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earlier known under FMD disk

USA / Israel / Russia september 1999


Editors notes

It appeared that this technology will never become available since C3D's links and whereabouts were untracable from the 2nd halve of august 2002. The editors presumed that the sharp economic downturn in 2002 also cut off the funding for this promising development. However a few firms did take licences so we might see the FMD back in some form or another.
In a way this might be a perfect example of the so called "Vaporware": hardware that is promised but never comes to the market.

The following story is in wikipedia:

After Constellation 3D shut down due to a scandal (the scandal essentially involved the prototype "demonstrated" at COMDEX 2000 being a hoax — the content was actually playing on a hard drive — the device was faked) and the company consequently running out of money, a new company called D Data Inc. (4) was formed which acquired the entire patent portfolio of Constellation 3D in 2003. The company is determined to bring multilayer optical disc technology to the market, and so has introduced the technology again under the new name of Digital Multilayer Disk (DMD) (5).

promising to have the technology available at the end of 2006

At the time of writing - Oct. 2006 - the site still exists and the editors have contacted management for more info.


Lev Zeidenberg, Prof. Yaakov Malkin,  Prof. Eugene Levich

papers & manuals





Introduced by Constellation 3D Inc. (C3D), Fluorescent Multi-Layer Disc holds up to 140 GB of data. This is currently (2001) 215 times more than a CD-ROM (.65 GB) and 23 times more than a DVD-ROM (~6 GB).

FMD-ROM discs contain fluorescent materials embedded in the pits and grooves of all 10+ layers. When in contact with a laser, the fluorescent materials are stimulated to produce coherent and incoherent light; data is stored in the incoherent light.


Because the technology isn't based on reflection, multiple layers are read at the same time.

With minor re-tooling, FMD-ROM discs are compatible with existing CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives. Likewise, FMD-ROM drives are backward compatible, accepting CDs and DVDs.


The layers on a Reveo CLC disc reflect only a specific color.


The concept of multi-layer reflective optical discs has been proposed by Philips and IBM, and has been demonstrated up to several layers. In fact, DVD is an implementation of this concept with two layers.

However for many layers, the coherent nature of the probing laser beam causes interference, scatter and intra-layer cross talk - the combination of which results in a signal that is degraded to unacceptable levels. In addition, reflective multi-layer discs encountered considerable technological difficulties in manufacturing of media commensurate with the formidable requirements for optical quality. For these reasons research efforts into multi-layer reflective technologies have been abandoned.

fmd_disk.jpg (26176 bytes)

The concept of multi-layer, fluorescent cards/discs (FMD/C) is a unique breakthrough, solving the problems of signal degradation associated with current reflective optical disc technologies of CD and DVD.

As with a CD or DVD, data on the FMD layers is encoded on a substrate in a series of geometrical features or volumetric marks. Each layer will have a capacity of 4.7 Gigabytes (as in the case of DVD).

With FMD/C technology, each storage layer is coated with a transparent fluorescent material rather than the reflective metallic layer of a CD or DVD. When the laser beam hits a mark on a layer, fluorescent light is emitted. This emitted light has a different wavelength from the incident laser light - slightly shifted towards the red end of the light spectrum - and is incoherent in nature, in contrast to the reflected coherent light in current optical devices. The emitted light is not affected by data marks, and therefore transverses adjacent layers undisturbed.

In the read out system of the drive, the laser light is filtered out, so that only the information-bearing fluorescent light is detected. This reduces the effect of stray light and interference. Theoretical studies, confirmed by experimental results, have shown that in conventional reflection systems the signal quality degrades rapidly with the number of layers. In fluorescent read-out systems, on the other hand, the signal quality degrades much more slowly with each additional layer. Research has shown that media containing up to a hundred layers are currently feasible, thereby increasing the potential capacity of a single card or disk to hundreds of Gigabytes. Use of blue lasers would increase the capacities to over 1 Terabyte.

fmd_diskdrive.jpg (6570 bytes)


1999 first published in september

2001 first license given to Sony

2002 august C3D disappeared

2003 D Data Inc aquired the patents of C3D en will develop HD DMD - Digital Multilayer Disk. (5)


Go Backhardware indexgo to homepagesearch this site Last Updated on 23 October, 2006 For suggestions please mail the editors 

Footnotes & References