Refraction for data storage?

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Refraction for data storage?

#1  Postby LjSpike » May 06, 2017 6:40 pm

Couldn't refraction serve in a variety of ways for data storage that is far more compressed?
A simplified read-only or WORM:
Light ray cast to point on top surface of data storage.
Beam refracts depending on the angle the top surface at that point has been carved at.
Beam exits at a point depending on how much material it must travel through to reach the bottom surface and what angle the bottom surface is at.

You'd be storing a lot more than a 1 or a 0 at that point, and to cancel out errors from machining the data storing object, you could group the resultant signals into blocks, each of which could be a detector for a light ray.

In some cases you could perhaps go further and have rays of differing wavelengths or entering at different angles producing more results?
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Re: Refraction for data storage?

#2  Postby DavidMcC » May 06, 2017 7:33 pm

This technology has the problem of requiring many detectors instead of only one, and, if your suggestion of multiple wavelengths is also implemented, a broad-band laser source (or multiple sources) would also be required. Sounds like a potential electronic equivalent of a "hangar queen" to me, and a very expensive beast to boot.
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Re: Refraction for data storage?

#3  Postby LjSpike » May 06, 2017 10:49 pm

DavidMcC wrote:This technology has the problem of requiring many detectors instead of only one, and, if your suggestion of multiple wavelengths is also implemented, a broad-band laser source (or multiple sources) would also be required. Sounds like a potential electronic equivalent of a "hangar queen" to me, and a very expensive beast to boot.


Guess so. It's just a brief idea I had. For monochromatic though the detectors wouldn't have to be incredibly elaborate, it'd just be a small LDR per detector. Set up 3 detectors and your already have 6561 digits per byte as a base-3 system. If you count none of the detectors receiving the light as data too then you have base-4 giving 65536 digits per byte, doubling data density (as you would require 2 bytes to store that). You could also achieve a higher read speed I presume than if using a normal HDD?
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Re: Refraction for data storage?

#4  Postby DavidMcC » May 07, 2017 10:16 am

LjSpike wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:This technology has the problem of requiring many detectors instead of only one, and, if your suggestion of multiple wavelengths is also implemented, a broad-band laser source (or multiple sources) would also be required. Sounds like a potential electronic equivalent of a "hangar queen" to me, and a very expensive beast to boot.


Guess so. It's just a brief idea I had. For monochromatic though the detectors wouldn't have to be incredibly elaborate, it'd just be a small LDR per detector. Set up 3 detectors and your already have 6561 digits per byte as a base-3 system. If you count none of the detectors receiving the light as data too then you have base-4 giving 65536 digits per byte, doubling data density (as you would require 2 bytes to store that). You could also achieve a higher read speed I presume than if using a normal HDD?

There is a further issue, that a high degree of directional filtering/discrimination would be needed for each detector to avoid cross-talk, probably making the system physically rather large as well as complex.
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Re: Refraction for data storage?

#5  Postby LjSpike » May 07, 2017 12:46 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
LjSpike wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:This technology has the problem of requiring many detectors instead of only one, and, if your suggestion of multiple wavelengths is also implemented, a broad-band laser source (or multiple sources) would also be required. Sounds like a potential electronic equivalent of a "hangar queen" to me, and a very expensive beast to boot.


Guess so. It's just a brief idea I had. For monochromatic though the detectors wouldn't have to be incredibly elaborate, it'd just be a small LDR per detector. Set up 3 detectors and your already have 6561 digits per byte as a base-3 system. If you count none of the detectors receiving the light as data too then you have base-4 giving 65536 digits per byte, doubling data density (as you would require 2 bytes to store that). You could also achieve a higher read speed I presume than if using a normal HDD?

There is a further issue, that a high degree of directional filtering/discrimination would be needed for each detector to avoid cross-talk, probably making the system physically rather large as well as complex.


True. I've just lately found myself thinking about data storage a fair bit (for no apparent reason).
I wonder if smart materials will play a bigger role in future data storage... Perhaps ionochromic/magnetochromic layers between photoelectric layers might work for storage... I suspect magnetochromic would be more practical out of the two though.
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Re: Refraction for data storage?

#6  Postby DavidMcC » May 07, 2017 1:16 pm

LJ, that idea's been around for some time, and it lead to the following project at S'hampton Univ.:

http://newatlas.com/eternal-data-storage-nanostructured-glass/41951/
The quest for high-density immutable storage has taken a big leap forward thanks to "Superman crystals" developed by scientists at the University of Southampton. The glass discs are reportedly capable of storing up to 360 TB/disc of data and will last almost forever at room temperature (or as long as the current 13.8 billion year age of our Universe at 190° C/374° F).
Eternal data storage demonstrated in nanostructured glass
The quest for high-density immutable storage has taken a big leap forward thanks to "Superman crystals" developed by scientists at the University of Southampton. The glass discs are reportedly capable of storing up to 360 TB/disc of data and will last almost forever at room temperature (or as long as the current 13.8 billion year age of our Universe at 190° C/374° F).


I think it was the early nineties when I had lectures (Philips, internal) on the possible applications of nanostructured materials for lasers and memory applications.
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