TECH

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

09/26/2012 07:07 pm ET | Updated Oct 01, 2012

Sick of transferring your files from device to device, risking loss and corruption?

Well, 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 four layers of a thin sheet of quartz glass using a laser that creates dots that can be read by a standard optical microscope.

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 square inch of a CD, though 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.

Clarification: An earlier version of this post has been corrected to reflect that a CD holds 35MB per square inch and that digital files do not degrade, but can become corrupt.

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