• How to save data in five dimensions

    Illustration by Martin Laksman
    Date:5 December 2013 Tags:

    No, they’re not warping the space-time continuum – but optoelectronics researchers at Britain’s University of Southampton have figured out how to encode computer data in five dimensions.

    The first three dimensions are the standard spatial dimensions, with data encoded at different depths in an optical disc made of transparent quartz. The two extra dimensions come from varying the intensity of the high-speed laser beam writing the data. The result is a technique capable of saving 360 terabytes on to a standard-size disc.

    More importantly, the quartz discs should be stable for thousands of years and resist temperatures of more than 980 degrees Celsius – properties that may be attractive enough to justify the higher cost of the new technique.

    – Alex Hutchinson

    Source: University of Southampton

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