Thursday, July 11, 2013

Breakthrough in storage technology - 360TB disc that holds data of more than 1 million years

By SheebaSudeep

Thinking of storing all your history in a storage device which will extend beyond your generation! Its possible now.

The new storage device has extremely outstanding specifications.
  • It features 360TB per disc data capacity  that will hold a million years data.
  • It has the ability to withstand extreme temperatures up to 1,832 Fahrenheit.
By enhancing the power of a speedy femtosecond laser, researchers  wrote and read 300KB of data to an never exhausting  medium containing self-assembled nanostructures within fused quartz.

The interesting feature is that, the femtosecond laser, capable of  emitting short and powerful pulses of light, can encode data to not just one or two layers but  three layers of nanostructured dots within the glass spaced five micrometers apart. The researchers are claiming that the femtosecond laser  encodes the data in the crystal by writing data in five dimensions namely a figure based on the size, orientation, and three-dimensional position of the nanostructures.

Prof Jingyu Zhang, a UK professor at the Univ. of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre feels that today's optical media which maximizes to  128 gigabytes (GB) for "BDXL" Blu-Ray multi-layer discs is not enough.Talking at the breakthrough of this technology.

 Prof Zhang stated that "We are developing a very stable and safe form of portable memory using glass, which could be highly useful for organisations with big archives. At the moment companies have to back up their archives every five to ten 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."

Currently, the researchers have succeeded in   recording  a 300 KB file as a tech demonstration, which used three layers of nanocrystalline dots (with a 5 ┬Ám spacer separating dots).

Significant technological hurdles have to  be overcome to productize the technology -- most notably advancing femtosecond laser and microscopy technology to the point where the entire reader/writer can be incorporated into a compact, mass-producible package.

Prof. Peter Kazansky, the ORC’s dean, comments, "It is thrilling to think that we have created the first document which will likely survive the human race. This technology can secure the last evidence of civilisation: all we've learnt will not be forgotten."

Thinking of it as a real-life version of the memory crystals seen in the old "Superman" movies.

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