Imagine a storage medium that could archive gigabytes of precious data and look exquisite enough to be framed up on display. Microsoft’s Project Silica achieved just that with its first proof of concept by successfully storing and retrieving Warner Bros’ 1978 Superman movie in a unique 75mm x 75mm glass storage medium.
Amusingly enough, we couldn’t help but compare this to DC’s own Phantom Zone – a square glass-like pocket dimension that exists outside of the space-time continuum. The very same used to banish General Zod and his minions in 1980’s Superman 2.
For the uninitiated, Project Silica is a concept where silica glass is used as a long lasting medium to store actual data for archiving purposes. As mentioned, the glass measures in at 75mm x 75mm, with a 2mm thickness and the ability to store up to 75.6GB of data. While that figure may seem small compared to the storage capacities of other conventional mediums, it’s still rather impressive for an experimental device.
Data – in this case, the 1978 Superman film – is transferred to the glass via a Lasik style laser that burns up to 74 layers of voxels which makes up the complete archive. The only catch for this unique format is that data can only be written on it once, and will require a specific writer/reader device exclusive to it.
Microsoft boasts on the glass’ durability; stating that samples of the medium had withstood intensive testing such as high temperatures, microwave exposure, demagnetisation, and even scouring with steel wool. With this, the archived data could actually last for centuries with no risk of data loss.
While Project Silica may just be a proof of concept at this time, it’s an alternative Warner Bros is looking for in order to safely archive its massive 100-years worth of film and TV properties. For their own good, we do hope they’ll archive Batman vs Superman in one and have it tossed away forever in deep space. Yes, just like Zod in Superman 2.
(Source / Image: Microsoft)