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posted by mrpg on Wednesday March 28 2018, @07:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the anything-more-than-500-is-good dept.

Scientists have developed an optical disc technology that they say can store at least 10 terabytes per disc with a lifetime of over 600-650 years:

"While optical technology can expand capacity, the most advanced optical discs developed so far have only 50-year lifespans," explained lead investigator Min Gu, a professor at RMIT and senior author of an open-access paper published in Nature Communications. "Our technique can create an optical disc with the largest capacity of any optical technology developed to date and our tests have shown it will last over half a millennium and is suitable for mass production of optical discs."

[...] The new nano-optical long-data memory technology is based on a novel gold nanoplasmonic hybrid glass matrix, unlike the materials used in current optical discs. The technique relies on a sol-gel process, which uses chemical precursors to produce ceramics and glass with higher purity and homogeneity than conventional processes. Glass is a highly durable material that can last up to 1000 years and can be used to hold data, but has limited native storage capacity because of its inflexibility. So the team combined glass with an organic material, halving its lifespan (to 600 years) but radically increasing its capacity.

Also at RMIT University.

High-capacity optical long data memory based on enhanced Young's modulus in nanoplasmonic hybrid glass composites (open, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03589-y) (DX)


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  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Wednesday March 28 2018, @10:31AM (4 children)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 28 2018, @10:31AM (#659427) Homepage Journal

    That M-Discs will last until the heat death of the Universe?

    My windows box only set me back three hundred eighty Samoleons yet is labeled "M-Disc Ready".

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:02PM (3 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:02PM (#659465)

      All these claims of life into the decades and centuries for technology that's barley been through a year of accelerated life testing...

      They've been doing it for decades, but I don't think that the actual lifespans live up to the marketing claims - other factors (dust, humidity, moving parts, small pitch pins with lead-free solder) tend to corrupt the media long before the tested aspect becomes a problem.

      --
      🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by anotherblackhat on Wednesday March 28 2018, @02:12PM

        by anotherblackhat (4722) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @02:12PM (#659509)

        M-disc was released in 2009, it's had more than one year of testing.

      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday March 28 2018, @05:40PM (1 child)

        by Freeman (732) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @05:40PM (#659604) Journal

        You would need regular maintenance on a drive with moving parts, etc. What's being talked about is the storage media itself. Not the drive used to read the storage media. Ideally something like M-Disc or the new tech discussed here would be stable and usable for a long time.

        --
        Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by fyngyrz on Wednesday March 28 2018, @07:15PM

          by fyngyrz (6567) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @07:15PM (#659641) Journal

          Scene in the year 2500 C.E.:

          Archeology intern: "Hey, what's this?"

          Archeologist: "Another ten terabytes of porn."

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Wednesday March 28 2018, @10:36AM (5 children)

    by c0lo (156) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @10:36AM (#659432) Journal

    From the RMIT link

    Scientists from Australia and China have drawn on the durable power of gold to demonstrate a new type of high-capacity optical disk that can hold data securely for more than 600 years.

    I have this nagging feeling** that, unless US will start to be interested in science and technology beyond self-driving cars, all that will remain from MAGA will be the face of Trump during his speeches recorded (in patent encumbered video compression formats) for 600 years on a Sino-Australian technology.

    ---

    ** nothing serious, it's not the reason for my bouts of insomnia.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:08PM (4 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:08PM (#659470)

      Sino-Australian technology.

      The Aussie scientist may have helped figure it out, but I seriously doubt that they can pull together the economic efficiency down-under to actually make these things in volume for the world market.

      --
      🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:24PM (1 child)

        by c0lo (156) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:24PM (#659484) Journal

        yeah, well, american technology, ozzie technology, all made in china.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday March 28 2018, @08:11PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @08:11PM (#659662)

          Hey, at least we still make (some) decent movies...

          --
          🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by arslan on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:37AM (1 child)

        by arslan (3462) on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:37AM (#659848)

        With China's help we can... much smaller countries in Asia have achieved similar with China's help

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday March 29 2018, @12:20PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday March 29 2018, @12:20PM (#659929)

          So, Chinese owned businesses in Australia - employing Australian workers? Yeah, that might work - it works for German car makers in the US Southeast.

          What do you think is the major impediment to Australian/US owners being able to compete here? Raw capital is certainly one problem, but there also seems to be an issue with management style...

          --
          🌻 [google.com]
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by TheRaven on Wednesday March 28 2018, @12:48PM (5 children)

    by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @12:48PM (#659458) Journal
    In the 1984, the BBC decided to run a project to create an updated version of the Doomsday Book (the result of the great survey that William the Conqueror organised in 1086), with input from schools across the country. It ran until 1986 and released the final version on the 900th anniversary of the publication of the original. The final version was stored on LaserDiscs in LaserVision Read Only Memory (LV-ROM) format. In 2002, less than 20 years later, it was almost impossible to read them, not because of any problems with the media but because hardly anyone had LV-ROM hardware connected to a BBC Micro. The content is now preserved by the simple expedient of making it available online and moving it to new computers periodically, along with backups that the current systems can read.
    --
    sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:05PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:05PM (#659468)

      Unless you've got something simple to say - one page of text cast in bronze raised letters - the "living document" perpetually backed up at multiple sites, is the way to go. It won't do well when civilization falls, but when civilization falls we will be more concerned with simple messages that can be related in a single page of text cast in bronze raised letters. When civilization falls hard enough, we may just forget how to read the letters too.

      --
      🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by takyon on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:14PM (3 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:14PM (#659475) Journal

      A 2017 Ultra HD Blu-ray drive [lg.com] can read and write CDs, a format from 1982. As well as those M-DISCs apparently.

      Keeping all the new optical discs 120mm in size seems to have helped prevent the problem, although the physical longevity of those discs is still a concern.

      Massively boosting the storage of a 120mm optical disc periodically, like with this thing, could help ensure that we have readers for CD/DVD/BD/etc. The challenge then becomes selling optical discs that can compete against HDDs, NAND, etc.

      The vaporware Holographic Versatile Disc was supposed to be able to store 6 TB or more. This thing is so far limited to "tens of TB". All we need is some petabyte-scale holographic discs to allow us to keep CDs around.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:42PM (2 children)

        by TheRaven (270) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @01:42PM (#659497) Journal

        A 2017 Ultra HD Blu-ray drive [lg.com] can read and write CDs, a format from 1982. As well as those M-DISCs apparently.

        That's certainly working in the short term, but new computers are increasingly coming without optical drives. I wouldn't be willing to bet on their being common in 20 years, let alone 100.

        Massively boosting the storage of a 120mm optical disc periodically, like with this thing, could help ensure that we have readers for CD/DVD/BD/etc. The challenge then becomes selling optical discs that can compete against HDDs, NAND, etc.

        I think it's more a problem of being able to compete against networked storage. Removable media exist to solve the problem of transporting data between devices, but at home I can read data from a NAS faster than I can from a local DVD (and seek a lot faster). The fibre coming into my house is rated for at least 1Gb/s (though I can't get that speed at the far end yet). The only reason that I still use optical disks is that DVD movies and TV shows are now so cheap that they're cheaper to buy than stream once and don't have any effective DRM so I can copy them to a computer if I want to. If someone offered a reasonably priced, DRM-free, download service for films and TV, with as big a selection as I can currently get on DVD, I'd probably stop caring if I had any optical drives in my house.

        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday March 29 2018, @12:18PM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday March 29 2018, @12:18PM (#659928) Journal

          I think it's more a problem of being able to compete against networked storage.

          I forgot to mention it in my comment for some reason.

          But my idea is that maybe, just maybe, larger optical discs at the same 120mm size keep drives circulating for another couple of decades at least. BDXL [wikipedia.org] was introduced in 2010 as a 100-128 GB disc for professional users. It was never consumer-oriented, and you could be forgiven for thinking that it was the end of the line for consumer optical discs once Netflix became huge. Then Ultra HD Blu-ray [wikipedia.org] was defined and released around 2015-2016, with capacities up to 100 GB.

          And something that completely slipped my mind: Archival Disc [wikipedia.org], which is basically a BDXL successor with 300 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB capacities. And possibly 1.5 TB [bhphotovideo.com] and 3.3 TB [techhive.com] versions. However, they seem to have a form factor suited to being a drop-in replacement for LTO tape or something like that, so it might not be relevant to preserving drives capable of reading 120mm diameter, 1.2mm thick CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays.

          Given that multi-terabyte media is not hard to come by, with 1 terabyte SD cards [theverge.com] in existence, 2-4 TB consumer SSDs obtainable, and 8-14 TB HDDs available, a 10 TB capacity could be a good minimum for a next generation of optical discs. That would be denser than the hard drive platters that exist. However, we could aim much higher with a holographic disc. The HVD vaporware [wikipedia.org] promised hundreds of gigabytes or single-digit terabytes. But holographic technology has the potential to reach petabytes... even exabytes? Make it long-lasting and radiation-tolerant (for space and Mars) and we might have a very useful storage medium for humanity.

          One problem is that it seems unlikely that there will be another large launch of optical discs for consumers. The 100 GB max capacity combined with H.265 is enough to store full length 4K content, with HDR, etc. And streaming is ever more popular. If you did see another consumer iteration, it could be targeted at super high resolution VR video.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday March 29 2018, @01:01PM

            by TheRaven (270) on Thursday March 29 2018, @01:01PM (#659939) Journal

            I'd also forgotten about Archival Disc. When I went to look, none of the normal places I'd expect to sell it did, and the one place I found them charges $148 for a 1.5TB disc, so about $100/TB. For reference, that's the same price per TB as about 25 years of storage on Amazon Glacier ($0.004/GB). If you actually care about long-term storage then you're likely to want at least two copies in different locations and you're probably paying for a fire safe and so on, on top of that cost, so you could stick your data in cloud storage (where someone else is responsible for ensuring that it's geographically distributed) for at least 50 years for the cost of just the media and probably for over 100 years once you factor in the cost of the drive and of secure storage.

            If you do want to do on-site offline backups, then it's not really competitive with LTO, where a 2.5TB cartridge costs $30 (i.e. a little over 10% of the cost per GB of AD) and is read-write, so you can cycle them for incremental backups and store them long-term for complete snapshots.

            The only Archival Disc (which seems to be now called Optical Disc Archive) drive I found cost $5K. So let's assume that you want to store 200TB for 100 years. With AD, that's $5,000 for the drive, plus 134 discs at $148 each, so $24,832 in total (ignoring the cost of space for securely storing a fire safe and assuming a single copy). With Amazon Glacier, that's $960,000, so a lot more expensive now. With LTO-6, it looks to be about $2,000 for the drive and then $2,400 for the media, so $4,400 plus storage costs. For people with lots of data that they need to store for a long time, LTO is a lot cheaper than optical drives. For people with less data, cloud storage is cheaper.

            As you say, there's unlikely to be another consumer optical drive format and that leads to big problems because optical storage R&D is really expensive and unless you can amortise the cost across large numbers of units then you're stuck producing incredibly expensive drives and discs, which can't compete against other technologies.

            --
            sudo mod me up
  • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday March 28 2018, @03:03PM

    by LoRdTAW (3755) on Wednesday March 28 2018, @03:03PM (#659540) Journal

    Gold Nanoplasmonic Hybrid Glass Optical Disc - Brought to you by the creators of the Turbo Encabulator!

  • (Score: 2) by jb on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:10AM

    by jb (338) on Thursday March 29 2018, @04:10AM (#659844)

    640 years should be enough for anyone!

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