30 Oct '13, 2pm

Data for the 31st Century

Data for the 31st Century

Photo: University of Southampton Disc of Destiny: Using alterations in the way quartz refracts light, we could store data in a superdense form for centuries. Computer scientist Peter Kazansky at the University of Southampton, in England, has some words for the ages. He and a group of collaborators wrote them in quartz crystal using new optical techniques that could preserve the text for millennia . The message, which consisted of the abstract of the paper announcing the work , is stored as two types of alterations in the way quartz glass refracts light. The combination of the two allows for data-storage densities as high as 360 terabytes per disc, or more than 7000 times today’s 50-gigabyte double-layer Blu-ray capacity. There’s always a catch, though. Reading the message requires an electron microscope, and the process may never provide faster access to stored data than e...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/memory/data-for-t...

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