To put that into perspective, 100 million years ago, dinosaurs were thriving at their peak.
Hitachi researcher Kazuyoshi Torii said. “The volume of data being created every day is exploding, but in terms of keeping it for later generations, we haven’t necessarily improved since the days we inscribed things on stones”.
What does this mean in real terms? Well everyone needs to store and retrieve information on their desktop computers, laptops, cell phones, tablets, and similar devices, which is why we use hard drives and flash based storage. This is good, but these options have a limited life span, which is why your hard drive can crash and take all your data with it.
This is why we need to back up our data. Usual methods include storing it on yet another hard drive. Our current “archival” methods are usually saving data to CD or DVD media, but this has approximately a 10 year shelf life before the files can start becoming corrupted. Not really a secure archival method you can count on.
So researchers at Hitachi took a square inch of multi-layered hardened quartz, used a laser to burn and etch tiny dots in 4 layers, (basically etching what looks like a large QR code into it), and up to 40 MB of data per square inch is safely stored within the layers of quartz as binary code. These tiny dots can be viewed under a microscope, and since the data is stored in binary code, a special reader isn’t required to recover the information stored in the quartz. Hitachi says they can increase the layers from 4 to increase capacity as well.
In an accelerated aging test, Hitachi says it has survived up to two hours of exposure to 2000-degree-Celsius heat. It is also impervious to radio waves, many chemicals, and water also doesn’t dent it.
The average person really doesn’t have a need for extreme archiving of data. I mean, really, is there a document that you create now that you 100% absolutely need to save and have available in 75 years? Not likely, unless you are an author, researcher, etc. This backup method will really only be feasible for storing critical information that absolutely can’t be lost, so it will most likely find a home with governments and corporations, where data archiving is highly desired, still, it’s nice to know that if you wanted to, your data will be safe at least till the year 100002012.
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J. D. Redmond ~ “Dr. Tech” ~ http://www.DrTech.co