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Millenniata discs to keep data 1,000 years

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]

By Electronista Staff


  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001



    of course, highly unlikely the company will be around even 100 years from now in case the discs fail after only 10% of the rated life, but still...

  1. bearcatrp

    Senior User

    Joined: Dec 2005


    Sorry but...

    I will trust MO (magnito optical) disks until there can prove there claim. When DVD came out, the promise was a long life span only to find out it wasn't the case.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Even if the disks don't

    fail, there surely will not be one single DVD player around to retrieve the data. Even if there was, you'd never find any equipment that could be used as an interface for the drive. FW100000 or USB 50 undoubtedly wouldn't have the same connectors.

    I've still got Apple 800K floppy discs, and no floppy drive. I recently tossed out all my Iomega discs because I had no longer had an Iomega drive. And this is all in a span of, say, five to 10 years. I can't even possibly imagine where somebody would find equipment that could read those early IBM floppies that were used in early PC XTs and ATs.

    This company is ridiculous and charging ridiculous prices. You'd really have to keep transferring data to different media as time goes by at least every ten years as technology changes.

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004


    Every 5 years

    I end up taking an end of life media and converting it to the current standard. Currently I have data backed up to DL DVD R's, which I expect to convert in 4-5 years to another media.

    If you told me the drives would last 1000 years then that would be something worth buying

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