Written by IEEE | March 29, 2016   |   Updated: April 3, 2017

 

Researchers have invented a new way to store digital data on a quartz disc, creating a storage method that’s expected to last for about 14 billion years — yes, basically forever.

Scientists from Southampton University in the UK employed a technique using laser light pulses to write data onto a small 3D structure made from quartz. The light pulses created three layers of nanostructured dots measuring only five microns above each other. The amount of data that can be written onto just one quartz disc is about 360 terabytes.

The research team has stored data on these tiny discs from major works of writing such as the King James Bible and the Magna Carta. The amount of data storage space available on each disc is so enormous and will change the way large quantities of information are archived — especially considering the stability of each disc. In addition to the lifetime of each quartz disc, they are able to withstand temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This new technology is a huge leap into the future of data storage.

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