High-speed laser recording method records 500 TB of data onto a glass disc the size of a CD

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Researchers at the University of Southampton in the UK have developed a fast and energy efficient laser writing technique to create high-density nanostructures in silica glass. These tiny structures can be used for long-term, five-dimensional (5D) optical storage, which is more than 10,000 times as dense as Blue-Ray optical discs.

Scientists can talk about five-dimensional recording using three spatial dimensions and two optical: the orientation of the slow axis of polarized light, determined by the orientation of the nanostructure, and the slowdown, which depends on the size of the nanostructure. According to them, there is a need in the world for highly efficient forms of data storage on media with high capacity, low power consumption and long service life. In particular, 5D data storage in glass can be in demand in national archives, museums, libraries or private organizations.

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The prototype shown in the photo has a capacity of 6 GB. The size of each of the four squares is only 8.8 x 8.8 mm. In terms of write speed, it is 1,000,000 voxels per second, which is roughly the equivalent of 230 KB / s.

High-speed laser recording method records 500 TB of data onto a glass disc the size of a CD

Researchers are currently working to increase the write speed and the ability to use the technology outside the laboratory. For practical use, it will also be necessary to develop faster reading methods.

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