Microsoft recorded 1978 Superman on a piece of glass

Microsoft held a conference for Microsoft Ignite developers, during which it presented quite

interesting development - Project Silica.

What it is

This is a technology that allows you to usequartz glass for data storage. Infrared lasers encode data into glass, creating layers of three-dimensional nanoscale lattices and deformations at different depths and angles. The data is encoded in “voxels,” the three-dimensional equivalent of the pixels that make up a flat image.

That is, unlike other optical media, data is stored not on the surface, but inside the glass. For example, a 2mm thick piece of glass can contain more than 100 layers of voxels.


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To read information, the algorithm decodes patterns, and it can start from any point and from any place, unlike magnetic tape.

At the same time, quartz glass is very durable:It can withstand extreme temperatures, such as boiling in water or baking in an oven, microwave radiation, demagnetization and environmental influences that are detrimental to other archives.


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Microsoft says this technology will workfor “cold” storage, when you need to store a large amount of data for a long time, but access to which will be extremely rare. For example, this is medical data, financial reports, legal documents, etc.

Already tested

Microsoft in collaboration with Warner Bros. re-recorded the 1978 Superman film. A small 75x75x2mm platter held 75.6GB of data instead of four reels of film.


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By the way, the film company has huge archives of video and audio content. All this needs to be regularly rewritten and backed up in different parts of the world.

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