These 360 TB Discs Will Last for 13.8 Billion Years
Using nanostructured glass, scientists from the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have developed the recording and retrieval processes of five dimensional (5D) digital data by femtosecond laser writing.
The storage allows unprecedented properties including 360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1,000°C and virtually unlimited lifetime at room temperature (13.8 billion years at 190°C) opening a new era of eternal data archiving. [source]
The technology was first experimentally demonstrated in 2013. Documents are recorded using ultrafast laser, producing extremely short and intense pulses of light. The file is written in three layers of nanostructured dots separated by five micrometres (one millionth of a metre).
The self-assembled nanostructures change the way light travels through glass, modifying polarisation of light that can then be read by combination of optical microscope and a polariser, similar to that found in Polaroid sunglasses. [source]
Coined as the ‘Superman memory crystal’, as the glass memory has been compared to the “memory crystals” used in the Superman films, the data is recorded via self-assembled nanostructures created in fused quartz. The information encoding is realised in five dimensions: the size and orientation in addition to the three dimensional position of these nanostructures.
Major documents from human history such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Newton’s Opticks, Magna Carta and Kings James Bible, have been saved as digital copies that could survive the human race.
For more information visit the University of Southampton