Data generation has grown at least 3 times faster worldwide than data storage capacities in recent years. It is expected that as of 2020, ~ 40 ZB (1 ZB = 10¹² GB) of data will be generated annually.
There are fundamental issues with conventional data storage technologies:
• Short lifetime and high energy consumption using hard drives
• Magnetic tape is slow, it degrades and has limited storage capacity
• Solid-state drives are prohibitively expensive
The most promising alternatives to current technologies are types of optical data storage. Optical media is suited to multilevel encoding that offers higher storage capacity. Previous multilevel optical data storage media was subject to significant quality issues (bleaching).
Inorganic insulator materials, based on nano-crystalline materials, are coated on a disk. Data is stored by changes in the fluorescence spectrum of the nanocrystals and standard optical pickups are used to read the data. The materials provide advantages in long-term stability for archival data storage, and reduced bleaching for a potentially indefinite number of read-outs and re-writes. Additionally, the result is reduced energy requirements for reading and writing data relative to other optical storage solutions.
Demonstrable UniSA technology is already more than 5X the data density of standard Blu-ray at TRL 3. This new technology over time will allow optical media capacities to increase from 100GB, to 300GB, 1 TB, 10TB and potentially 100TB on a nanocrystalline optical disk.
The direct targets for this technology are industries where regulated record keeping is required such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, energy and petroleum, government (eg. health records), finance, and aerospace.
These industries will directly benefit from this optical storage as:
A number of patent applications are in progress.
This technology is being developed under an exclusive partnership with an experienced optical data storage group and is seeking further investment from manufacturers or end users of large scale optical storage solutions.