Scientists invent Superman-like crystal data storage medium

Scientists have invented a new data storage medium that they are likening to the crystals used to store data in Superman's Fortress of Solitude. According to the scientists, the crystals are so good at storing data that the data encoded on them with lasers could survive longer than the human race. The data encoded could last for millions of years.

The crystal storage device is able to store data in five dimensions including the three dimensions of space and two extra dimensions within the crystal lattice. The storage device would be able to hold up to 360TB of data on a single disc and would be equivalent in capacity to about half a million standard CDs.

The memory glass was invented by Jingyu Zhang and colleagues at Southampton University and is aimed at organizations with big archives. Currently large archives of data have to be backed up to new hard drives every 5-10 years because hard drive lifespan is relatively short.

The fused quartz in the new storage medium is made of virtually pure silica and data is stored by etching the surface with ultra-high-speed laser light. Rows of data on these discs are separated by spaces of a millionth of a meter and each bit can exist in one of two forms and up to 256 variable states giving five storage dimensions. The discs are able to survive temps of up to 1000C and at normal temps the data remains unchanged for millions of years.

SOURCE: Independent