MS Holographic Storage

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Marty, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    How's this for something straight out of science fiction?

    Microsoft Project HSD
    : Holographic Storage Device

    Data is first converted into a 2D binary matrix image (ie. QR code). A laser is shown off this image to create an interference pattern (much like a regular transmission hologram) which is then recorded into a lithium niobate crystal (LiNbO3).

    The crystal is doped with iron electron donors/receptors (Fe³⁺/Fe²⁺) which act as the 'zeroes-and-ones' that actually record the data. Hitting the crystal with UV light resets the ions, allowing you to write again:

    In a recently released article, MS positions Project HSD as the next-generation storage medium, leveraging light's ability to read and write data in a massively parallel system, that is both space/energy efficient and high capacity:


    Folks, we're not talking terabytes or exobytes, but zettabytes (10²¹ = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes or 1 sextillion bytes):

    (Microsoft Research)
    "It is projected that around 125 zettabytes of data will be generated annually by 2024, and storing this in a cost-effective way is going to be a big challenge."

    Looks like we might not have to wait until 2369 until we get our very own isolinear chips aboard our starships. ;) (More reading to satisfy the nerd in you.)
  2. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Very cool, I recall there were quite a few engineering hurdles for this kind of thing. Curious how much has been solved.
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