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New storage disc that secures data for 2.000 years +

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posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 05:10 AM
This is probably the future of data back up, at least for companies and administrations at first, with no storage precautions needed at all....

Translation from the original French article by myself, please be indulgent as there's still probably some spelling mistakes!

Secure data for 2,000 years on a permanent medium that does not require conservation effort, it is possible: a young French company, Arnano, proposes to burn a disc of sapphire, in analog form and without coding. Certainly, future generations will be able to read them.

What will become store data on CD, DVD, hard drives, memory cards or USB keys? They will disappear sooner or later, it is a certainty. The problem has long been known, leading to distinguish storage, short-term recording, archiving, to keep permanently valuable data. When it comes to keep records over long periods, for regulatory reasons, for example, as is the case in aviation or in hazardous industries, including nuclear.

Our ancestors used the paper or parchment, and even further away from us yet, etching and painting on the rock. Today, the classical solution is the microfiche or microfilm, that consist of photographing the document. An analogic principle, therefore. Digital seems to run out for the long term ...

The documents are written in images within a disc of synthetic sapphire. To read them, just a microscope is needed.

"Digital technology is wonderful but is not secure," concludes Alain Rey, one of the founders of the company Arnano, spin-off from CEA-Leti. His company has made as an original specialty using a laser to burn holographic and microscopic patterns, to the micrometer scale, on hard surfaces, like glass or sapphire. The company works especially for the watch industry to include authentication codes, such as invisible logos to the naked eye. The principle of laser burning eliminates masks in microelectronics, very expensive and that are reserved for mass production.

This storage disc is burned in a similar way. A synthetic sapphire surface (transparent), 0.7 mm thick, is coated with titanium nitride, "which serves as ink," says Alain Rey, and the laser is used to draw the patterns. Then a second disc of sapphire is applied over. After heating, there is a kind of molecular bonding and the two plates are fused together, linked in the same crystal lattice. "Sapphire is just a little less hard than diamond. It is solid, it resists all chemicals and holds heat up to 1,700 ° C."
He added that the disc don't fear rodents, unlike microfiches.

It is a laser that burns a synthetic sapphire disc, an aluminum oxide (Al2O3). The natural mineral is bluish due to impurities but the synthetic sapphire is transparent. The disc is covered with titanium nitride and the laser write, literally on this "ink". A second disc, perfectly smooth, is applied thereto, and, under the effect of heat, merges with the first. The engraving is then unalterable. The realization of a glass disc, less expensive, following the same steps

The final shape is a disc, but it is not a DVD. The circular shape with a diameter of 200 mm, is just the initial form of synthetic sapphire ingots but also that of microelectronics machine tools, adapted to silicon wafers. Needless to slip it into a DVD reader!

For coding, it is the analog that was chosen. Digital technology suffers of three digital obsolescence:
- The media first. CDs and DVDs are short-lived means, 3 to 10 years.
- The tapes, 30 years.
- The software then. A text written in Word 1 will be hard to be read for our nowadays softwares, for example.

Similarly, CD and DVD encoding, very efficient, use complex algorithms, which can correct errors. But all of this is based on proprietary techniques, which change over time. As back up material, we use the sapphire, which is unalterable. For the recording, we use the analog documents that are images, just reduced in size. There is no coding. To read them, just need to enlarge them! Whatever the technique they will use, our descendants will be able to do so.

For now, the reading can be done with a small microscope that plugs into a computer, with a high resolution camera equipped with a zoom or with a special scanner that will provide files, text or images.

Ok, you'll say then "that's a great technology, but what about the cost?"

In all, a 200 mm diameter disc can store up to 10,000 A4 pages. This custom work is charged 3,000 euros on glass and on sapphire 10,000, respectively 30 cents and 1 euro / page. But for that price, the disc will not need to be kept under special conditions. It may be dropped almost anywhere ... Andra, National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management, has already placed an order for an archive of sapphire.

The archiving beyond 30 years is not taken into account. But companies have recognized this need. Ferrari, for example, that attaches great importance to the conservation of all that relates to its older models. "That's right, our company produces a lot of information, more than ever in the history of mankind. But how many of them pass through the centuries?"
edit on 28-6-2012 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 05:24 AM
Apparently the ancient Egyptians already knew methods to securely store information on discs around 4.000 years ago.

posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 05:34 AM
reply to post by elevenaugust

* awkward silence * ^^^^^

cant your browser translate it for you ??

pretty cool, but for 3000 EURO id rather go on a holiday IMHO....stufff for big company's,,,and rich people(hate them)
stick with my usb flash and disk's thank-you!
edit on 28-6-2012 by 1beerplease because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 06:46 AM
reply to post by 1beerplease

i partly agree with you, for 3000 euros id spend it better also but if this stuff becomes available for me to buy i'd definatly get one, have a record of our years from my viewpoint, i'd love the people of the future to know that busses were often late and minimum wage is a bit crap. and that many people called themselves welsh but few knew the language.tell them obama was dissapointing and that nothing changed, tell them that once we were alowed to smoke indoors and that british comedy was the greatest.
it can be as direct as talking to the future, your future genes.
tell them anything and everything, why not?

posted on Jul, 1 2012 @ 07:23 AM
this is pretty impressive stuff. Imagine all the books you could have made into these discs and then passed on to other generations when the government start burning books to dumb down the public even further.

Good way to save data for the future.

posted on Jul, 1 2012 @ 07:31 AM

Originally posted by TiM3LoRd
this is pretty impressive stuff. Imagine all the books you could have made into these discs and then passed on to other generations when the government start burning books to dumb down the public even further.
Good way to save data for the future.

The only problem I see with this is that it will not be doable by the average hans/joe.
Because this storage disc is just not aviable for you. So the EE (evil elite) will decide what is lasered or not.

reply to post by H1ght3chHippie

yeah, look at the amount of information there, incredible or not

edit on 1-7-2012 by verschickter because: (no reason given)

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