1. Joined
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    16 Feb '16 16:10
    Given recent discussions of future capabilities of computing, this struck me as something people
    might be interested in.


    http://www.neowin.net/news/five-dimensional-5d-storage-medium-could-replace-blu-ray-and-outlast-mankind

    Scientists at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have taken a major step forward in the development of a digital data storage medium - called five dimensional (5D) - that could one day replace Blu-ray discs. The researchers have now improved the means of recording and retrieving information from the storage medium.

    5D has groundbreaking properties, it can store up to 360 terabytes per disc, it'll remain stable in temperatures of up to 1,000°C, and has a "virtually" unlimited lifetime at room temperature. The researchers claim that at 160°C, the storage would remain uncorrupted for 13.8 billion years. Blu-ray discs, for comparison, can store 23.5 GB (single layer) worth of data and lasts about 7 years, according to the researchers. ......



    http://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/962.html

    The documents were recorded using ultrafast laser, producing extremely short and intense pulses of light. The file is written in three layers of nanostructured dots separated by five micrometres (one millionth of a metre). The self-assembled nanostructures change the way light travels through glass, modifying polarisation of light that can then be read by combination of optical microscope and a polariser, similar to that found in Polaroid sunglasses.

    Coined as the ‘Superman memory crystal’, as the glass memory has been compared to the “memory crystals” used in the Superman films, the data is recorded via self-assembled nanostructures created in fused quartz. The information encoding is realised in five dimensions: the size and orientation in addition to the three dimensional position of these nanostructures.

    Professor Peter Kazansky, from the ORC, says: “It is thrilling to think that we have created the technology to preserve documents and information and store it in space for future generations. This technology can secure the last evidence of our civilisation: all we’ve learnt will not be forgotten.”

    The researchers will present their research at the photonics industry's renowned SPIE Photonics West—The International Society for Optical Engineering Conference in San Francisco, USA this week. The invited paper, ‘5D Data Storage by Ultrafast Laser Writing in Glass’ will be presented on Wednesday 17 February.



    http://spie.org/PWL/conferencedetails/laser-micro-nanoprocessing#2220600

    Eternal 5D data storage by ultrafast laser writing in glass (Invited Paper)
    Paper 9736-29
    Author(s): Jingyu Zhang, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom); Aušra Cerkauskaite, Rokas Drevinskas, Aabid Patel, University of Southampton (United Kingdom); Martynas Beresna, Peter G. Kazansky, Univ. of Southampton (United Kingdom)

    Femtosecond laser writing in transparent materials has attracted considerable interest due to new science and a wide range of applications from laser surgery, 3D integrated optics and optofluidics to geometrical phase optics and ultra-stable optical data storage. A decade ago it has been discovered that under certain irradiation conditions self-organized subwavelength structures with record small features of 20 nm, could be created in the volume of silica glass. On the macroscopic scale the self-assembled nanostructure behaves as a uniaxial optical crystal with negative birefringence. The optical anisotropy, which results from the alignment of nano-platelets, referred to as form birefringence, is of the same order of magnitude as positive birefringence in crystalline quartz. The two independent parameters describing birefringence, the slow axis orientation (4th dimension) and the strength of retardance (5th dimension), are explored for the optical encoding of information in addition to three spatial coordinates. The slow axis orientation and the retardance are independently manipulated by the polarization and intensity of the femtosecond laser beam. The data optically encoded into five dimensions is successfully retrieved by quantitative birefringence measurements. The storage allows unprecedented parameters including hundreds of terabytes per disc data capacity and thermal stability up to 1000°. Even at elevated temperatures of 160oC, the extrapolated decay time of nanogratings is comparable with the age of the Universe - 13.8 billion years. The demonstrated recording of the digital documents, which will survive the human race, including the eternal copies of Kings James Bible and Magna Carta, is a vital step towards an eternal archive.
  2. Joined
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    16 Feb '16 16:354 edits
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Given recent discussions of future capabilities of computing, this struck me as something people
    might be interested in
    On the macroscopic scale the self-assembled nanostructure behaves as a uniaxial optical crystal with negative birefringence. The optical anisotropy, which results from the alignment of nano-platelets, referred to as form birefringence, is of the same order of magnitude as positive birefringence in crystalline quartz.


    Well, duh.....

    đŸ˜‰
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    16 Feb '16 17:10
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Given recent discussions of future capabilities of computing, this struck me as something people
    might be interested in.


    http://www.neowin.net/news/five-dimensional-5d-storage-medium-could-replace-blu-ray-and-outlast-mankind

    Scientists at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have taken a major step forwar ...[text shortened]... es of Kings James Bible and Magna Carta, is a vital step towards an eternal archive.[/i]
    I assume it means each 'dimension' is a way to store bits separate from the other 'dimensions' so you get 5 bits for one or some such?
  4. Standard memberDeepThought
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    16 Feb '16 18:07
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Given recent discussions of future capabilities of computing, this struck me as something people
    might be interested in.


    http://www.neowin.net/news/five-dimensional-5d-storage-medium-could-replace-blu-ray-and-outlast-mankind

    Scientists at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have taken a major step forwar ...[text shortened]... es of Kings James Bible and Magna Carta, is a vital step towards an eternal archive.[/i]
    This is all terribly impressive, but is it overwriteable and critically how much does it cost?
  5. Subscribersonhouse
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    16 Feb '16 18:14
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    This is all terribly impressive, but is it overwriteable and critically how much does it cost?
    My guess is no more than an order of magnitude greater than any CD or blu ray system.

    And price dropping way down as sales goes up.
  6. Cape Town
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    16 Feb '16 18:24
    I don't get why the comparison to Blue ray. I haven't used CDs for years and never got as far as Blue Ray.
    If they plan to produce new disks then I hope they make something a bit smaller as there appears to be plenty of capacity. Something like the half size CDs would do.
    What really matters though is read/write speeds as that will determine what uses the technology will have. If it is slow, then its main use will be long term storage and if its cheap enough then regular backups too.
    If it is reasonably fast then various other uses become possible.
    I don't really see it being any use for replacing the former hard copy game and movie market as that is already practically dead and will only continue to die.
  7. Joined
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    16 Feb '16 18:471 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I assume it means each 'dimension' is a way to store bits separate from the other 'dimensions' so you get 5 bits for one or some such?
    Or perhaps they mean they have made a disk that is physically in and shaped in five dimensions?
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    16 Feb '16 19:17
    Originally posted by humy
    Or perhaps they mean they have made a disk that is physically in and shaped in five dimensions?
    Now THAT would be a breakthrough on many levels, er, dimensionsđŸ™‚
  9. Cape Town
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    16 Feb '16 21:09
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I assume it means each 'dimension' is a way to store bits separate from the other 'dimensions' so you get 5 bits for one or some such?
    That is the general idea, but its a little more complicated than that.
    A typical CD has a two dimensional array and for each point in that array a bit can be on or off.
    This technology has a three dimensional array and for each point in the array a point can be various sizes and point in various directions.
    The idea of having no point would destroy the information carried by direction, so it would make sense to have different sizes but never zero.
    Now assuming there are only two detectable sizes and two detectable directions, that would mean for each point in three dimensional space you can have four possible values or two bits.
    Now if the third dimension has only two detectable 'heights' then for each possible location in two dimensions there are 8 possible values or 3 bits.

    However, I suspect they can measure various sizes, various directions and more than two 'heights'. How many of each of these there are will determine how many extra 'bits' they can store relative to a 2D cd.
  10. Joined
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    16 Feb '16 23:05
    This is an article on the technology developed by the same team from 2013 which gives
    a better 'lay' description of what they are doing.

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2013/jul/17/5d-superman-memory-crystal-heralds-unlimited-lifetime-data-storage

    From that 2013 article...
    ....The data file was read using a standard optical microscope in conjunction with a polarizing filter, to measure the way that light transmission was altered by the dots. The read-out showed each dot as a blurred spot of varying intensity, in one of four colours to indicate polarity – a level of optical data encoding that represents a significant improvement over simple 3D systems such as conventional DVDs or even Hitachi’s, according to Zhang. “Consider that when you read a DVD, while you read one spot it’s actually one bit, but in our case, it’s many more bits – 10 bits,” he explains, adding that they “expect 10 times higher reading rates too”.

    .... The researchers claim that their memory crystals “[open] the era of unlimited lifetime data storage.” As well as providing unprecedented capacity and high-speed reading, fused quartz is exceptionally stable and can withstand temperatures up to 1000 °C. “We think it should potentially last a million years,” enthuses Zhang, meaning the stored data will likely outlast the human race.

    Xiangping Li, a physicist working on multidimensional optical data storage at Swinburne University of Technology in Hawthorn, Australia, calls the work “quite innovative”, and suggests that the estimated storage capacity would be beefed up even more if the parameters used for the fourth or fifth dimensions were less closely intertwined. “[Currently] these parameters are not orthogonal to each other, so it will create significant crosstalk…it’s a grey scale,” he explains.

    Zhang’s group is designing a simple scanning laser read-out device that will enable the reading technology to be brought cheaply into homes in the near future. The same cannot be said for the writing technology, however – there needs to be a significant breakthrough before we could be saving our personal music and photograph collections to memory crystal. National labs, cloud-computing clusters and other large data-generating enterprises, on the other hand, are obvious immediate candidates for early adoption. “Museums that want to preserve information, or places like the National Archives where they have huge numbers of documents, would really benefit,” says Zhang.

    The researchers are looking to combine with industry partners to develop a higher-powered laser but, ahead of that, they plan to switch the SLM for another on the market that should increase their writing speed from kilobytes-per-second to megabytes-per-second, and are keeping a keen eye on the current development of an even better version that should offer them speeds of gigabytes-per-second.


    Also a video of the current lab encoding process.

    https://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2016/02/5d-data-storage-update.page


    And the original paper describing their work for those of a more technical bent.

    http://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/fileadmin/downloads/5D_Data_Storage_by_Ultrafast_Laser_Nanostructuring_in_Glass.pdf
  11. Subscribersonhouse
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    17 Feb '16 11:42
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    This is an article on the technology developed by the same team from 2013 which gives
    a better 'lay' description of what they are doing.

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2013/jul/17/5d-superman-memory-crystal-heralds-unlimited-lifetime-data-storage

    From that 2013 article...
    [i][quote]....[b]The data file was read using a standard optical ...[text shortened]... .soton.ac.uk/fileadmin/downloads/5D_Data_Storage_by_Ultrafast_Laser_Nanostructuring_in_Glass.pdf
    What do they mean by 'slow axis' and 'retardance'? The beam is split into 256 parts (16 squared) but the size of one of the boxes shown was 500 micrometers which is 1/2 mm, a very large size for a data storage site. This demo only recorded a few hundred K of data so I wonder how they are going to physically go from around 1 meg to that purported 360,000 gigabytes? Also, they didn't talk about how complex the readout laser system would be.
  12. Standard memberDeepThought
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    17 Feb '16 15:07
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    What do they mean by 'slow axis' and 'retardance'? The beam is split into 256 parts (16 squared) but the size of one of the boxes shown was 500 micrometers which is 1/2 mm, a very large size for a data storage site. This demo only recorded a few hundred K of data so I wonder how they are going to physically go from around 1 meg to that purported 360,000 gigabytes? Also, they didn't talk about how complex the readout laser system would be.
    I think they're still at the "proof of concept" stage. That kind of problem probably isn't too hard to solve once they've got the material to actually store data.
  13. Subscribersonhouse
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    02 Mar '16 14:48
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    I think they're still at the "proof of concept" stage. That kind of problem probably isn't too hard to solve once they've got the material to actually store data.
    The main question is, suppose this device gets built and massive usage stores every bit of wisdom, knowledge, science, math, dance, music, art, theater, folk music, popular music for the entire race and such.

    Ten thousand years later, our civilization is kaput. A new one arises, say in New Zealand or some such.

    They come across our crystal data sets, fresh as the day they were made, thousands of them. An entire civilization worth of thought and drama and science and so forth.

    How would they decode this data? I would assume in such a scenario, they would be coming up from scratch and the moment they find the cache of data, say they are at our stage but the 14th century technology wise.

    They would be hundreds of years before they even knew what the stuff was much less decode it. One would hope they were not used as jewelry for their women and get scratched up and otherwise undecodable. Wouldn't that be a hoot An entire civilization worth of wisdom, math, technology, rocketry and so forth, in those data crystals but they end up being made into earrings......
  14. Cape Town
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    02 Mar '16 16:16
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    The main question is, suppose this device gets built and massive usage stores every bit of wisdom, knowledge, science, math, dance, music, art, theater, folk music, popular music for the entire race and such.
    The reality is that it would probably be a backup of the internet or some such and the first thing some future person decodes would probably be a facebook page.
  15. Subscribersonhouse
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    02 Mar '16 17:03
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The reality is that it would probably be a backup of the internet or some such and the first thing some future person decodes would probably be a facebook page.
    But technology changes so rapidly, a device from 10 years ago can't even be read now, like the 8 inch floppy or the data cassette of old time Commodore 64 era comps.

    So this thing becomes popular then a newer development causes a new level of excitement and it has a different readout technology and the old data crystals go by the wayside and a thousand years later are completely useless.
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