AfterDawn: Tech news

Can there be a million-year storage disk?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 27 Oct 2013 14:46 User comments (12)

Can there be a million-year storage disk? According to researchers at the University of Twente, the ultimate goal is to create a storage disk that will outlast "the human race itself."
The team has a goal of 1 million years, with a stretch goal of 1 billion years for an upcoming disk that will help preserve vital information forever.

"Whether it is music, art, literature, or scientific breakthroughs, people have tried to ensure preservation of information for future generations," reads the research team's published paper. The storage idea has been dubbed "gigayear" by the team. "At some point humanity as we know it will cease to exist and slowly all our achievements will disappear. Given sufficient time, all memory of humanity will be erased."

Of course, it is impossible to try to test the discs for longevity, but the team has used accelerated aging tests. The discs are "fabricated with tungsten and a protective silicon nitride layer." "A disk with data in the form of QR codes has been fabricated and was able to survive the temperature tests, and therefore will survive 1 million years of storage according to theory."

So far, the results have been promising but it appears that fire temperatures completely destroy the discs.

Previous Next  

12 user comments

127.10.2013 15:38

Actually, this may seem silly to some, but it's quite important. Just as a single example, what happens to most human knowledge, currently stored on magnetic media, when a large EMP event (nuclear explosion(s), large solar flare, supernova particle wavefront, et al.) happens? For that matter, how many of those old 3-1/2" minifloppies (much less older 5-1/4" or 8") are accessible today? Furthermore, CDs and DVDs eventually delaminate, even though they aren't magnetic storage.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Oct 2013 @ 15:48

228.10.2013 6:30

be interesting for future generations if we could a record of events from our life time on a disc and it could be kept for the future like a journal.handed down from generation to generation.easier than paperwork.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

328.10.2013 11:52

As long as my Iggy Pop collection survives for the coming aliens to be astonished at...to heck with the NSA collection!!!!

428.10.2013 12:57

Originally posted by Blessedon:
As long as my Iggy Pop collection survives for the coming aliens to be astonished at...to heck with the NSA collection!!!!
Awesome, haha. I further submit that all future generations should have knowledge of every name given to every Garbage Pail Kid card in existence!!!

528.10.2013 13:11

If they could achieve this I would recommend that they send it to the moon for safe keeping. It is more likely to be the case that no matter what the longevity of this device is, as the article says it cannot withstand fire, if it can't do that then just send it to the moon! I think that would be a pretty cool discovery.


ZX Spectrum 128K

628.10.2013 16:17

A Sci-Fi Fairy Tail. Nothing last forever.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Oct 2013 @ 16:18

Live Free or Die.
The rule above all the rules is: Survive !
Capitalism: Funnel most of the $$$ to the already rich.

728.10.2013 17:05

No one said "forever". Just "a long time".

829.10.2013 9:02

Maybe the ancients were on to something when they started chiseling their important records onto stone tablets.
Maybe they should figure out a way to encase their storage medium in thousands of pounds of marble or granite. How cool of a "fossil" find would that be a million years from now?
Hopefully they don't forget to include the "rosetta stone" or player for the medium as well.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 Oct 2013 @ 9:19

929.10.2013 14:01

Originally posted by Bozobub:
No one said "forever". Just "a long time".
i was under the impression rocks and diamonds last forever,but im sure humans find ways to destroy them.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

1029.10.2013 14:02

delete this double posts.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Oct 2013 @ 9:29

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

1129.10.2013 15:16

Rocks (including diamonds) definitely DO NOT last forever ^^ .

You do realize sand is broken-down rock, right?

1229.10.2013 18:05

Obviously, 'forever' could only be applied to a God.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive