Sunday, June 08, 2008

Stationary Optical Drive

It seems stupid that we spin disks mechanically several thousand times a minute. Lots of work, lots to go wrong. Generates heat, noise, and has hard limitations on how fast we can read data based on how fast we can spin a physical object.

What if instead we read data of a stationary platter with a stationary reader. We direct the reader using a similar method to a CRT. Basically we have two electromagnets, one for the x and one for the y axis. This shines the light onto the desired position of the platter, which then reflects onto a reflective bowl with a focal point of a sensor.

+---- Sensor
-------S------- <-- Platter
\ / <-- reflective bowl
+---- read laser and CRT like aiming device

We would probably need to sustain data rates of over 1GB/s and storage comparable to existing DVDs to be interesting.