If there is a modern day problem when it comes to storing our data, it would be permanency, or rather, the lack of it. After all storage medium changes from time to time, requiring one to migrate files on the existing media to a new generation format. The process is not guaranteed to work, but Hitachi of Japan claims that they have come across a new way to keep your data and ensure that it lasts “forever” – at least for a few hundred million years. Just what kind of method does Hitachi work with to achieve this seemingly improbable feat? It seems that they intend to store digital information on slivers of quartz glass which are said to be able to handle extreme temperatures and hostile conditions without degrading for an indefinite period of time.

Hitachi researcher Kazuyoshi Torii said, “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. The possibility of losing information may actually have increased.”

This new technology from Hitachi will store data in binary form through the creation of dots within a thin sheet of quartz glass, where an ordinary optical microscope will be able to read these dots. All you need is a computer that understands binary, and the data can be accessed, regardless of how far advancements are made in the world of computers, making this a somewhat future-proof method. Right now, the prototype storage device measures 2cm square and is 2mm thin, where it is made from quartz glass, and is waterproof.

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