The need to archive Humanity's history safely and durably for future generations has led Microsoft to create a new storage medium that can fulfill both goals. This is Project Silica, a small piece of quartz glass (7.5 x 7.5 x 0.2cm) in which he managed to store the entire Warner Bros. original Superman: The Movie (1976).
Engraving was done using high speed laser and Artificial Intelligence technology. The laser encodes the data by creating holes and deformations in 3D nanometer-scale layers inside the glass, which at this stage can hold up to 100 such layers (also known as voxels). This data is read in polarized light that passes through the glass, decodes the information and renders it with the help of machine learning algorithms.
The movie Superman was chosen to demonstrate the resilience of Project Silica. As Superman is invulnerable, so does Project Silica withstand boiling, scratching, demagnetism, microwaves, extreme temperatures, etc. without any loss of data embedded in the inner voxels.
Right now, the available Project Silica prototypes can store about 80GB of data, so we're not talking about something overwhelmingly big, but the company will continue its research to come up with much larger capacity solutions. If all goes well, Project Silica will be a top-notch solution to save not only the big movie studios archives, but also libraries, radio stations, industries, the military, etc.