Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hitachi Data Glass: New Glass-Based Data Storage System Would Last For 100 Million Years

Once upon a time, we worried about the sound of our records degrading as they aged. Then, CDs came along and we had to worry about them scratching. Even MP3s are destined to degrade over time.

But Japan-based company Hitachi says it has solved our file woes with a new storage system that the company claims can keep data unscathed for 100 million years. Data is etched onto a four layers of a thin sheet of quartz glass using a laser that creates dots that can be read by a standard optical microscope.

Hitachi Data Glass

Reportedly heat resistant and water resistant, it's also invulnerable to "many chemicals" and unaffected by radio waves. According to Engadget, Hitachi reported the glass enduring 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours without affecting data quality. PC World reports that just a square inch of the glass can store 40MB of data, which is 5MB more than a CD, but that the storage will likely only be useful for archiving.

Originally conceived in 2009, PC World reports that Hitachi had struggled with a speedy write time to make etching of the data timely, but that the company has since resolved the problem and is preparing to introduce the item to consumers in 2015.

However, pricing for the miracle glass has yet to be announced. Tech Report estimates that it will be highly expensive because of additional yet-to-be-developed equipment needed to read and etch the glass.

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