Hitachi announced this morning that they have invented “quartz glass storage”. With this innovation they are able to hold about 40MB of data per square inch on one piece of quartz glass. The Verge’s article doesn’t state the cost of the quartz glass, but the procedure to create such a piece of storage includes using a “high-precision laser to embed dots of binary code across a tiny piece of quartz glass”, and then “an optical microscope (paired with a computer capable of deciphering the imprint) can be used to recover the original data”, so it cannot be cheap!
To put that in to perspective, at 40MB per square inch, it would take 3,375,000 squares to house as much data as a single Backblaze Storage Pod. At 3,375,000 square inches, that many squares would cover almost Â½ an acre or about 23,437.5 square feet of space (about 10x the size of Backblaze’s office).
One of the benefits of this is that the quartz glass is more or less fireproof, so it can withstand a lot of natural disaster scenarios and still be readable! The technology was just invented so we’re still a ways away from Backblaze Quartz Pods, but until that technology becomes readily available to the public, don’t forget to backup your current “old-school” non-quartz drives!