Japanese electronics company Hitachi has unveiled slivers of glass that can store digital information for millions of years.

The company said the slivers of quartz glass can endure extreme temperatures and hostile conditions without degrading, for millions of years.

The technology stores data in binary form by creating dots inside a thin sheet of quartz glass, which can be read with an ordinary optical microscope.

It is then linked with a computer that understands binary is available, making the data readable.

The prototype device is 2cm (0.8 inches) square and 2mm (0.08 inches) thick and made from quartz glass, used to make beakers and other instruments for laboratory use.

The chip, which is resistant to many chemicals and unaffected by radio waves, can be exposed directly to high temperature flames and heated to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,832 Fahrenheit) for at least two hours without being damaged.

It is also waterproof, meaning it could survive natural calamities, such as fires and tsunami.

The material currently has four layers of dots, which can hold 40 megabytes per square inch, approximately the density on a music CD, researchers said, adding they believe adding more layers should not be a problem.