How Much Can You Hold in Your Palm? 330 TB to be Exact

Published by Abhisek Mallick on

IBM scientists has set a new world record by storing 330 TB of uncompressed data in a cartridge which can fit into the palm of your hand!

This epic feat has been achieved by increasing the areal density of the of the magnetic tape. Areal recording density is the amount of information that can be stored on a given area of surface. The prototype sputtered magnetic tape can store up to 201 gigabits of data per square inch which is 20 times more than the areal density used in commercial tape drives.

The magnetic tape was developed by Sony Storage Media Solutions. According to IBM, this achievement indicates the viability of continuing to scale up storage on tapes for another decade.

“Tape has traditionally been used for video archives, back-up files, replicas for disaster recovery and retention of information on premise, but the industry is also expanding to off-premise applications in the cloud,” said IBM research fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou in a statement. “While sputtered tape is expected to cost a little more to manufacture than current commercial tape, the potential for very high capacity will make the cost per terabyte very attractive, making this technology practical for cold storage in the cloud.”

Sony, in a press release, has said that the tape is developed “by bringing together Sony’s new magnetic tape technology employing lubricant with IBM Research – Zurich’s newly developed write/read heads, advanced servo control technologies and innovative signal-processing algorithms.”

Why this is important?

Recent developments in Internet of Things (IoT), cloud services and big data has hugely increased the need of high-capacity data storage, reliable recovery of data and safe management of information. Sony says that “magnetic tape shows great potential as a storage media thanks to its various strengths, including its capacity for storing data over long periods of time, low power consumption, low cost, and space saving capabilities” in this aspect.

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On a personal level, our storage needs have increased exponentially over the last few years. Now a days, even a 2 TB hard-drive seems inadequate. Imagine your iPhone having only 8 GB storage now and you will understand the situation. This sort of development is definitely giving us hope that advancement of technology will definitely pacify our data needs in an elegant, efficient and economic way.

The power of “data”, in the palm of your hands.





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