A new world record for tape storage.

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A new world record for tape storage.

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IBM scientists have set a new world record for tape storage; 201 gigabits per square inch, which enables a potential storage of up to 330 terabytes of uncompressed data on a single tape cartridge that would fit in the palm of your hand.

The new areal recording density (the amount of information that can be stored on a given area of surface) is more than 20 times the areal density used in current commercial tape drives.

For comparison’s sake, 330TB is about 330 million books, or 66 million songs, or 6,600 dual-layer Blu-ray discs. The largest hard drive in the world, which is twice the size of the tape cartridge, is probably the 60TB Seagate SSD, while the biggest consumer drives currently max out at 15TB.

IBM worked closely with Sony for several years to co-develop the new tape and processing technology. The tape is expected to cost more to manufacture, but with its high capacity, will offer more attractive cost per TB for cold storage.


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