Dubbed as the quartz glass storage method, data is stored on a piece of quartz glass by stippling dots that correspond to a binary code, while the information can be read off from the glass using an optical Microscope. The storage company is confident that data stored using this method can be stored for millions of years together as compared to 10-15 years on hard disk and 15-30 years on a tape drive.

In a bid to prove that the longevity of data is not affected, Hitachi heated one of the glass pieces to 1,000° Celsius for two hours following which it was able to read all the information back without any errors.

Kazuyoshi Torii, researcher at Hitachi said, “The volume of data being created every day is exploding, but in terms of keeping it for later generations, we haven’t necessarily improved since the days we inscribed things on stones”, notes AFP.

The catch here is that the density with which data is stored on quartz glass is very poor according to today’s standards. 40MB of data can be stored on the quartz glass per square inch as compared to a whopping 1Tb per square inch on a modern hard drive.

The press release [in Japanese] can be found here.