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Glass Slivers That Store Data Forever Unveiled By Hitachi
AFP ^ | 24 September 2012 | AFP

Posted on 09/24/2012 4:24:00 AM PDT by fella

Glass slivers that store data forever unveiled by Hitachi

AFP - As Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones prove, good music lasts a long time; now Japanese hi-tech giant Hitachi says it can last even longer -- a few hundred million years at least.

The company on Monday unveiled a method of storing digital information on slivers of quartz glass that can endure extreme temperatures and hostile conditions without degrading, almost forever.

And for anyone who updated their LP collection onto CD, only to find they then needed to get it all on MP3, a technology that never needs to change might sound appealing.

"The volume of data being created every day is exploding, but in terms of keeping it for later generations, we haven't necessarily improved since the days we inscribed things on stones," Hitachi researcher Kazuyoshi Torii said.

"The possibility of losing information may actually have increased," he said, noting the life of digital media currently available -- CDs and hard drives -- is limited to a few decades or a century at most.

And the rapid development of technologies has resulted in frequent changes of data-reading hardware.

"As you must have experienced, there is the problem that you cannot retrieve information and data you managed to collect," said Torii, apparently referring to now-obsolete record players and cine films.

Hitachi's new technology stores data in binary form by creating dots inside a thin sheet of quartz glass, which can be read with an ordinary optical microscope.

Provided a computer with the know-how to understand that binary is available -- simple enough to programme, no matter how advanced computers become -- the data will always be readable, Torii said.

The prototype storage device is two centimetres (0.8 inches) square and just two millimetres (0.08 inches) thick and made from quartz glass, a highly stable and resilient material, used to make beakers and other instruments for laboratory use.

The chip, which is resistant to many chemicals and unaffected by radio waves, can be exposed directly to high temperature flames and heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit) for at least two hours without being damaged.

It is also waterproof, meaning it could survive natural calamities, such as fires and tsunami.

"We believe data will survive unless this hard glass is broken," said senior researcher Takao Watanabe.

The material currently has four layers of dots, which can hold 40 megabytes per square inch, approximately the density on a music CD, researchers said, adding they believe adding more layers should not be a problem.

Hitachi have not decided when to put the chip to practical use but researchers said they could start with storage services for government agencies, museums and religious organisations.


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: hitech
IF they can just make it available to the mass market.
1 posted on 09/24/2012 4:24:06 AM PDT by fella
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To: fella

2 posted on 09/24/2012 4:30:23 AM PDT by krb (Obama is a miserable failure.)
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

3 posted on 09/24/2012 4:34:05 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: fella
"We believe data will survive unless this hard glass is broken...

Opps...

5 posted on 09/24/2012 4:37:38 AM PDT by econjack (Some people are as dumb as soup.)
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To: fella

This means that - in a few hundred million years - forensic archaeologists from the unthinkably distant future will still be able to read our posts.

Will this inspire us to create threads worthy of the ages: - to spin skeins of digital thought that will amaze and inform generations yet to be?

Let’s see how that works out :0)


6 posted on 09/24/2012 4:37:59 AM PDT by agere_contra (Vote ABO. Don't choose the Greater Evil and then boast about how principled you are)
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To: fella

A square inch the thickness of a cd, for only 40 mb? That’s going to pile up rather quickly.


7 posted on 09/24/2012 4:45:25 AM PDT by visualops (artlife.us)
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To: krb

Dang! Good job - you beat me to it.


8 posted on 09/24/2012 4:45:31 AM PDT by Eccl 10:2 (Prov 3:5 --- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding")
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To: agere_contra

I envision a future debate wherein one candidate pulls a shard of broken glass and screams at the other: “Tax returns? You want to see my tax returns? I’ll show you my tax returns. Here are my tax returns!!”


9 posted on 09/24/2012 4:47:21 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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To: agere_contra

Fast forward to the future when new civilization emerges from the ashes of ours after having been extinguished for many thousands of years and finds remnants of the digital age.

It will be as perplexing to them as the great mysteries of antiquity are to us today.


10 posted on 09/24/2012 4:47:53 AM PDT by Rebelbase (The most transparent administration ever is clear as mud.)
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To: fella
Big deal.
I've had an alien implant that uses that technology for years already.


11 posted on 09/24/2012 4:50:07 AM PDT by Bon mots (Abu Ghraib: 47 Times on the front page of the NY Times | Benghazi: 2 Times)
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To: econjack

If they can do it with glass how far behind is Plexiglass ?


12 posted on 09/24/2012 4:57:36 AM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK (Any man may make a mistake ; none but a fool will persist in it . { Latin proverb })
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK

“If they can do it with glass how far behind is Plexiglass ?”

And how far behind that will be aluminum embedded plexiglass discs? Oh . . . . .wait. Nevermind.


13 posted on 09/24/2012 5:09:33 AM PDT by Jim Hill
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To: fella
Is it possible that this method was used by a civilization of the the distant past, and all we have to do is look for the glass?
14 posted on 09/24/2012 5:15:45 AM PDT by Yulee (Village of Albion)
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To: Rebelbase
Fast forward to the future when new civilization emerges from the ashes of ours after having been extinguished for many thousands of years and finds remnants of the digital age.

They'd probably make ceremonial jewelry out of the pretty rocks.
15 posted on 09/24/2012 5:31:09 AM PDT by chrisser (Starve the Monkeys!)
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To: krb
We don't have to look at Kryptonian technology. Here is something that was forecast for 2001.

16 posted on 09/24/2012 5:42:35 AM PDT by jmcenanly ("The more corrupt the state, the more laws." Tacitus, Publius Cornelius)
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To: fella; KevinDavis

They used them on the Enterprise too


17 posted on 09/24/2012 5:43:44 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Jim Hill

:)


18 posted on 09/24/2012 5:44:48 AM PDT by upchuck (If nobama is reelected and gets to choose more SCOTUS judges, this country is finished.)
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To: Rebelbase; SunkenCiv

Yup!


19 posted on 09/24/2012 6:05:03 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: jmcenanly
What are you doing, Dave? This is highly irregular...
20 posted on 09/24/2012 6:07:58 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: fella

Hmmm....I was thinking along the lines of ‘Babylon 5’ data crystals coming into existence.


21 posted on 09/24/2012 6:15:20 AM PDT by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
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To: agere_contra
This means that - in a few hundred million years - forensic archaeologists from the unthinkably distant future will still be able to read our posts.

I am increasingly becoming convinced that archaeologists, when confronted with something whose purpose is non-obvious, simply make something up. Typically, they say it was an object used in religious ceremonies. So ironically, if they find an archive of posts from godless DU, they will claim that these glass slivers with strange dots on them appear to be religious artifacts.

22 posted on 09/24/2012 6:15:43 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Who is John Galt?)
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To: visualops
A square inch the thickness of a cd, for only 40 mb? That’s going to pile up rather quickly.

You would generally use it for things that you wanted to keep around for a long time: corporate data, music archives, video archives. For individual people, this would be a medium to transfer video recordings of their children growing up, family pictures, stuff you want to be able to pass on to your grandchildren.

23 posted on 09/24/2012 6:22:21 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (Charlie Daniels - Payback Time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWwTJj_nosI)
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To: fella

darn...and I thought the 64G USB memory thingy I bought yesterday was cool....


24 posted on 09/24/2012 6:33:03 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: GeronL
"Forbidden Planet" used them to play old and weird music but no video.
25 posted on 09/24/2012 7:21:15 AM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah, so shall it be again")
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To: fella
Glass Slivers That Store Data Forever Unveiled By Hitachi

I've been trying to forget this Sliver.

26 posted on 09/24/2012 7:56:15 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: jmcenanly

“Open the pod bay doors Hal” will become “open the family photo album hal”.


27 posted on 09/24/2012 8:06:53 AM PDT by freefdny
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To: fella

This concept was first proposed as a memory method at least 20 years ago. Finally glass memory storage may be coming to fruition, it appears.


28 posted on 09/24/2012 9:55:55 AM PDT by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: visualops

This is only proof of concept stuff, I suspect. It is likely that it won’t be long before this is able to be many more than four layers of data, and that data can be much more compressed than 10Mb/sq.in/layer, if the history of the advance of technology is followed.

Nevertheless, the most important part of this announcement is the longevity and permanence of this data storage device.


29 posted on 09/24/2012 10:06:34 AM PDT by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: visualops
A square inch the thickness of a cd, for only 40 mb? That’s going to pile up rather quickly.

But that's as much as 5 Thumbdrives!


30 posted on 09/24/2012 10:29:59 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Monarchy is the one system of government where power is exercised for the good of all - Aristotle)
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To: fella

OK, so the data will last for centuries - how about the devices to ‘read’ that data?


31 posted on 09/24/2012 10:55:05 AM PDT by GOPJ (You only establish a feel for the line by having crossed it. - - Freeper One Name)
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To: BenLurkin; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; ...

Thanks BenLurkin. The problem is, picking it up without cutting yourself.


32 posted on 09/24/2012 5:52:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Oztrich Boy
LOL!


33 posted on 09/25/2012 4:13:12 AM PDT by visualops (artlife.us)
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To: AFPhys
the most important part of this announcement is the longevity and permanence of this data storage device.

That's what they always say! :)
34 posted on 09/25/2012 4:15:40 AM PDT by visualops (artlife.us)
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To: visualops

You misread. It has the information density of a CD, not the thickness of a CD.


35 posted on 09/25/2012 4:16:23 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: AFPhys

Actually, thirty years ago, the guys in the lab next door to mine at the research center in El Segundo, CA, an offshoot of Xerox’s PARC, Dr. P. McQ. and his assistant, Bob, were working on glass memory with micro lasers just before PARC closed the entire lab and laid us all off.

This is sweeeet! They never should have closed that lab down, but it was political. The director of the Advanced Development Lab made someone among the PTB at PARC really angry about something, and that was that.

We could have skipped a whole lot of media-storage steps if they hadn’t made that corrupt decision in 1982, which is ahead in the running for the worst year of my life.


36 posted on 09/25/2012 1:00:46 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: aruanan

No I didn’t. The article refers to data density (which isn’t that great actually if no better than a cd) and thickness. The thickness is actually a little higher than a cd, at .08 inches for this glass vs about .05 inches for a cd.
The mistake I made was a thinking a cd was about 2mm thick when it’s thinner.


37 posted on 09/26/2012 4:23:54 AM PDT by visualops (artlife.us)
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To: TheOldLady

Yes. I kind of low-balled it when I estimated when I first heard discussions of glass structures used for computer memory. I am not surprised to hear that PaloAlto was involved in such research. It is rather surprising for me to hear that you were involved in some way with that research!


38 posted on 09/26/2012 5:54:34 AM PDT by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: AFPhys

Oh, I thought I told you a while ago that I was an RA-5 at a PARC division. I didn’t work on the glass memory; the guys in the lab next door to mine did, and they were pretty excited about it at the time and explained it to me.

I used to go in their lab to use the SEM and a few other pieces of their equipment. My lab was electroplating and photolithography, too fumy and chemically to house their sensitive equipment.

I was working on the resistor/capacitor electrographic writing head for Xerox machines at the time. I completed the first prototype before they closed the division. It worked, too!


39 posted on 09/26/2012 6:27:31 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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