Today artists, producers, record labels, television networks, film studios, museums and even national archives all face the same question; what format do we use to preserve our products for as long as possible. Currently there isn't one preferred method in use, and no one is totally sure of the lifespan of any available, and that's the problem. But maybe a new answer is finally on the horizon, thanks to researches at the Optoelectronics Research Center at the University of Southampton in the UK.
Enter the "Superman Memory Crystal," a newly developed data storage method that can hold as much as 360 terabytes for more than a million years. Not only that, it has the ability to withstand extreme temperatures, and has an extremely fast read and write time thanks to a super fast femtosecond laser.
The Crystal's ability for storage comes from the fact that the laser writes data in 5 dimensions; size, orientation, and 3 dimensions of position of its nanostructures. The format is based on a relatively new technology known as "femtoprint," which is nanoscale printing on fabricated glass. If you're really a nerd, you can read a white paper outlining its inner workings.
Unfortunately the technology is still in the lab, so we may not see it for a while, but it could be that our long-term storage problems are on the verge of being solved.
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