Data integrity is a big problem, and a
large number of people have at some point experienced a failure and lost data
stored on hard disk drives, optical discs, or more obsolete storage formats
such as floppy discs. Millenniata is attempting to fill this gap and they claim
to achieve a potential thousand year lifespan with their unique new form of
So how is Millenniata able to achieve
Let’s try to keep the explanation as simple
as possible. Current DVD technology uses a relatively
low powered laser to record the data in an organic dye layer, sandwiched within
a standard recordable DVD. Unfortunately all organic dyes degrade over time due
to exposure to light, heat, humidity, chemicals in the air, and other
substances in the surrounding environment. Eventually this degradation lowers
the readability of the data layer to the point where the data you thought was
safely stored could actually be lost. Millenniata’s solution is to use an
inorganic layer which is written to by a much higher powered laser that
actually engraves the data within the inorganic layer. As these are physical
pits carved within a chemically stable layer and not just markings on a dye
based layer they’re immune to the factors that normally affect standard DVDs
and in the absence of physical damage, the limiting factor is the stability of
the polycarbonate layers. According to tests conducted by the US National
Standards Institute this can conservatively be estimated at 1,000 years.
How do we know that the MDISC will last?
Millenniata has performed extensive tests
to assess the quality and the longevity of their discs, but more significantly
the U.S. Department of Defense’s Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division
facility at China Lake has carried out its own tests to measure longevity under
the most extreme conditions it’s possible to experience during warfare. So if
the MDISC passes the U.S. Military’s standards then the quality of these discs cannot
be easily overlooked. You can read the full 75 page report here
and you can find out more about the MDISC technology on the Millenniata website.
For my tests I used the following
- CPU: Intel
- RAM: 4GB
Corsair Dominator DDR3
- Motherboard: Gigabyte P55A-UD4
Vertex 2 60GB (OS Drive)
Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB (Storage)
- ODD 1:
- ODD 2: Liteon
- ODD 3: LG
BP40NS20 (MDISC Compatible)
- ODD 4: LG
GH22NS90 (MDISC Compatible)
- ODD 5:
For this review I will be using the drives
that can correctly burn MDISCs. The procedure will be the same, all Transfer
Rate Tests will be done with the Optiarc 7200A and this time I
will be using two different drives to measure the quality of the MDISC. The two
drives will be the Liteon iHAS624 and the BENQ 1650. Please note that these
drives use a different method to measure the PIF and PIE errors, but you can
always follow the simple golden rule when it come to Disc Quality Scans that
says “The lower the better”.
A first look on the discs and packaging
Before we start our tests, we need to take
a closer look at the packaging and the discs themselves. According to
Millenniata’s web store you can purchase the discs in 5, 10 and 25 packs.
Millenniata send me the 10 disc package, so let’s take closer look at this
first, and then move to the discs.
front of the box
back of the box
side of the box
On the card inside, we can see a lot of
info mainly regarding the longevity of the discs, also we can see that the MDISCs
were made in Czech Republic. Now it’s time to look at the discs.
Here is a first look at how the MDISCs are
stacked inside the box.
Initially the discs look very similar to a DVD±RW
disc, and as you can see from the picture they are highly reflective. The last
thing that you will notice is that the discs are not only reflective, but also
very transparent, as you can see from the picture below.
Now it’s time to move on and start our
tests of the MDISC.