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5D Data Storage Could Archive Everything, Forever

The discs of fused quartz that are used for five-dimensional (5D) data storage have been called "Superman memory crystals," and with good reason: they can hold an astonishing amount of data, and are built to last billions of years. A femtosecond laser records the data on a fused quartz crystal, writing files in nanostructured dots separated by a mere millionth of a meter. These nanostructures are what gives the storage method its "extra" two dimensions, which correlate to the size and orientation of the dots.

5D Storage Will Preserve Human History for Eternity

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. 5D data storage works by recording information on fused quartz crystals using femtosecond laser writing. 00:19

  2. 5D data storage doesn't use grooves or bumps to store data, but instead relies on layers of 3D dots called nanograting. 01:07

  3. 360 terabytes of data can be stored in a single small crystal using 5D data storage. 02:13

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Data Storage