Coin-Sized Chip Can Store 360TB Data for 14 Billion Years

Want to save your data for a long time? Like virtually forever?

Current storage mediums offer limited lifespan for your data, and they’re usually destined to fail within some years.

But fret no more. This is about to change because researchers have managed to increase the storage and lifespan of such mediums using quartz glass. The new quartz tech can store 360 terabytes of data for 14 billion years!

And did we mention all this is possible in a coin-sized chip?

What Makes This Possible?

Previously, quartz glass was capable of storing data for a span of 300 million years. Now the researchers at the Southampton University in UK have enhanced the nano-structure technology using a femtosecond laser.

The quartz glass discs are etched (the data is written on the discs) with this laser in a microstructure about five microns tall, with each pulse creating a series of three lasers.

By passing another pulse of polarized light passing through the discs, the massive treasure trove of data is revealed.

The Significance of ‘Immortal Storage’

The significance of this invention can be understood by having a perspective of time as we know it:

  • The age of the universe is 13.82 billion years
  • the age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years
  • The forecasted life of Earth is 7.9 billion years

So its quite clear that this small glass disc will be able to save data for forever.

‘Superman Memory Crystal’

The device is being called “the Superman memory crystal” by the university. One sliver of quartz can store 360 terabytes of data.

The storage functionality of this device makes it a 5D (dimension) storage device. These include the three dimensions of space, which are necessary to describe the physical location of the dot, and two additional dimensions that are encoded by the polarity and intensity of the beam that creates the dot.

The quartz can withstand 154 degree Celsius, which makes it fairy durable.

Just imagine, a nice big warehouse full of these disks, buried deep underground with all the thermal protection in the world. It can serve as a time capsule for the entire human race, hosting all data we’ve ever created and ever will.