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Iomega aiming for 800GB DVDs

Storage company has been granted patent that it says it will use to boost DVD capacity by 40 to 100 times using nanotechnology.

Storage company Iomega is looking to increase the capacity of DVDs up to 100 times, meaning it could, conceivably, create 800GB discs.

The San Diego-based company announced on Tuesday that it had been issued a patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,879,556, which covers a method of encoding data on the surface of a DVD so more data--on the order of 40 to 100 times that of current capacities--can be stored. Current DVDs can hold up to about 8.5GB of data. Data transfer speeds would also jump five to 30 times, according to the company.

The technique uses reflective nano-structures to encode data on a multilevel format.

Iomega is looking to commercialize the procedure and is searching for partners to produce data storage devices, the company said.

The move would allow companies to significantly increase DVD capacity without having to transition to next-generation formats. Companies are already squabbling over two formats in development, Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD, and groups are working to establish their preferred format as the industry standard.

Increased capacity on discs is significant as the entertainment and broadcast industries move toward high-definition picture quality. That move will mean discs will have to get heftier to hold movies in high definition. Movies on DVD are a highly profitable business for entertainment companies.

Iomega will detail the technology based on the patent at the Information Storage Industry Consortium symposium in July in Monterey, Calif.