Microsoft Research Project Silica

Microsoft Research today published a new video on Project Silica which reveals its vision for long-term data storage. Microsoft is trying to build a completely new storage system designed from scratch which uses ultrafast laser optics to store data in quartz glass. Check out the video below to learn more.

Project Silica stores data in quartz glass: a low-cost, durable WORM media that is EMF-proof, and offers lifetimes of tens to hundreds of thousands of years. Also, this eliminates the costly cycle of periodically copying data to a new media generation. To further develop this storage technology, Microsoft is also co-designing the hardware and software stacks from scratch, from the media all the way up to the cloud user API.

Here’s why we should move away from magnetic media:

 existing magnetic media simply do not provide a sustainable and cost-effective solution. Magnetic media degrades over time, requiring significant emissions, energy, and cost to safely store long-lived data.