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The Future Of Data Storage Is In A Glass Chip
By John Yong, 25 Sep 2012
Japanese multinational company Hitachi has just unveiled what is believed to be the future of data storage.
They have created a quartz glass chip that is not only capable of storing digital information indefinitely, but is also able to withstand extreme temperatures and hostile conditions without degradation.
The prototype chip is only 2x2cm with a thickness of 2mm, and it is made with quartz glass—a highly stable and resilient material used to make laboratory beakers and other instruments.
According to Phys.org, the glass chip is resistant to many chemicals and remains unaffected by radio waves. It can also be exposed directly to high temperature flames and be heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius for at least two hours without being damaged.
Hitachi researcher Kazuyoshi Torii indicated that the chip stores data in binary form—creating dots inside a thin film of quartz glass.
Since computers read in binary codes, the data stored will always be readable.
“The volume of data being created every day is exploding, but in terms of keeping it for later generations, we haven’t necessarily improved since the days we inscribed things on stones”, said Torii.
“The possibility of losing information may actually have increased,” he added, referring to the life of modern digital media such as CDs and hard drives—which has a limited lifespan of a few decades or century at most.
“As you must have experienced, there is the problem that you cannot retrieve information and data you managed to collect.”
Hitachi has not decided if they will be putting the chip to practical uses, but researches have said that they could start testing the storage device with government agencies, museums and religious organizations.
Does the future of data storage reside in a glass chip? Only time will tell.
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