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After the Apocalypse, Data Stored On this Crystal Will Be the Legacy of Human Civilization

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Data systems are always looking to improve the way that data is stored. The efficiency of your data storage systems is a crucial part of managing your data infrastructure, and there’s a constant search for ways to improve the way that it’s done. Scientists are now turning to the field of optoelectronics to develop new ways to store incredible amounts of data, for enormous amounts of time.

Defining Optoelectronics
The easiest way to describe optoelectronics is as a sub-field of photonics, which is the study of electronic devices that can detect and control light. One practical use of this technology is the use of fiber optics that are used to make data transmission more efficient. This medium of data transfer has been studied for the past century, and this devotion has introduced new technology that’s changing the way that data is stored in the digital age.

Cables that utilize fiber-optic technology are used every day to transfer a petabit of data per second. In other words, a cable that’s made up of thousands of fiber-optic wires can potentially transfer up to several terabytes every second. You don’t need us to tell you that this is a ton of data and that fiber-optic technology is a valuable asset. Still, scientists are using this modern-day technology to push toward greater ways to utilize optoelectronics, like storing data. In theory, this technology can be used to store data for an immense amount of time, as long as it’s done in a planned and structured interface.

“Superman Memory Crystal”
Scientists are attempting to use what’s called the Superman Memory Crystal as the aforementioned interface. Forget 3D printing and movie theater experiences; this memory crystal is as impressive as data-storage technology gets:

  • It’s a five-dimensional storage device of nanostructured glass that can store up to 360 terabytes of data.
  • Data can be retained for an extraordinarily long time and withstand temperatures of up to 1,000º C.
  • It’s projected that the memory crystal is capable of storing data at room temperature for as long as 14 billion years.
  • Data is recorded on synthetic material by using lasers that use short, intense pulses of light, and is written on three layers of nanostructured dots that are separated by fine micrometers, or rather, a millionth of a meter.

The technology is incredibly precise, but extremely redundant. As such, it’s expected that some of the most valuable works throughout history are now stored on these glass discs, including the Magna Carta, the King James Bible, Isaac Newton’s Opticks, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR was actually written and presented to UNESCO by the University of Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) at the closing ceremonies of their International Year of Light event in Mexico.

Data storage and retrieval has grown so advanced that we can now fit the breadth of human knowledge on small, long-lasting devices, which is great for both recording history and the tech industry as a whole. However, consumers also benefit from these advances, as every improvement to data storage and retention can present interesting new options for your organization.

To learn more about data storage and how these changes will reflect on your business model, give us a call at (416) 256-9928. One of our IT professionals can help to ensure that your data’s future is as bright as possible.

Date: March 21st, 2016, Author: Jorge Rojas

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