updated 01:30 pm EDT, Fri July 17, 2009
Millenniata disc archiving
A Springville, IL tech company is hoping to make data loss on backed up DVDs a thing of the past, with its invention, dubbed the Millenial Disk. On September 1st, Millenniata promises to release an archival optical disc that is nearly identical to a run-of-the-mill DVD that is capable of holding corrupt-free data for 1,000 years, when stored at room temperature compared to modern DVDs being reliable for less than 10 years. The key to this longevity is the use of hard, persistent materials in the layers of the disc, the details of which are considered secret.
Data is then carved into the media using an enhanced burner, the Millennial Writer, and the resulting disc can then be read by any DVD drive. The technology can also eventually be applied to the high-capacity Blu-ray format, the company claims. Initially, Millenniata will market its wares to large organizations such as libraries, government agencies and schools.
Millenniata's discs and writers will be built under a license from Philips, as the two are currently in final negotiations. It is estimated Millennial Disks will at first cost between about $25 and $30. They are made up of what is said to be a material similar to obsidian, a glass-like igneous rock, as it can be permanently attached to a reflective material. While the 1,000-year lifespan cannot be accurately tested, the team is trying to accelerate the process by exposing its disks to high temperatures and humidity, soaking them in salt water and other stress tests. The limiting factor is the plastic of the disc itself, the company's chief tech officer says.
Company co-founder Barry Lunt, who is also a professor of information technology at BYU, said he got inspiration for the invention from petroglyphs, or stone carvings, by early man while on a trip to Nine Mile Canyon in Utah. [via DailyHerald]