Microsoft collaborated with Warner Bros. to successfully store the iconic “Superman” on a piece of glass (75 x 75 x 2 mm) creating its first Proof of Concept for the Project Silica at the Microsoft Ignite conference today.
Project Silica is designed for storing and preserving data and is one of the major research projects of the company for the future of its Azure platform.
”We built this entire system that’s essentially a new cold storage system,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at the conference.
The company is using regular quartz glass which has been boiled, baked, and scratched to test its resilience which is the best practice as we have witnessed that photos fade over time, books corrode, and even CDs and hard drives are not the best places to store digital memories.
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Microsoft uses infrared lasers to encode the data into “voxels,” a three-dimensional equivalent to the pixels we’re used to seeing on screens and the data is stored within the glass, and machine learning algorithms can decode the patterns to read the data back.
It is a very expensive and complex process but the researchers at Microsoft are trying to reduce the cost and speed up the process to develop it.
“If Project Silica’s storage solution proves to be as cost-effective and as scalable as it could be — and we all recognize it’s still early days — this is something we’d love to see adopted by other studios and our peers and other industries, if it works for us, we firmly believe that this will be a benefit to anyone who wants to preserve and archive content.”Vicky Colf, Warner Bros. Chief Technology Officer
This could be the future of storing data and now we have proof of it too.