Hitachi Says Data Lives Forever in Quartz Glass

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nurgletheunclean

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"The current prototype is roughly 0.8-inches square and 0.08-inches thick, and consists of four layers of dots which can hold up to 40 MB per square inch -- approximately the density of a music CD."

90's capacity isn't going to fly today. Unless they step up the density 100x or more this isn't going to be adopted.
 

master_chen

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They said EXACTLY the same about SSDs back in the early-mid 2000's...and look where SSDs are now: today it's actually harder to find a PC-build without at least one SSD inside (even if it's the most crappy and cheapest one), than to find "HDD-only" PC-build.
 

Abion47

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[citation][nom]master_chen[/nom]They said EXACTLY the same about SSDs back in the early-mid 2000's...and look where SSDs are now: today it's actually harder to find a PC-build without at least one SSD inside (even if it's the most crappy and cheapest one), than to find "HDD-only" PC-build.[/citation]

The problem with this medium is that in most regards it is a step in the wrong direction. Any reader will have to be mechanical, taking us back to the same kind of technology as HDDs (and the reading process is visual instead of electric or magnetic, making the reading speed more in the realm of CD/DVD drives). The only advantage this medium has over what we have is longevity, and that by itself won't make up for the slow access speeds. Unless some big leaps are taken here, this medium will have a very small market, limited only to machines whose only purpose is long term storage with very little access.
 

mouse24

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^ I can see this as being VERY VERY useful as a media disk, just put a piece of clear material over the "disk" (say a bit of hard plastic) that way it stops your "dvds" from ever becoming scratched or broken.

More useful than a HDD? Not really but in this case game companies can supposedly easily add additional storage space without moving into a whole new medium and I ASSUME that it will take up less space inside a unit than a traditional hdd.

Or uh, game companies can invest in USB, IMO that would just be easier and cooler looking. Not to mention its readily available. The size of games today is roughly 8gb which can be had for as low as 5 dollars before any discounts that are given to big corporations buying in bulk.
 

A Bad Day

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One of my decade-old CDs have been rendered unreadable, I suspect the moisture and heat corrupted the data over the years.

Though, the CD is an AOL 1000 hours. So I'm not that sad, until a more important CD also bites the dust.

Or a Laserdisc. Yes, I still have the LD player and a collection of the Laserdiscs.
 

theabsinthehare

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[citation][nom]Abion47[/nom]The problem with this medium is that in most regards it is a step in the wrong direction. Any reader will have to be mechanical, taking us back to the same kind of technology as HDDs (and the reading process is visual instead of electric or magnetic, making the reading speed more in the realm of CD/DVD drives). The only advantage this medium has over what we have is longevity, and that by itself won't make up for the slow access speeds. Unless some big leaps are taken here, this medium will have a very small market, limited only to machines whose only purpose is long term storage with very little access.[/citation]

Many companies still back up to magnetic tape despite all your arguments applying to that medium as well. Slow is okay if the plan is for long term storage only. I think the near indestructible nature is a fair tradeoff for specialized readers/writers and speed.

However, the storage density is a problem. With 40MB per square inch at 0.08" thick, a block of this stuff the size of a traditional 3.5" hard drive would only hold ~9GB. I think, though, that would only have to increase by 6 or 12 fold to make it viable. I wouldn't mind 50 to 100GB of storage taking up 19.5 cubic inches in my house somewhere if it meant that the data was (almost) absolutely ensured to be completely safe and permanent.
 

nurgletheunclean

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[citation][nom]Abion47[/nom]The problem with this medium is that in most regards it is a step in the wrong direction. Any reader will have to be mechanical, taking us back to the same kind of technology as HDDs (and the reading process is visual instead of electric or magnetic, making the reading speed more in the realm of CD/DVD drives). The only advantage this medium has over what we have is longevity, and that by itself won't make up for the slow access speeds. Unless some big leaps are taken here, this medium will have a very small market, limited only to machines whose only purpose is long term storage with very little access.[/citation]

Longevity is tied to capacity, and modern times. Sure a 700mb CD is fine for storing a couple hundred 1megapixel pictures. But today we have thousands of 12+ megapixel pictures and 1080p home videos. 700mb isn't practical for modern media. Not to mention this is going to be expensive. Furthermore permanency isn't that important in the first place. Typically users will move/consolidate libraries of timeless info on new media, a DVD, a hard drive, flash, cloud, etc. If a floppy drive was good forever would you still use it today? That's about how usefull 700mb of permanent storage is going to be in 4 or 5 years, when this tech would hit a consumer, the capacities must increase or you are looking at a obsolete product at launch.
 

A Bad Day

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[citation][nom]nurgletheunclean[/nom]Longevity is tied to capacity, and modern times. Sure a 700mb CD is fine for storing a couple hundred 1megapixel pictures. But today we have thousands of 12+ megapixel pictures and 1080p home videos. 700mb isn't practical for modern media. Not to mention this is going to be expensive. Furthermore permanency isn't that important in the first place. Typically users will move/consolidate libraries of timeless info on new media, a DVD, a hard drive, flash, cloud, etc. If a floppy drive was good forever would you still use it today? That's about how usefull 700mb of permanent storage is going to be in 4 or 5 years, when this tech would hit a consumer, the capacities must increase or you are looking at a obsolete product at launch.[/citation]

There one problem though:

Do you really think an average joe is going to waste hours transferring data from VHS tapes or CDs to Blu-ray or some other format?
 

gamoniac

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This is kind of like what superman's dad use to store their data in the North Pole... but at 40MB per square inch, no wonder they need a whole mountain of crystal to store his parents' halogram. Now it starts to make sense :)
 

freggo

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[citation][nom]A Bad Day[/nom]There one problem though:Do you really think an average joe is going to waste hours transferring data from VHS tapes or CDs to Blu-ray or some other format?[/citation]

That obviously depends on what is on the VHS tapes.
Weddings, Graduations, Grandpa's multi-billion $$ video will :)

 

pepe2907

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[citation][nom]nurgletheunclean[/nom]Longevity is tied to capacity, and modern times. Sure a 700mb CD is fine for storing a couple hundred 1megapixel pictures. But today we have thousands of 12+ megapixel pictures and ... [/citation]

These are for really important data, not for your precious facebook profile pics. :)
 
G

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It's saying that dots are physically etched in the crystal, does that mean it's not re-writable?
 

IndignantSkeptic

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I know I will probably get thumbed down for this but I don't care. In my opinion, this technology is pointless because we can currently keep digital data in perfect condition indefinitely by using a backup system, which keeps multiple copies of data, and by occasionally transferring all the data to a new storage medium before it erodes too far. That's it. The whole thing can be automated as well so we wouldn't need to keep checking and remembering to periodically backup and transfer the data.

If religious institutions and governments are interested in this it's probably because they are usually infested with religious people who are people that tend to be very stupid and gullible; they are not tech-savvy and can be fooled easily.
 

ethaniel

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You just need a crazy guy/gal with a hammer and "poof!", goodbye data. One more thing: It's the density "of a CD". Music, data... you're just writing dots anyway.
 

_Cosmin_

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[citation][nom]Abion47[/nom]The problem with this medium is that in most regards it is a step in the wrong direction. Any reader will have to be mechanical, taking us back to the same kind of technology as HDDs (and the reading process is visual instead of electric or magnetic, making the reading speed more in the realm of CD/DVD drives). The only advantage this medium has over what we have is longevity, and that by itself won't make up for the slow access speeds. Unless some big leaps are taken here, this medium will have a very small market, limited only to machines whose only purpose is long term storage with very little access.[/citation]

Why it need to be mechanical? Can be optical very easy. In case you don`t know the CD/DVD/BD laser cut micro holes in material which then are read back by another laser. Why cant a laser read the dots in this quartz ??
 

back_by_demand

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As soon as I saw this I thought about Orlando Jones as Vox in The Time Machine, but seriously, this is the next step in mounting a screen on the top of the glass and we are very close the Iron Man's phone.
 

sth1990

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I think that this will be for extreme Long term baking up data, where it is irrelevant if it uses up to 1ft³ per gigabyte or more.

and this will not have to be re-writeable.

Its not for the public user, its for governments, museums and other organisations that are interessted to "back up" pictures drawn by michelangelo, da Vinci and others, for musik created by Bach or Mozart.

so, if you want to save Data for thousands of Jears, this would be what you want.
 

belardo

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[citation][nom]A Bad Day[/nom]There one problem though:Do you really think an average joe is going to waste hours transferring data from VHS tapes or CDs to Blu-ray or some other format?[/citation] Well... I converted my entire VHS and CDs collections into digital. Things I recorded since I was a kid in the 80s with home-video camcorder which was 5lbs - 25ft wired to my VHS VCR, TV shows, specials - some movies, Anime, HK, etc - Lot of stuff not on DVD. Those I had replaced with DVD were tossed. CDs were put into closet... I Still buy CDs, mostly - unless there is only 1 or 2 worthwhile songs.

That was 1000 VHS tapes (give or take a few)... Used a $50 USB Pinnacle device. Worked excellent.
It took about 12 months. I used two spare computers, each with 2 HDs. As the raw video had to be compressed. VHS RES is about 600x240lines of blurriness. So while the PC was capturing video, it was compressing at the same time. I had calculated 2.6GB of HD space, ends up barely fitting onto a single 3GB HD. Found videos I forgotten about. Easy to locate now. Tapes were then sent to be recycled (they are toxic) = weighs about 450lbs! Area of a refrigerator. :) Two 8yr old VCR's died. :) Use my combo-DVD-VCR units to finish up. (what sucked: thought I had 650tapes when I started)

One of these days, I need to tackle my LD collection. But my LD player died years ago. 850 DVDs, keeping them as they are.

DVD-R discs have a limited life-span, about 12~24months. Hence DVDR Camcorders suck.
So I figure, every 5 years - copy the HDs onto a new drive (while keeping a backup). In 2015, I guess a 5TB HD will be $100. 2020 = 10TB = $100.
 
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