A HARD DISK AS OLD AS TIME IT­SELF

HWM (Malaysia) - - IMPACT - Li­uHongzuo

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by Cur­rent medi­ums of stor­age all suf­fer from de­cay. Books rot, pho­to­graphs fade, and even hard drives can be­come cor­rupt within the decade. But that may soon change.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Southamp­ton have cre­ated a new data for­mat that can store in­for­ma­tion in tiny nanos­truc­tures on a piece of glass. A glass disc ap­prox­i­mately the size of a coin can store up to 360TB of data, and each glass disc has a life­span of up to 13.8 bil­lion years, in tem­per­a­tures as high as 190°C. We’re look­ing at stor­age that records nearly a hun­dred

APRIL 2016 times more data com­pared to ex­ter­nal hard drives of our time, and keep­ing data so long that it’s three times the age of our Earth.

The sci­en­tists call this tech­nol­ogy five-di­men­sional (5D) dig­i­tal data. Data is recorded via nanos­truc­tures cre­ated in fused quartz in three-di­men­sional po­si­tions, and two other di­men­sions: the size and ori­en­ta­tion of said nanos­truc­tures. The re­searchers are now look­ing for com­pa­nies to help bring this data stor­age tech­nol­ogy to mar­ket.

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