In a new world record, scientists at IBM have captured 330 terabytes of uncompressed data — or the equivalent of 330 million books — into a cartridge that can fit into the palm of your hand.
Tape drives were invented over 60 years ago and were traditionally used for archiving tax documents and health care records. IBM’s first tape unit used reels of half-inch-wide tape that could only hold about 2 megabytes.
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
“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 fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou in a statement.
In order for researchers to achieve the 201 gigabits per square inch, IBM researchers had to develop several new technologies. IBM worked closely with Sony for several years, particularly on enabling increased areal recording densities.