New Nanostructured Quartz Coin Stores 360TB of Data for Billions of Years

By: | June 10th, 2016

Optical Data Storage

Optical Data Storage (Image Courtesy

IndustryTap has reported on storing the entire contents of today’s Internet in a teacup full of DNA. Now, a new nanostructured quartz coin developed by researchers at the University of Southhampton Optoelectronics Research Center (ORC) uses femtosecond laser pulses to write data at nanoscale in five dimensions or 5D.

Optical Data Storage

Optical Data Storage (Image Courtesy

According to ORC, the new “memory crystal”:

  • stores 360 terabytes (TB) per disc which can be held between the thumb and forefinger
  • thermal stability to a maximum of 1,000°C
  • an estimated lifetime of 13.8 billion years at room temperature

Femtosecond laser pulses are superfast and write data in three layers of nanostructured dots separated by one millionth of a meter. According to Peter Kazansky, professor of engineering at Southhampton ORC, “it is thrilling to think that we have created the technology to preserve documents and information and store it in space for future generations. This technology can secure the last evidence of our civilization: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten.”

The following video explains the history of digital record keeping and the emergence of new methods that will make data storage permanent.

The following video explains the new 5D storage technology.

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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