Hitachi hopes to bring new storage technology capable of holding data for hundreds of millions of years to market by 2015.
The data storage medium is glass-based, and is highly resistant to heat and water. The company's main research lab uses a laser to etch digital patterns into robust quartz glass at a data density that is better than compact discs, and uses an optical microscope to read it. The data is etched at four distinct layers in the glass using different focal points of the laser.
Hitachi devised the idea in 2009, but read and write times remained an issue. The company uses tiny dot patterns to store bits, and recently developed a way to etch 100 dots at a time, greatly improving the write time. Hitachi says the new technology will be suitable for storing "historically important items such as cultural artifacts and public documents, as well as data that individuals want to leave for posterity."
Hitachi researcher Tomiko Kinoshita says the company is considering a system in which customers send their data to Hitachi to be encoded.
From IDG News Service
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