5D Data Storage Could Archive Everything, Forever

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

03:26

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    5D data storage works by recording information on fused quartz crystals using femtosecond laser writing. (0:19)

  • 2

    5D data storage doesn't use grooves or bumps to store data, but instead relies on layers of 3D dots called nanograting. (1:07)

  • 3

    360 terabytes of data can be stored in a single small crystal using 5D data storage. (2:13)

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