'Superman' crystals could store 360TB of data forever
Data can be kept in crystals that can resist temperatures of 1,000°C
Computerworld - Researchers have been able to demonstrate the ability to read and write data using a five-dimensional recording process in a synthetic crystal to store massive amounts of data indefinitely.
The researchers, led by Jingyu Zhang from the University of Southampton in the U.K., successfully recorded a 300KB digital copy of a text file onto nanostructured glass in 5D using ultrafast and intense pulse laser. The file was written in three layers of nanostructured dots separated by five micrometers (five millionths of a meter).
The scientists used a femtosecond laser, which emits pulses of light in femtoseconds (one quadrillionth, or one millionth of one billionth of a second). The 5D read/write laser can record up to an estimated 360 TB/disc data capacity on nanostructured glass capable of thermal stability up to 1000°C -- and a practically unlimited lifetime.
In a statement this week, the researchers called the glass the "Superman memory crystal," alluding to the "memory crystals" used in Superman films to store the planet Kryptonite's history and its civilization's collective knowledge.
The University of Southampton researchers recorded via self-assembled nanostructures created in fused quartz, which they said is able to store the vast quantities of data for more than a million years.
The information encoding comes in five dimensions that include the size and orientation in addition to the three dimensional position of these nanostructures.
According to a recently published paper, the self-assembled nanostructures change the way light travels through glass, modifying polarization of light that can then be read by combination of optical microscope and a polarizer, similar to that found in Polaroid sunglasses.
The research was conducted as part of a joint project with Eindhoven University of Technology.
"We are developing a very stable and safe form of portable memory using glass, which could be highly useful for organizations with big archives," Jingyu said in a statement. "At the moment, companies have to back up their archives every five to 10 years because hard-drive memory has a relatively short lifespan.
"Museums who want to preserve information or places like the national archives where they have huge numbers of documents, would really benefit," he added.
This article, 'Superman' crystals could store 360TB of data forever, was originally published at Computerworld.com.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Read more about Emerging Technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.
- Market Overview: Digital Customer Experience Delivery Platforms Forrester states that businesses today struggle to understand and use the tools necessary to create and manage unified, multichannel digital customer experiences across...
- The Growing Demand for Rich Media This white paper discusses how IBM Customer Experience Suite Rich Media Edition can automate rich media workflows, from collaborating with creative agencies and...
- Three Best Practices to Help Enterprises Overcome BYOD Challenges The new Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) environment presents challenges for IT managers and business leaders. This paper discusses how IT managers can address those challenges,...
- Intelligent Imaging for Improved Banking Performance and Profitability A new generation of "Intelligent Imaging" solutions has emerged that is helping banks remove the burden of paper in legacy processes, like loan...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Emerging Technologies White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!