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February 26, 2021

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Local scientists shrink big data storage

Local scientists have found a new approach to high-capacity data storage, making a portable big data center possible.

The amount of data we produce every day is beyond imagination in this era of information explosion.

Estimates show that global data will amount up to 175 ZB (Zettabytes; 1 ZB equals 1 billion Terabytes or 1 trillion Gigabytes) in 2025. If 175 ZB were stored on Blu-ray disks, the disk stack would be 23 times the distance to the Moon.

University of Shanghai for Science and Technology scientists have offered a new approach for next-generation nanoscale optical data storage, which can greatly hike storage capacity and cut energy consumption.

The scientists conjugated graphene oxide and lanthanide-doped upconversion nanoparticles, which are synthesized by adding lanthanides, rare-earth elements, into nanoparticles and are able to convert infrared light into UV-visible light.

Using the nanocomposites as storage media combined with a sub-diffraction optical writing method, it is possible to develop a 12-centimeter diameter optical disk that can store 700 TB, equal to the capacity of 28,000 Blu-ray discs.

This finding provides a new approach to develop new optical disks which demand lower energy consumption and have a long lifespan.

Professor Zhang Qiming said it has great potential to be used in big data centers.

“Maybe in the future a standard football field-sized big data center can be replaced by a portable disk,” he said.

The research was conducted by the Shanghai university, RMIT University and National University of Singapore. It has been published in scientific journal “Science Advances.”


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