Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New quartz glass chip by Hitachi could store your data forever

Japanese electronics giant Hitachi unveiled a glimpse at the future of long-lasting digital storage and it’s a piece of glass.

This two centimeter square and two millimeter thick sliver of quartz glass can hold 40 megabytes of data per square inch.  The new technology stores binary data by using a laser beam to create dots inside the thin sheet of quartz glass which can then be read using an optical microscope connected to a monitor with data reading software. Moreover, the chip is as tough as they come. Quartz glass is a highly stable and resilient material and can withstand hostile conditions like water (tsunamis), heat (high temperature flames and heat up to 1,000 degrees Celsius for two hours), radio waves and most chemicals. So, theoretically Hitachi’s glass chip would be capable of storing digital information for a few hundred million years.

While this is only a prototype, chips developed from quartz glass plate technology could have real potential to replace CDs and hard drives which have a lifespan of a few decades to a century at most.

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