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Microsoft Repositions 7TB 'Project Silica' Glass Media as Cloud Storage Solution

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Project Silica's glass storage medium.

Microsoft Research Cambridge's Ant Rowstron said data stored in glass, with its natural resistance to water, electromagnetic pulses, extreme temperatures, and surface scratching, can remain stable for thousands of years.

Credit: Microsoft Research

Microsoft has issued an update on its Project Silica glass media storage research that reportedly positions it as a sustainable cloud storage solution.

The software giant said the technology can retain roughly 1.75 million songs or about 3,500 movies on a palm-sized glass sheet, and claims each sheet's 7-terabyte (TB) storage capacity can preserve data for 10,000 years.

Project Silica's storage process involves lasers generating data voxels inside the glass, a computer-controlled microscope reading the data, re-rendering data back into standard computer readable formats via the Azure AI artificial intelligence (AI) services platform, and robot-facilitated data retrieval.

Microsoft said glass data storage needs further work, and so is not yet ready for commercial usage.

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