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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Storing data on quartz glass

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Microsoft's Project Silica has designed a 75mm x 75mm x 2mm piece of quartz glass that can hold 75gb of data.


Petapixel banned me, so can't comment there. I have experienced some loss from bit rot, but not much. Although my digital archive only goes back to the late 80's.

I am working on a 48 DVD archive right now transferring it to 'M' disk. The Memorex silver DVD's in the archive were burnt in 2002 or 2003. So far only 1 DVD was bad, but am only 40% done. The DVD's were basically unused, like new and in dark storage. The 1 bad DVD was able to be salvaged with a special software program, but roughly 5% - 7% of it was lost. A dupe copy of it exists on DVD at another location so will have to see if it is in better shape. The archive was duplicated on 2 types of media in case one media brand was not up to snuff. 

From my own testing, 'M' discs have proven to be very archival. Gold DVD's are only marginally better than silver DVD's and neither can remotely compare to the archival qualities of the 'M' disc. The verdict is still out on Blu-ray 'M' discs, but from limited testing complete so far, they are also much better than standard DVD media for archival work.

I hope Microsoft's silica storage becomes mainstream someday. Looks like a excellent way to  store data as long as it is affordable by the average person and you don't drop them.

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I wonder if this is based on the work of Peter Kazansky at the University of Southampton. I wrote a piece back in 2016 about his research on etching data into glass with lasers; it seemed to promise great archival life and enormous densities, but as with most lab research it was years from commercialisation. Unfortunately I can't easily post the article here because it was written for a print publication but it seemed interesting at the time.


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Posted (edited)

Phil, don't know. I don't get into all that tech stuff. I just want to be an end user of the tech.

But if you can get the article, scan it and put on the Internet Archive or someplace online, then we can read it. 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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