There’s a new kind of storage device which many tech companies have been diving into in secret for the past few years, which Hitachi recently came out with a technology they are developing which is essentially a sheet of Quartz Glass, which could potentially save data up to 300 Million Years!
If you didn’t know anything about storage devices that we currently have, but anything from records, CD’s, USB sticks, magnetic tape, none of these can even lay a finger on this new, very impressive technology.
“The prototype is made of a square of quartz two centimeters wide and two millimeters thick. It houses four layers of dots that are created with a femtosecond laser, which produces extremely short pulses of light. The dots represent information in binary form, a standard that should be comprehensible even in the distant future and can be read with a basic optical microscope. Because the layers are embedded, surface erosion would not affect them.”
Now, while this is exciting, there’s more to it than just that. See, While Hitachi currently has an actual produceable thing which they will probably start marketing once they figure out a simple means of transferring data to say, computers and television, the basic model they have (see picture above) only has the data storage capacity slightly better than a CD.
But that’s not to say that this tech is doomed, simply that it’s young… and even then, some people are already working on a bigger and better thing!
Scientists in the University of Southhampton in the UK have been developing an even MORE incredible technology. It’s called “Superman” Crystals, and potentially has the storage capacity of up to 350 TB, and can last forever!
A graphic depicting a 5D optical storage writing setup: femtosecond laser, spatial light modulator (SLM), Fourier lens (FL), half-wave plates matrix (»/2 M), dichroic mirror, 1.2 NA water immersion objective, silica glass sample, translation stage. (Image: University of Southhampton)
There currently isn’t any demonstrated prototypes available to the public yet, and the 350TB of storage is speculation, but it does sound promising.
“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 nano-structured glass capable of thermal stability up to 1000°C — and a practically unlimited lifetime. The information encoding comes in five dimensions that include the size and orientation in addition to the three dimensional position of these nano-structures.”
It seems Crystals still got some magic after all And they don’t have to just be in your pocket, they might be the basis for all of our computers in the future. I mean, they are now, but perhaps even more so
Perhaps the most exciting revelation of all, is the relationship that this has to the Crystal Skulls!