Data Backup Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

results »

Using Phonics For Data Storage

A breakthrough from researchers at the University of Sydney could lead to a whole new way of storing our data. A team have discovered a way to convert optical data into soundwaves, which can then be stored on a computer chip. Not only does this have implications for data storage, but it could also lead to superfast computer systems.

Fibre optic cables are extremely fast and work by transmitting data which is stored at light. However, the data must be slowed down so that it can be understood by a computer. The researchers took this and converted the light into soundwaves.

According to Dr Birgit Stiller, the projector supervisor and research fellow at the university, the difference between slowing down light data against its potential is huge. She says that the information in their chip in acoustic form travels at a velocity fiver orders of magnitude slower than in the optical domain.

This isn’t the first time that phonics has been investigated as a potential for data storage – far from it. Industry tech giants like IBM and Intel, along with many private firms, are constantly looking for new technological advances so that they can innovate, lead the pack, and gain competitive advantage. Many top universities have been leading the way when it comes to the research too; the University of Sydney is but one example.

Currently, the technology depends on the conversion of data. It’s stored as light on fast fibre optic connections, then converted into electrons, thus allowing it to be processed by computer chips. However, this conversion creates waste heat, which then causes limitations for practical application.

Phonics overcomes this. Moving the data from light into sound gets rid of this waste heat. As such, it widens the playing field for using phonics as a link between RF and optic signals. It also allows for parallel processing in different phases. Great for quantum computing, but there’s also all sorts of other industries that could benefit – telecommunications, data storage, cloud computing and more.

“This is an important step forward in the field of optical information processing as this concept fulfils all requirements for current and future generation optical communication systems,” said Professor Benjamin Eggleton, director of the Center of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems.

Of course, phonics is just one approach for tackling the world’s big data. So many applications now produce their own data – you may have seen references to the Internet of Things and big data. Everything is connected, constantly producing data which needs to be stored. Not only is the volume of it growing, but so is its individual size. Technology firms are racing to try and find the ultimate solution that will be the reliable and cost-effective storage method that we store our data on.

Whether phonics will be the solution remains to be seen. If it can offer high speeds, that’s superb, and if many firms and research centres are studying it then you can be sure that it’s still early days for this technology.


No comments yet. Sign in to add the first!