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5D data storage in quartz crystal


RainDreamer
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http://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2016/02/5d-data-storage-update.page

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Scientists at the University of Southampton have made a major step forward in the development of digital data storage that is capable of surviving for billions of years.
Using nanostructured glass, scientists from the University’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have developed the recording and retrieval processes of five dimensional (5D) digital data by femtosecond laser writing.
The storage allows unprecedented properties including 360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1,000°C and virtually unlimited lifetime at room temperature (13.8 billion years at 190°C ) opening a new era of eternal data archiving. As a very stable and safe form of portable memory, the technology could be highly useful for organisations with big archives, such as national archives, museums and libraries, to preserve their information and records.

 

Memory crystals and such stuff in sci-fi is one step closer to us now. I can't wait to see what kind of computer we will have then that use crystal disk readers.

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It is not exactly D as in dimensions. This article explain it better with some nifty video of the process: http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/16/11018018/5d-data-storage-glass

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5D discs, by comparison, store information within their interior using tiny physical structures known as "nanogratings." Much like those bumpy lines in the CDs, these change how light is reflected, but instead of doing so in just two "dimensions," the reflected light encodes five — hence the name. The changes to the light can be read to obtain pieces of information about the nanograting's orientation, the strength of the light it refracts, and its location in space on the x, y, and z axes. These extra dimensions are why 5D discs can store data so densely compared to regular optical discs. A Blu-ray disc can hold up to 128GBs of data (the same as the biggest iPhone), while a 5D disc of the same size could store nearly 3,000 times that: 360 terabytes of information.

 

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The storage allows unprecedented properties including 360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1,000°C and virtually unlimited lifetime at room temperature (13.8 billion years at 190°C ) opening a new era of eternal data archiving.

In format that will be impossible to read within next 30 years... just like most of old closed source file formats today for example DOC from 1983 ;)

Btw any schema for how they did it, how it works?

This image on site looks like golden ratio spiral

goldspiral.gif

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3 minutes ago, Darnok said:

In format that will be impossible to read within next 30 years... just like most of old closed source file formats today for example DOC from 1983 ;)

You could spend a little of the available room to explain your formatting in a less cryptic way. As long as they are capable of reading the basic language it is written in, they will be able to read it.

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1 hour ago, RainDreamer said:

Memory crystals and such stuff in sci-fi is one step closer to us now. I can't wait to see what kind of computer we will have then that use crystal disk readers.

if you want to get technical flash is a memory crystal. its just stuck in a plastic case because its only a tiny sliver of moncrystalline silicon and is very fragile.

Edited by Nuke
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15 minutes ago, Nuke said:

if you want to get technical flash is a memory crystal. its just stuck in a plastic case because its only a tiny sliver of moncrystalline silicon and is very fragile.

But I don't want to get technical! :mad:

I mean look at this:

Eternal_5D_data_storage_by_ultrafast_las

Sooo fancy and pretty. Can totally just line them up around as decorations, then plop them in a reader when you need to use them.

Edited by RainDreamer
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The claimed lifetime of 13,8 billion years sounds a lot like the age of the Universe, so my spidey sense is tingling.

Also, the disks they show and claim to contain the Declaration of human right, Bible etc are actually quite pathetic demonstrations. The declaration is about 10 KB in size. The Bible, while bigger than the Declaration, can still fit on a floppy disk.

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You know, at these densities you could store more than just files.  You could some day scan people's brain's and store their neural patterns.  You could have encyclopedias of knowledge that don't just contain the facts, they contain images of minds that can actually implement the skills.  

So on a starship, you might have engine problems.  So you check the manual.  The rigid procedures in the manual don't cover this.  So you check an encyclopedia - sort of a wikipedia with better quality control - for knowledge about starship engines.  Issue is too complex to figure it out without being experienced in engines.  So you load a copy of the mind of the original designer of the engine on the ship you are flying, and get it straight from the source.  (honestly you'd probably just skip to this whenever you have any problem at all)

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55 minutes ago, Shpaget said:

The claimed lifetime of 13,8 billion years sounds a lot like the age of the Universe, so my spidey sense is tingling.

Also, the disks they show and claim to contain the Declaration of human right, Bible etc are actually quite pathetic demonstrations. The declaration is about 10 KB in size. The Bible, while bigger than the Declaration, can still fit on a floppy disk.

The numbers they throw around are just theoretical limits. We will finally see when it get to practical tests. Although I imagine microscopic etching inside a block of crystal, if left alone, probably will last for a long time.

The current demonstration are just technological demonstration of the technology encoding data to a 5D optical format. They just need to prove it to be possible first, theoretically a disk with the dimensions in the image should be able to store 360TB, probably with more surfaces dedicating to the pattern than decoration. 

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1 hour ago, RainDreamer said:

snip

The items they show off do not demonstrate the information density they claim to have achieved.

Writing the amount of data they claim to have written on the disk of that size is trivial. A consumer grade printer can do that easily.

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14 hours ago, Camacha said:

You could spend a little of the available room to explain your formatting in a less cryptic way. As long as they are capable of reading the basic language it is written in, they will be able to read it.

It is not about language, but about algorithm used to write data. In many formats you have different algorithms which means without it you have basically no idea what it does and how to read it. That is why I wonder how they are writing data on those disks.

Like others said those books and texts are far smaller than 360 TB ;)

Also I can see this storage as next step for cryptography... steganography.

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As long they can make it perfectly and easily, it's good. A CD, DVD and Blu-ray can be "burn" in any computer fitted with one of the writer (which is standard sized). Would this 5D disc can do so ?

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I'm having hard time believing that portable media with moving parts is going to make a comeback. I don't think tech like this will get widely adopted until we have photonic interfaces for solid state access. When we have that, and they can make it into a USB thumb drive, it probably could become comonplace. But we have at least a decade to go for that.

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9 minutes ago, K^2 said:

I'm having hard time believing that portable media with moving parts is going to make a comeback. I don't think tech like this will get widely adopted until we have photonic interfaces for solid state access. When we have that, and they can make it into a USB thumb drive, it probably could become comonplace. But we have at least a decade to go for that.

No for everyday use flash makes so much more sense. 
On the other hand large scale storage is on hard drives with tape as backup. None is suited for long term archive, neither is flash. Here plates are still used, read only is an benefit here too. 

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6 hours ago, Darnok said:

It is not about language, but about algorithm used to write data. In many formats you have different algorithms which means without it you have basically no idea what it does and how to read it. That is why I wonder how they are writing data on those disks.

I was addressing exactly this :) You use the language I was referring to to explain how you formatted the rest of your data. The algorithm, as you call it. As long as you provide a manual for people to figure out how things work, you could use pretty much any form of formatting you please. A bit like a modern Rosetta stone.

Of course, if you do not use complicating technologies in the form of encryption or compression, attempting to decode the data without knowing the method becomes more feasible too. There are many well known techniques you can use to find out what something encoded will likely mean. As long as you are not intentionally trying to thwart these kinds of efforts, making sense of things should be pretty doable even without any manual.

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12 hours ago, magnemoe said:

No for everyday use flash makes so much more sense. 
On the other hand large scale storage is on hard drives with tape as backup. None is suited for long term archive, neither is flash. Here plates are still used, read only is an benefit here too. 

there are also a lot of newer nv memory technologies coming out the pipe (mram for example), some of them will have better durability than flash, use less power, and will be much faster too. we still dont have a consumer device that doesn't destroy itself with enough use (a few exist but in small packages not competitive with flash).

Edited by Nuke
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  • 6 years later...

And for an 8 year update (before it is wisely locked again), this format apparently *does* exist, but is only used for situations where the "billion year lifespan" might be useful.

Not sure what the tech takes, but I'd guess that it involves using scanning electron microscopes for both reading and writing.   It doesn't look like anybody has ever read written data except for verification and experiments.  But the "arch-foundation" appears to like making these things as some sort of non-flamible library of Alexandria, or perhaps future Dead Sea scrolls.  Don't expect to buy a writer from Amazon to back up your drive.

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