In quartz glass: Hitachi stores data for eternity


Unless you break it before. As a storage medium, the Hitachi researchers namely serve platelets made of quartz glass, 2 millimeters thick and 2 centimeters square, the partner Dr. med. Kiyotaka Miura from the University of Kyoto as a prototype. Per square inch, it can accommodate 40 megabytes of data, which burns a laser with points in four layers similar to a conventional CD. More layers to increase the storage density are from the point of view of the Hitachi basic researchers but no problem, reports the industry service "The Register".

"The volume of data generated every day is exploding, but as far as their preservation for later generations is concerned, we have not progressed much since we started carving things in stone, " said Hitachi researcher Kazuyoshi Torii of news agency AFP. In many cases, loss of information has become even more likely; CDs and tapes, for example, lasted a maximum of a few decades, but often failed after only a few years.

In any case, the storage glass withstands heating to 1000 degrees Celsius for more than two hours without damage and is also insensitive to radiation, water and almost all chemicals. "We believe that the data survive on it until this tempered glass is broken, " proclaims senior researcher Takao Watanabe.

And because the data is stored in a simple binary fashion, future generations or civilizations should still be able to read it, the Hitachi researchers believe. The lasered dots can even be seen under a simple microscope.