Published: Thu, August 03, 2017
Technology | By Timothy Carter

IBM scientists have captured 330TB of uncompressed data into a tiny cartridge

IBM scientists have captured 330TB of uncompressed data into a tiny cartridge

The record of 201 gigabits per square inch on prototype sputtered magnetic tape is more than 20 times the areal density now used in commercial tape drives. It further pointed out that closing the gap between the magnetic tape and magnetic head is critical to achieving high-density recording capabilities for tape storage media. The relentless march of technology ensures that digital devices require more and more space to hold growing libraries of music, movies, and photos, and a new breakthrough in data storage by IBM and Sony promises to make your current hard drive feel completely inadequate.

When these tapes are combined in a capsule or cartridge, they can store approximately 330TB of data whereas the same cartridge with the existing technology will provide a storage of 15TB. Having a tape jam on your cassette player can result in a few seconds of garbled music, but when you're storing data a mechanical mishap like that can be catastrophic. The tape has a magnetic layer and a lubricant layer. Accuracy and precision have to be improved as the magnetic particles holding the data get smaller and smaller. A standard tape cartridge may have magnetic grains that are tens or even hundreds of nanometres wide.

Unlike the platters in computer hard drives that feature ultra-thin layers of various metals to store tiny magnetic charges, tape needs to be able to flex, bend, and be wound onto a spool.

The new development manifests the potential of doubling tape storage capacity nearly every two years and assuring that tape won't go out fashion for the decade, according to Dr. Mark Lantz of IBM Research. READ NEXT:Major tech companies see DNA storage as the future Tape has previously been used as a long-term backup solution for disaster recovery of server farms.

This makes the technology very practical for cold storage in the cloud, explained IBM fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou. Recent developments in the growing Internet of Things sector along with the popularization of cloud services have resulted in increased demand for high capacity data storage media. IBM and Sony said this drive has "great potential" for use in cloud environments.

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