Japan's Hitachi corporation has unveiled a new method of storing data on quartz crystals, producing a data storage that may last 100 million years. The new system encodes data in binary form on thin sheets of quartz glass.
"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 at most. And the rapid development of technologies has resulted in frequent changes of data-reading hardware. "As you must have experienced, there is the problem that you cannot retrieve information and data you managed to collect," said Torii, apparently referring to now-obsolete record players and cine films.
Hitachi have 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 organizations.
Woohoo, we can save LOLcats for posterity!