This Piece Of Glass Can Store Data Forever

Data, like all things, eventually dies. Your music, your movies, your documents, your files, your computer. You don't expect it to live forever but... what if it did? Hitachi claims that they've developed a new quartz glass plate that can store data forever.

CDs and hard drives can only last for a few decades or a century at most, this new quartz glass can "endure extreme temperatures and hostile conditions without degrading, almost forever." How does it work? The data is stored in binary form with dots inside a thin sheet of quartz glass. The data is read with an ordinary optical microscope. PhysOrg says:

The prototype storage device is two centimetres square and just two millimetres thick and made from quartz glass, a highly stable and resilient material, used to make beakers and other instruments for laboratory use.

The chip, which is resistant to many chemicals and unaffected by radio waves, can be exposed directly to high temperature flames and heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius for at least two hours without being damaged.

Currently, the material — which is also waterproof — has four layers of dots which can hold 40 megabytes per square inch (approx. the density of a music CD) but researchers believe they can add even more layers. Glass storage. Amazing that something that sounds so fragile is actually the strongest form of data storage. [PhysOrg]


Comments

    How do you write the dots?

      I checked the source article and is says that a laser (of course) is used to burn in the dots.

    Lots of "oops I dropped the glass hard drive." moments.

      +1
      First thing I thought when I read this article.

    iPhone 9 will have a its data stored in its screen. Drop it and break your phone and lose your data in one go

    I store all my data on stone tablets

    This is making me think of every sci-fi show with "crystals" in their computers...

      +1
      For all the times sci fi is wrong, it's sometimes, however rarely, scarily accurate.

      yeah when i first read the article i thought "sweet, we're getting closer to stargate crystals."

        +1... Asgard crystals and Ancients/Lanteans crystal plates for data storage... :)

    So all that is required is a high powered microscope that can record video, some fine pure quartz, and a lazer to write to the quartz?

    Pretty amazing stuff, soon there will be some Do-it-yourselfers experimenting if this is all that's required.

    Wonder if they will ever be able to "flash" a whole quartz drive by zapping it with some high voltage electricity.

    Don't scratch it...

    Aren't the disks in HDDs made of glass? Not the storage medium as such of course, but still...

    IBM used to make consumer HDD with glass platters, however they were still coated in a substance that stores the data magnetically... incidentally they became known as Death-star (rather than the actual name Desk-star) because that had an exceptionally high failure rate...

    inb4 we suddenlt realise that all the precious stones we covet and cut into sparkly shapes are actually the condensed universal knowledge of a previous civilization.
    Or that the mummified remains of thousands of ancient egyptians who got burned or otherwise destroyed were a historic/genetic/pathogenic record intended to be studied and appended forever.
    Oops.
    I don't imagine future or outside civilizations will be terribly interested in a bunch of optically flawed quartz if they don't already know what it is for.
    Mnemonic water.... glass... nice. Now we are getting somewhere.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." - Yoda

      agreed... the amount of compression not only in the geology around us, but in our own DNA...

    Seriously cool stuff.

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