The Future of Things talks about the advances in the optical storage technology industry, the site claims we may see the first laser-hard drive hybrids within about five years. The first laser hard drives could reach speeds of 1Tbits/s while future femtosecond based laser drives may reach 100Tbits/s and beyond.
Although both major challenges have been solved, Stanciu still believes that it will take the industry approximately 5 more years before we can actually see commercial laser-hard drive hybrids. Even with the cheap picosecond lasers existing today, a laser hard drive could reach a phenomenal speed of about 1 TBits/s. In comparison, a top of the line hard drive today can reach a data transfer rate of about 1GBits/s, and advanced solid state flash drives can reach about 2-3 times that speed. In the more distant future femtosecond based laser drives could potentially reach unimaginable speeds of up to 100TBits/s and beyond.