As more data systems develop the need for structured data storage, the development of fast and secure solutions have become essential to the viability of storing and retrieving data. Scientists have been looking at the field of optoelectronics to develop constructs where an enormous amount of data can be stored for exorbitant amounts of time.
What are Optoelectronics?
Optoelectronics is a sub-field of photonics and can be explained as the study of electronic devices that source, detect, and control light. One of the practical uses of this technology, and one of the first, was in the field of fiber optics. Using this medium, people have been able to improve data transmission substantially. Over more than one-hundred years of studying the medium, advances have ushered in a new digital age that serves to push the limits of available technology.
As it applies to modern-day data transmission, cables that are made of this fiber-optic technology can transfer up to a petabit of data per second. In other words, a cable that is made up of thousands of fiber optic wires have a potential bandwidth of multiple terabytes per second. In other words, that’s a lot of data. With this technology on hand and available, scientists have begun searching for ways to use optoelectronics to store information. Theoretically, the technology should produce great results as long as it can be utilized through a planned and structured interface.
“Superman Memory Crystal”
The “Superman memory crystal” is just that interface. It is a five-dimensional storage device made of nanostructured glass that can store around 360 terabytes of information, and sustain that information for a long time, even at temperatures up to 1,000º C. In fact, they project that this material can store data at room temperature for as long as 14 billion years. The data is recorded on this synthetic material with the use of ultrafast lasers that produce extraordinarily short and intense pulses of light. Data is written in three layers of nanostructured dots that are separated by fine micrometers or a millionth of a meter.
It has been mentioned that many of the most important works in 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 in Mexico.
As data and retrieval systems are enhanced to the point where they can fit the breadth of human knowledge on them, the better it is for consumers. While this isn’t anywhere close to being ready for businesses, data retention is something that any organization needs to be thinking about.
To learn more about storage and how these advances are going to affect your business, give us a call at (610) 828- 5500 and one of our knowledgeable IT professionals can shed some light on how to best use data retention to keep your data safe, and keep your business moving forward.