. It's way too expensive, way too slow, and stuffed so full of DRM that it makes using them very annoying.
    The DRM has little to do with Blu-ray itself, and don't think for a minute you aren't going to get the same crap on your digital downloads -- unless you pirate, of course. As for speed... it's still a helluva lot faster than my internet connection.
    Quote:
    Sticking a new blueray into your player and having it not work due to a new form of DRM has happened far too many times.
    Never had that happen a single time.
    Quote:
    Even when they work, they load way way too slow[...]
    Stop buying cheap Blu-ray players and the loading isn't as much of an issue.
    Quote:
    [...]and the interface locks you into watching all their previews and crap when all you want is the movie.
    You can almost always hit a button to skip straight to the menu. They do need to stop with the 20 warnings for piracy and other miscellaneous crap. If you're watching it, you didn't pirate. Pirated copies don't get the warnings. But the idiots in suits running these companies probably won't ever understand a concept such as logic. But again, this is nothing specific to optical discs. They're already doing the same thing to streaming video and digital downloads.
    Quote:
    Time for spinning disk media to just die.
    If my choices are spinning disc or cloud, I choose spinning disc any day.
  • -3 Hide
    madjimms , August 4, 2012 1:37 AM
    john_4Ah, another lemming of the new world order.


    *facepalm*
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , August 4, 2012 1:44 AM
    Interesting bit of pc trivia. Considering what happened since 2008 I doubt anything will happen.
  • 1 Hide
    A Bad Day , August 4, 2012 2:16 AM
    Sony pretty much won the HD format war when they bundled Blu-ray players with their PS3. The players were so cheap that initially researchers salvaged PS3s to extract the typically expensive blue laser diode or whatever the laser emitter is called.
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