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  • Angus Stewart

Ice Palace of the future?



Those of a certain age will remember their trip to the local 'flicks' to see "Superman - the movie" in 1978. The idea of storing information in crystals, in the famous Ice Palace, seemed so far-fetched as to be ludicrous. Fast forward a lifetime and it may now be reality. Microsoft have announced, in collaboration with Warner Brothers, Project Silica - a way to store data for up to 1000 years in crystal glass. Appropriately, they showed off the proof of concept by storing the Superman film in 4k resolution on a piece of glass 10cm square.


All this effort is to try and address the problem of long-term cloud storage, given the 100 zettabytes of data expected to hit the cloud by 2023. ZD-Net reported,

" Project Silica's researchers have been working on developing ultrafast laser optics, which they used to encode the entire film in glass. Using an ultrafast pulse laser they wrote 'voxels' inside the glass – that is, the three-dimensional equivalent of the pixels that make up an image. Each voxel, therefore, has its own unique orientation, depth, and size, making it a unique encoder for the movie. 


Because voxels are engraved at the nano-scale level, they can be written in multiple layers throughout the glass. A two-millimeter piece, for example, can contain more than 100 layers of voxels, making for high-density storage. "


You can read the entire article here...