Microsoft’s Project Silica Could Change Entire Course Of Storage Solutions


In the last couple of decades, storage devices have come a long way from floppy disks that can store kilobytes of data to high-density SSDs that can store terabytes of data and still fit inside your pockets. Microsoft has now developed a new storage technology under a new initiative -- Project Silica, where the company is using quartz glass.

Microsoft’s Project Silica Is Here


To showcase this technology, the company has partnered with Hollywood film studio Warner Bros. And, the company has stored the entire Superman movie (released in 1978) on a piece of glass that is just 2mm thick.

More About Project Silica

According to Microsoft, this is the first concept proof of Project Silica. This is a recent discovery by Microsoft in ultrafast laser optics and AI store data on quartz glass. The data is being encoded onto the glass using 3D nanoscale gratings and deformations at various depths and angles.

To read back the data, the company is currently using machine learning to decode the images and patterns using polarized light.

This technology involves encoding data in voxels using infrared lasers to create the 3D equivalent of pixels to make a flat image. On a typical storage device like HDD and DVD, the data is written on the surface of the material. Whereas, Project Silica has a different approach that stores data within the glass. Plus, a 2-mm thick glass can store up to 100 layers of voxels.


What makes this technology interesting is the fact that the glass can withstand being boiled, baked, microwaved, flooded, scoured, demagnetized, and still won't lose any data.

According to Microsoft, this technology will be useful to build cloud computing rather than using it as a multi-media storage device. As a part of this discovery, Warner Bros is planning to back up the entire set of movies that it has produced using this technology that can even withstand natural calamities like floods and earthquakes.

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