Zero Loss Data Storage Capacity Leaps to 10,000 Years Led by Microsoft

October 20, 2023

Microsoft in a significant developments has announced that by using quartz silica glass as a medium, a storage lifespan of up to 10,000 years can be reliably and sustainably achieved. This is a significant leap compared to traditional storage methods, which degrade over time. Project Silica's durable glass storage not only ensures data preservation for millennia but also withstands various environmental challenges, making it a potential game-changer in the realm of data storage.

This technology involves storing data on glass, specifically quartz silica glass. The motivation behind this project is to create a durable and long-lasting storage medium that can withstand various environmental challenges, including climate change-induced disasters. In a demonstration in 2019, Microsoft successfully stored the 1978 movie "Superman" on a slide of this glass, which was 75 x 75 mm in size and 2 mm thick.

MarketsandMarkets’ analysts estimate that the Next-Generation Data Storage market is projected to grow from USD 60.7 billion in 2023 to USD 86.2 billion by 2028, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.3%

This slide could hold up to 75.6 GB of data and remained readable even after being subjected to extreme conditions like boiling, microwaving, and demagnetization. Fast forward a few years, and Microsoft has enhanced the system to store over 7 TB on a similar slide, with a claimed lifespan of 10,000 years. The company envisions using this technology in its Azure data centers and has collaborated with a venture capital company, Elire, to build a Global Music Vault in Svalbard, Norway. This vault aims to preserve musical heritage for future generations.

Project Silica represents a significant leap in data storage technology. Traditional storage mediums, such as hard drives and tapes, degrade over time, making long-term data preservation a challenge. Microsoft's move to use glass as a storage medium addresses this issue, offering a solution that can potentially last for millennia. The ability of the glass slide to withstand various environmental conditions underscores its durability and reliability.


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Next-Generation Data Storage market

$60.7 BN
$86.2 BN

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Silica's durable glass storage

This technology involves storing data on glass, specifically quartz silica glass.


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