Scientists at IBM have done something truly remarkable. They have been able to store 330 terabytes of uncompressed data on a tiny cartridge that’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. To get a sense of just how much data they have managed to store in this little cartridge, consider the fact that 330 TB is the equivalent of 330 million books.
This works out to an impressive 201 gigabits per square inch. The number made possible by this prototype sputtered magnetic type are over 20 times greater than the existing areal density employed by commercial tape drives.
Tape drives, which were invented some six decades ago, are generally used for video archives, backup files, and cold storage purposes. Sputtered tape does cost more to manufacture than current commercial tape but as demonstrated, its potential for very high capacity makes the cost per terabyte very attractive.
This makes the technology very practical for cold storage in the cloud, explained IBM fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou. This wasn’t an easy feat. In order to achieve the 201 GB per square inch, the researchers at IBM developed several new technologies.
This latest milestone, according to IBM, shows that it’s viable to continue scaling up storage on tape drives for at least another decade.
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