You have a bunch of important photos and files stored on a CD or flash drive. You go to retreive them, many print some stuff off, and the worst occurs: the data isn’t readable. This nightmare happens more often than we’d wish. I’m sure just about everyone has gone through the loss of precious data in our computer (or post-computer) world. What if your data could truly be permanently saved?
A new technology by Hitachi plans to use quartz glass as a data storage medium, with a goal of marketing the technology to businesses as early as 2015. How does it work? Basically the technology uses a laser that etches into three layers on the crystals at a density a bit higher than a CD. The data can then be read/retrieved via an optical microscope. The bottom line with this method is that the data is safe, which is very important for multi-billion dollar organizations with secret data files to protect. Putting its claim of permanent safe storage to the test, Hitachi even put the glass through two hours of 3500-degree Fahrenheit torture. As they hoped, there was no data loss even under these conditions.
At first, companies will have to send their data in to Hitachi and other vendors with the technology to have it stored into the glass. In time, glass etching storage burners might be as commonplace as a DVD burner is today.
[ source ]