Write Once Read Forever Archival Data Storage

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Write Once, Read Forever (WORF) is a unique, optical data storage media, especially formulated and patented by Creative Technology, LLC, of Hockessin, Delaware (CTech). The media is designed to be resistant to the hostile space environment and is currently being tested by NASA on the International Space Station (ISS).

1. How WORF works.

WORF media stores data in the form of metallic silver halide (AgX) “standing waves” of individual wavelengths of light embedded in a stable, hardened suspension on a substrate, an emulsion specially formulated by CTech. These wavelengths, representing multiple data bytes, can be combined at each data location — defining the next generation for archival and massive, big data storage.

2. What makes WORF novel.

• WORF represents an important advance over current conventional media, which store only one bit at each data location. WORF media can superimpose multiple data bytes at each location. Therefore, by applying sophisticated permutation algorithms to sets of data locations, the technology has the potential to increase data densities equal to or exceeding that possible with conventional media.

• WORF is a truly green data archival storage medium, not requiring expensive labor inputs or maintenance for periodic recopying. Under normal ambient conditions, WORF will not use energy for multi-century (or potentially millennia) storage.

• WORF media is immutable, not hackable or changeable.

• WORF data can be written and read in parallel.

• WORF is impervious to ionizing gamma and cosmic rays, solar plasma eruptions, microgravity, and EMP.

• Since WORF is based on metallic silver, it is anti-microbial and resistant to fungus and other destructive microbiota.

• In addition to storing data, WORF media can store color visual images, plus human-readable metadata on the same substrate.

3. How would WORF be manufactured or produced.

CTech has re-defined, re-purposed and patented standard, well-established photographic technology for data storage. WORF media, readers and writers have been developed and tested at CTech’s labs. WORF is now ready for application-specific product development.

WORF media, and all components for writing and reading are low-cost and off-the-shelf. In large production volumes, WORF media costs are competitive with conventional data systems.

4. Where WORF would be applied.

There are a number of applications for WORF technology spanning well-defined markets:

• WORF can be integrated into secure data processing applications, such as authentication of the BIOS bootstrap for computers, cell phones, IoT appliances, and critical computer systems.

• Reduction of computer and network hacking.

• Currently data on the ISS stored on conventional media has to be continually refreshed because of radiation corruption. NASA’s ISS experiment ( “Hardened Extremely Long-Life Information in Optical Storage” — HELIOS) is designed to position WORF media as an ideal data storage solution for both the ISS and long-term space missions — Lunar, Mars, space probes, and because of its archival properties, deep space.

• Autonomous vehicles.

• Blockchains.

• Long-term, low-maintenance, low energy, high density archiving.

• Big-data, massively-parallel analytics.

• Authentication for health records, IDs, legal documents.

  • Awards

  • 2019 Electronics/Sensors/IoT Honorable Mention
  • 2019 Top 100 Entries


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  • Name:
    Eric Rosenthal
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    Eric Rosenthal
    Richard Solomon
    Jonathan Smith
    Clark Johnson
    Brian Solomon
  • Profession:
  • Eric is inspired by:
    We work with light, spectrometry, electronics, photographic science, Raspberry pi.
  • Patent status: