5D optical data storage

From HandWiki
Short description: Computer memory type used for data preservation

5D optical data storage (sometimes known as Superman memory crystal[1]) is a nanostructured glass for permanently recording digital data using a femtosecond laser writing process.[2] The memory crystal is capable of storing up to 360 terabytes worth of data[3][4] for billions of years.[5][6][7][8] The concept was experimentally demonstrated in 2013.[9][10][11] Hitachi and Microsoft have researched and developed 5D optical storage techniques.[12][13]

The five dimensions consist of the size, orientation and the three-dimensional position of the nanostructures.[3]

Technical design

The concept is the bulk storing of data optically in non-photosensitive transparent materials such as fused quartz, which is renowned for its high chemical stability and resistance. Writing into it using a femtosecond-laser was first proposed and demonstrated in 1996.[1][14][15] The storage media consists of fused quartz where the spatial dimensions, intensity, polarization, and wavelength is used to modulate data. By introducing gold or silver nanoparticles embedded in the material, their plasmonic properties can be exploited.[1]

Up to 18 layers have been tested using optimized parameters with a light pulse energy of 0.2 microjoules (5.6×10−14 kWh), a duration of 600 fs, and a repetition rate of 500 kHz. Assuming a 100% efficient laser, that is one watt-hour (3.6 kJ) of energy consumption for a maximum 0.5 Mbits of data storage. For 1000 Mbits of storage that adds up to two kilowatt-hours (7.2 MJ). Testing the durability using accelerated aging measurements shows that the decay time of the nanogratings is 3×1020±1 years at room temperature, 30 °C (86 °F). At an elevated temperature of 189 °C (372 °F), the extrapolated decay time is comparable to the age of the Universe (13.8×109 years). By recording data with a numerical aperture objective of 1.4 NA and a wavelength of 250–350 nanometres (9.8×10−6–1.38×10−5 in), a capacity of 360 terabytes can be achieved.[1]

The format has a novel method of storing data called "5-dimensional". This is more for marketing purposes since the device has 3 physical dimensions and no exotic higher dimensional properties. The fractal/holographic nature of its data storage is also purely 3-dimensional. According to the University of Southampton:

It can be read with a combination of an optical microscope and a polarizer.[17]

The technique was first demonstrated in 2010 by Kazuyuki Hirao's laboratory at the Kyoto University.[18] Further, the technology was developed by Peter Kazansky's research group at the Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton.[19][20][21][22]


Since 2018 the technology is in production use by the Arch Mission Foundation. Its first and second discs were given to Elon Musk: one disc is in his personal library, and the other was placed aboard the Tesla Roadster in space.[23]

GitHub, a subsidiary of Microsoft, plans to use this technology to archive all public Git repositories. Microsoft refers to this technology as Project Silica with a claimed lifetime of over 10,000 years.[24]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Kazansky, P. (11 March 2016). "Eternal 5D data storage via ultrafast-laser writing in glass". SPIE Newsroom. http://spie.org/newsroom/technical-articles/6365-eternal-5d-data-storage-via-ultrafast-laser-writing-in-glass. 
  2. ""Cristais de memória do Superman" armazenam até 360TB por 1 milhão de anos". Terra. November 11, 2013. http://tecnologia.terra.com.br/hardware-e-software/cristais-de-memoria-do-superman-armazenam-ate-360tb-por-1-milhao-de-anos,109bf9aa1d742410VgnVCM4000009bcceb0aRCRD.html. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Eternal 5D data storage could record the history of humankind". University of Southampton. 18 February 2016. http://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2016/02/5d-data-storage-update.page. 
  4. Huebler, Kevin (20 February 2016). "Superman memory crystal lets you store 360TB worth of data". CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/20/superman-memory-crystal-lets-you-store-360tb-worth-of-data.html. 
  5. "5D nanostructured quartz glass optical memory could provide 'unlimited' data storage for a million years". kurzweilai.net. 10 July 2013. http://www.kurzweilai.net/5d-nanostructured-quartz-glass-optical-memory-could-provide-unlimited-data-storage-for-a-million-years. 
  6. Borghino, Dario (11 July 2013). ""Superman memory crystal" could store hundreds of terabytes indefinitely". New Atlas. http://www.gizmag.com/superman-memory-crystal/28231/. 
  7. Mullen, Jethro (17 February 2016). "New 'Superman' crystals can store data for billions of years". CNN-Tech. https://money.cnn.com/2016/02/17/technology/5d-data-storage-memory-crystals/. 
  8. Kazansky, Peter (11 March 2016). "Nanostructures in glass will store data for billions of years". SPIE Newsroom. http://spie.org/newsroom/technical-articles/videos/kazansky-video. 
  9. "5D 'Superman memory' crystal could lead to unlimited lifetime data storage". University of Southampton. 9 July 2013. http://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/5dopticalstore.html. 
  10. Zhang, Jingyu; Gecevičius, Mindaugas; Beresna, Martynas; Kazansky, Peter G. (2013). "5D Data Storage by Ultrafast Laser Nanostructuring in Glass". CLEO: 2013 Postdeadline. pp. CTh5D.9. doi:10.1364/CLEO_SI.2013.CTh5D.9. ISBN 978-1-55752-973-2. http://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/fileadmin/downloads/5D_Data_Storage_by_Ultrafast_Laser_Nanostructuring_in_Glass.pdf. 
  11. "New nanostructured glass for imaging and recording developed". Phys.org. 15 August 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-08-nanostructured-glass-imaging.html. 
  12. "Project Silica". Microsoft. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/project-silica/. 
  13. Welch, Chris (27 September 2012). "Hitachi invents quartz glass storage capable of preserving data for millions of years". https://www.theverge.com/2012/9/27/3417918/hitachi-quartz-glass-data-preservation. 
  14. Glezer, E. N.; Milosavljevic, M.; Huang, L.; Finlay, R. J.; Her, T.-H.; Callan, J. P.; Mazur, E. (1996). "Three-dimensional optical storage inside transparent materials". Optics Letters 21 (24): 2023–2025. doi:10.1364/OL.21.002023. ISSN 0146-9592. PMID 19881880. Bibcode1996OptL...21.2023G. 
  15. Watanabe, Mitsuru; Juodkazis, Saulius; Sun, Hong-Bo; Matsuo, Shigeki; Misawa, Hiroaki; Miwa, Masafumi; Kaneko, Reizo (1999). "Transmission and photoluminescence images of three-dimensional memory in vitreous silica". Applied Physics Letters 74 (26): 3957–3959. doi:10.1063/1.124235. ISSN 0003-6951. Bibcode1999ApPhL..74.3957W. 
  16. Youngblood, Tim (20 February 2016). "5D Data Storage, How Does it Work and When Can We Use it?" (in en). All About Circuits. https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/news/5d-data-storage-how-does-it-work-and-when-can-we-use-it/. 
  17. "Optical 'Superman' memory flies with orbiting Tesla". Optics. February 7, 2018. http://optics.org/news/9/2/10. 
  18. Shimotsuma, Yasuhiko; Sakakura, Masaaki; Kazansky, Peter G.; Beresna, Martynas; Qiu, Jiarong; Miura, Kiyotaka; Hirao, Kazuyuki (2010). "Ultrafast Manipulation of Self-Assembled Form Birefringence in Glass". Advanced Materials 22 (36): 4039–4043. doi:10.1002/adma.201000921. ISSN 0935-9648. PMID 20734374. 
  19. Beresna, Martynas; Gecevičius, Mindaugas; Kazansky, Peter G.; Taylor, Thomas; Kavokin, Alexey V. (2012). "Exciton mediated self-organization in glass driven by ultrashort light pulses". Applied Physics Letters 101 (5): 053120. doi:10.1063/1.4742899. ISSN 0003-6951. Bibcode2012ApPhL.101e3120B. https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/350050/1/5670.pdf. 
  20. Zhang, Jingyu; Gecevičius, Mindaugas; Beresna, Martynas; Kazansky, Peter G. (2014). "Seemingly Unlimited Lifetime Data Storage in Nanostructured Glass". Physical Review Letters 112 (3): 033901. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.033901. ISSN 0031-9007. PMID 24484138. Bibcode2014PhRvL.112c3901Z. 
  21. Kazansky, Peter; Cerkauskaite, Ausra; Drevinskas, Rokas (June 2016). "Optical memory enters 5D realm". Physics World. http://live.iop-pp01.agh.sleek.net/2016/05/19/optical-memory-enters-5d-realm/. 
  22. Klotzbach, Udo; Washio, Kunihiko; Arnold, Craig B.; Zhang, J.; Čerkauskaitė, A.; Drevinskas, R.; Patel, A.; Beresna, M. et al. (2016). "Eternal 5D data storage by ultrafast laser writing in glass". in Klotzbach, Udo; Washio, Kunihiko; Arnold, Craig B. Laser-based Micro- and Nanoprocessing X. 9736. 97360U. doi:10.1117/12.2220600. 
  23. Szondy, David (February 13, 2018). "Tesla Roadster carries Asimov sci-fi classic to the stars". New Atlas. https://newatlas.com/tesla-roadster-asimov-foundation-trilogy-arch-library/53364/. 
  24. "GitHub Archive Program" (in en). https://archiveprogram.github.com/. 

External links