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Rediff.com  » Business » Soon, data card that will last for '100 million years'

Soon, data card that will last for '100 million years'

September 28, 2012 14:15 IST

Researchers claim to have developed a new water proof storage device that can endure extreme temperatures and hostile conditions like fires and tsunami 'forever' without degrading.

Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi has unveiled the chip, which it claims is resistant to many chemicals and unaffected by radio waves, can be exposed directly to high temperature flames and heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius for at least two hours without being damaged.

The chip is also waterproof, meaning it could survive natural calamities, such as fires and tsunami, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

"The volume of data being created every day is exploding, but in terms of keeping it for later generations, we haven't necessarily improved since the days we inscribed things on stones," Hitachi researcher Kazuyoshi Torii said.

"The possibility of losing information may actually have increased,' he said, noting the life of digital media currently available - CDs and hard drives - is limited to a few decades or a century," he said.

The company's new technology stores data in binary form by creating dots inside a thin sheet of quartz glass, which can be read with an ordinary optical microscope.

Provided a computer with the know-how to understand that binary is available - simple enough to programme, no matter how advanced computers become - the data will always be readable.

"We believe data will survive unless this hard glass is broken," said senior researcher Takao Watanabe.

The material currently has four layers of dots, which can hold 40 megabytes per square inch, approximately the density on a music CD, researchers said, adding they believe including more layers should not be a problem.

The company has not decided when to put the chip to practical use but researchers said they could start with storage services for government agencies, museums and religious organisations.

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