Microsoft has reported the first major success of Project Silica, a quartz-glass media project. They were able to record the complete digitized version of the 1978 Superman movie onto a palm-sized glass plate. In theory, now it will last for hundreds of years without any changes.
The idea of using a crystalline form of quartz for data storage is driven by two factors. First, it is a strong and extremely durable material that does not degrade when stored under normal conditions. Second, quartz is cheap, widespread, and available in huge quantities. And humanity already requires colossal amounts of memory, even to store the most important information.
Microsoft employee tests media strength in a boiling kettle
A quartz storage medium will be permanent, like a vinyl record or CD, information on it is recorded using laser 3D engraving. It cannot be rewritten, but it can be counted an infinite number of times without harm to the medium itself. And because of this, quartz memory modules today seem to be the ideal solution for storing titanic amounts of non-essential data.
For example, a person's medical record or his bank account - these data are only added and stored in order to trace the history of his activity. The same applies to the archives of companies, government services, scientific institutions. Where to store petabytes of weather observations, news articles from the past, music and video libraries? But the main thing is that you can save information on simple and cheap media, which is usually a shame to spend a lot of money on. And thereby to preserve and transmit to the future the entire history of mankind, starting from our days.
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