Take everything you know about data storage and set it aside, because a breakthrough from a research team at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Center (ORC) could change everything. The scientists have developed a totally new type of data storage, in the form of glass discs close to the size of a quarter. Data is encoded into tiny nanostructures embedded within the glass, and the team believes their invention could be used to store data for up to 13.8 billion years.
Many forms of data storage have come and gone over the years, as computer technology continues to evolve. Each has been discarded after a time, replaced by something bigger, better, and more durable. With the introduction of these 'five-dimensional' glass discs, there may not be a need to look much further when it comes to advances in data storage. Each tiny clear disc is capable of holding up to 360 terabytes of data – even at 190°C (374°F) – for a really, really, really long time.