Data Storage Durability

Data Storage History

The storage medium for data has become increasingly sophisticated over time both speeding up the writing and reading of data and increasing the density of data that is stored so that we can now store on a single device the size of my thumb all the knowledge that existed in the world prior to the 20th Century.


Pretty impressive eh?


What we haven’t been able to do is improve on the Durability of the storage. Starting with cave paintings and stone tablets we moved to various scrolls and parchments then paper and books and finally digital storage mediums of various types using both magnetic and optical data encoding. And with each new generation we reduce the expected life of the data on the storage medium.


A lot of modern devices store data on FLASH Memory. Depending on the semiconductor technology used in the FLASH Memory the retention will be somewhere between 10 years and 25 years. Meanwhile we still have cave paintings, stone tablets and scrolls that are millennium old.


Durable Data Storage

So I was rather excited to read of a new approach that has the potential to be high density and long term.


High Durability Optical Data Storage

High Durability Optical Data Storage

What the picture represents is a LASER that can not only leave a physical mark in a glass platter but alter 2 optical properties of the glass so that data is effectively stored using 5 dimensions: 3 physical dimensions and 2 optical properties. And being glass it is also durable.


You can read a more complete description of the method at Storing Data in 5 Dimensions.


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2013 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.