Scientists from the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have developed a glass disc just smaller £2 coin that is capable of holding 360TB of data, and has thermal stability up to 1,000°C. These features are thought to make the prototype disc known as the 5D an ideal medium for storing large quantities of important human data and information as a kind of time capsule.
The strength and resilience of the nanostructured glass which makes up the disc is believed to make the disc something that could survive with its stored information intact for billions of years. It’s certainly a long way from buying a box of artefacts under the floor of a new shopping centre and commentators have said that it is more akin to the memory crystal idea featured in the Superman films.
Kills 2 Birds With One Stone
This breakthrough invention in robust miniature storage mediums kills 2 birds with one stone by cracking the problem of finding something that can securely store large amounts of information over very long periods of time, and by being able to record a very large amount of information onto a practical storage medium that very small. It is hoped for example that when the disc is produced at a standard size of 12cm it will be able to store over 7,000 times the amount of data that can be stored on a 50GB double-layer Blu-ray disc.
The researchers have tested the storage potential of the new disc so far by managing to write a number of lengthy cultural and historic works to it including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Newton’s Opticks, the Magna Carta, and the King James Bible to 5D.
What Does It Mean For Your Business?
Secure storage and backup up of digital data are major concerns for business and developments in this areas are always welcomed. It is still early days for the development team who have created the disc and as it stands the commercial possibilities are not yet fully known. The development team of the storage disc have however publicly expressed their goal to make this into a mass market technology which could provide business opportunities for selling the discs. The team are also reported to be looking for industry partners develop and commercialise the technology, and this could provide another opportunity for businesses to benefit from and play a part in the development and commercialisation of what could be a revolutionary new storage medium that has a virtually unlimited lifetime. For now though it’s more a case of looking for markets for the product.