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IBM stores 330 TB uncompressed data on a palm-sized cartridge

02 Août 2017

Sony and IBM Research have developed a magnetic tape storage technology with the highest capacity of recording in areal density at 201GB data per square inch which is nearly 20 times more data than conventional tapes which store 9.6GB data per square inch. The new record now accounts for 201-gigabit data stored in per square inch of a prototype magnetic tape.

The record was announced in Japan at the 28th Magnetic Recording Conference. The first tape unit from the company used reels of half-inch-wide tape and could only hold about 2MB of data. That's more than 20 times the areal density of current commercial tape drives. Over the past few years, the development of IoT, big data, and cloud services has created new markets where high-capacity storage devices can be put into use. The two organisations worked closely for years to increase areal recording densities to as much as 201 gigabits per square inch.

"This achievement was made possible 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", Sony Corporation stated. "The results of this collaboration have led to various improvements in the media technology, such as advanced roll-to-roll technology for long sputtered tape fabrication and better lubricant technology, which stabilizes the functionality of the magnetic tape".

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

IBM is using sputter magnetic tape in this technology, which Eleftheriou says can cost a more to manufacture than the now available commercial tape drives.

IBM stores 330 TB uncompressed data on a palm-sized cartridge