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New Ultrafast Lasers Needed For Alternative Microsoft Cloud Storage

Opportunities could soon be on the horizon for laser manufacturers thanks to a new type of cold storage technology under development by Microsoft Research and the University of Southampton, in which ultrafast lasers are being used to scribe digital information into silica glass.

Introducing the new storage technology in his keynote presentation at the University of Southampton’s Future Photonics Hub industry day, Dr Benn Thomsen, senior researcher at Microsoft Research, explained how scribed glass could serve as an alternative to the current technologies used to store information – such as the photos taken with our smartphones – on the cloud.

‘At the moment we store that information on tape. The reason for that is because using lots of hard disks is too expensive,’ Thomsen said.

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