Due to the ever-increasing amount of data, companies are looking for new solutions to store information. Glass and holograms seem to be a promising data storage medium.

Humanity's digital traces date back almost a century. In addition to digitized video and image recordings, many museum archives also contain valuable documents and artifacts on a variety of data storage devices. However, standard systems such as SSD or HDD hard drives pose a problem, as their lifespan is limited to around ten years.

The Imperial War Museum is also facing this challenge. It is planning a comprehensive digitization of its museum archives in 2039 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Second World War. With 24,000 hours of film and video recordings and eleven million photos, the task seems enormous.

However, digitization is necessary because the original copies deteriorate over time. Therefore, reliable storage systems are particularly important for the long-term protection of this valuable data.

Store data effectively: from LTO-9 tapes to glass and holograms

Not only museums, but also companies, hospitals and governments are facing an onslaught of data. According to an analysis by the Enterprise Strategy Group, the volume of data in many industries doubles every four to five years. Those affected often rely on so-called LTO tapes (Linear Tape Open) for long-term archiving.

These are cost-effective, reliable and can store large amounts of data. For example, an LTO-9 tape can store 18 terabytes of data, which is equivalent to the storage capacity of 300 standard smartphones.

The start-up HoloMem in Chiswick (West London) has already gone one step further. It is currently developing a long-term storage system that uses laser technology to create holograms in a light-sensitive polymer. HoloMem explains that holograms can store data in multiple layers.

This enables a higher storage density. The polymer blocks are extremely temperature-resistant and have a lifespan of at least 50 years. In contrast, archives have to replace their magnetic tapes every 15 years and at the same time ensure the right room climate.

Approaches could obtain data over the next centuries

Another major player is Microsoft with its Project Silica. This system uses glass as a storage medium, with powerful lasers creating tiny structural changes in the glass to store data. A two-millimeter-thick piece of glass the size of a DVD can store over seven terabytes of data.

Glass is relatively resistant to temperature, humidity and electromagnetic influences and could potentially preserve data for centuries or even millennia. The Imperial War Museum is also experimenting with artificial intelligence (AI) to catalog digital libraries.

AI could take on tasks that would take humans hundreds of years to complete. Such systems could also help find valuable information in large amounts of data. According to the company, there are now concrete business reasons to make archived data accessible for analysis, which further increases the importance of data storage.

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2024/06/20/daten-glas-hologrammen/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *