5D Optical Data Storage: Future of Data Storage Technology

5D Optical Data Storage Future of Data Storage Technology - StepPhase

Scientists at the University of Southampton have developed a 5D Optical Data Storage or 5D glass disc. It can store 360 terabytes of data for billions of years. It is the Future of Data Storage Technology

The discs are made of nanostructured glass, and the data is stored and retrieved using femtosecond laser writing.

These discs can store data for up to 13.8 billion years that’s over twice the estimated age of the earth. And about equal to the estimated age of our universe.

Essentially the discs are fact made by a laser that can make microscopic edgings in nano glass.

What do they mean by 5D Optical Data Storage?

We think of our universe in terms of the four known and easily perceptible dimensions.

The first three dimensions are XY and Z axis. The fourth dimension is thought of as time these four dimensions combined are in fact referred to as space-time.

Therefore, tiny patterns printed on three layers within the disks depending on the angle, are viewed from these patterns can look completely different.

This may sound like science fiction but it’s basically a really fancy optical illusion. In this case, the 5D inside of the disks is the size and orientation in relation to the three-dimensional position of the Nanostructures.

Concept of 5D Optical Data Storage

The concept of being 5D means that one disk has several different images depending on the angle that one views it from and the magnification of the microscope used to view it basically each disk has multiple layers of micro and macro-level images.


Since glass is great and inexpensive this technology has a very good chance to become widely available in the future.

People are already thinking of uses for this technology everything from storing a massive library of video games to storing the whole of human history and also culture for future civilizations.


By using 5D disk shapes, laser etched into glass disks at a microscopic scale, the University of Southampton has now finally developed the highest storage efficiency in a data storage device to date. The disks also have the longest life span of any data storage device to date.


Southampton is currently looking for partners to invest in this technology. in hopes of commercializing it in the future of data storage technology. In the end, it could only be a matter of time before this kind of data storage is the norm.

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Written by stepphase

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