This week in news around the web, scientists from the UK have developed a glass storage device that can hold 360 terabytes of data, with an estimated lifespan of up to 13.8 billion years (even at temperatures of 190°C).
The method, called five-dimensional data storage, was presented in a 2013 paper and has been fine-tuned by scientists to this working prototype. The 5-D discs store information within their interior using nanogratings, which change how light is reflected in five dimensions. The changes to the light can be read to obtain pieces of information about the nanograting’s orientation, the strength of the light it refracts, and its location in space on the x, y, and z axes. The use of five dimensions, as opposed to two, is why 5-D discs can store data so densely compared to regular optical discs.
The researchers are moving into commercialization. Although the lasers needed to fabricate the discs won’t be available to the general public, commercial equipment to read the discs could be developed in decades, according to the research team.
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