“Lots of copies keeps stuff safe” is an archivist mantra for preserving data for a long, long time. It certainly looks like there’s no end to the development of data storage. We have magnetic tape (multiple varieties), CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, HD-DVDs, hard drives, solid state drives and the list goes on and on. Certain industries seem to make money every time there’s a shift from, say, LPs to cassettes to CDs (to streaming?), but what happens when everyone can store every song ever recorded in the palm of their hand? Technology isn’t there yet, but it might be soon.
- Storing digital information in minerals could create memory technology that’s durable for a million years. However, the problem probably won’t be how long the information remains un-corrupted — but how long it’ll be before the tech is obsolete and no one can retrieve their ancient file formats. Storing information for hundreds or thousands of years can be done, but it’s also difficult to ensure the technology to read it will still exist. [url]
- 3D Xpoint is a new kind of non-volatile memory from Intel and Micron that claims to be 1,000 times faster than current flash drives and solid state drives. It’s also 10 times denser than conventional memory and is expected to be commercially available in 2016. [url]
- Photonic memory chips sound like the future, and some researchers have even created a non-volatile kind of memory using phase change materials. Using light instead of electrons as the basis for computing devices isn’t quite ready yet, but creating more and more components that could form a completely optical computer could jumpstart a different kind of Moore’s law. [url]
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