Human beings are entering an era of big data, where information is explosively increasing each year [1]. The fast growth of big data centres enabling massive amounts of information to be processed and stored is motivating scientists to study and record phenomena that last over centuries, which emerge as long data [2]. In this regards, continuously reading and writing the information in a single storage device over centuries without changing its baseline is essential for long data storage. This stringent requirement represents an insuperable challenge to the current big data centres enabled by magnetic hard disc drives with a unit capacity of ~ 1 TB and a typical lifespan of 2-3 years.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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