I get asked many times if I like my job.  The answer to this question is a very much “YES” – and a big part of what I like is the fact that I get to see, work with and contribute to leading cutting edge technology on almost a daily basis.  It has been said by my team that a lot of today’s tech may relate to the television show “Star Trek” as life imitating art.

While life may feel like it we still don’t have our Warp Drive ships.  We are, however, seeing devices that were presented as science fiction in the early 1990’s when the second franchise of the show aired as “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.  Out of that today we have fully networked computers, the Internet’s World Wide Web (the Internet itself existed during the start of the show, however, the Word Wild Web was developed about halfway through its run.)   Things like mobile phones and tablet computers have also appeared on the general landscape since then.

One bit of technology from the show relates to the amount of storage and retrieval that type of a computer system would require.  Today on average a computer has around a terabyte of storage, and you can readily buy capacity in the 3-4 terabyte range.  Current storage in that range consists of mechanical storage devices that use platters that spin to store information.  The estimate maximum life of this type of storage is estimated to a few decades maximum, and in many cases due to mechanical failure and accidents is much shorter. 

It looks like this fact may be changing, and like the television show in a way that wouldn’t of been perceived of long ago.  Researchers at the University of Southampton have created a new type of digital data storage device capable of 360 terabytes of data – and uses nanostructure glass  to accomplish this.

This type of storage would be immune to things like magnetic fields, temperature variation and mechanical problems that can cause failure in current storage devices.    Using a laser and the three dimensional glass, information is recorded in a method known as “5D data storage”.  Unlike a classic CD or DVD data can be easily updated and changed if needed.

The cost is also reduced – in production the amount of storage using this new technology would be a few hundred dollars verses a range of about 100 times that using current technology (in the tens of thousands of dollars).  The lifespan – indefinite.  With a temperature range capability of well over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and much higher durability, your photos and files can now really stand the test of time.

See original paper here.
5D_Data_Storage_by_Ultrafast_Laser_Nanostructuring_in_Glass

by William Sikkens, CEO
Cumulus Technology © 2014