We hate to be the one to tell you this, but all forms of storage can degrade over time. Hard drives can break, solid state can lose integrity and phase information out, and the optical disk technology for CDs and DVDs is based on organic medium that can break down, but what about quartz glass? Now there’s an idea.
Hitachi believes it was one worth pursuing, as it now has a concept product capable of holding data indefinitely.
Rather than use conventional storage technologies, Hitachi has found a way to keep data on a piece of quartz glass, a material that is two millimetres thick and can survive water and fire, making it more resistant to natural disasters.
Currently in prototype form, the quartz drive stores data with binary-encoded dots that have been etched with a laser, and can later on be read with a computer, with 40 megabytes capable of being stored per square inch.
It’s almost like an idea out of a science-fiction movie, but like one, it won’t be coming to homes or businesses for a while yet, as Hitachi works to makes the quartz drive technology usable in the future.
Now all they have to do is worry about the glass breaking. Perhaps Hitachi should talk to Corning and make the quartz drives protected by Gorilla Glass.