IBM Squeezes Record 330TB Data In A Tiny Magnetic Tape Catridge

IBM Sputtered Magnetic Tape

Image Dr. Mark Lantz holding one square inch of sputtered tape having an aerial density of 201 gigabytes. Credit IBM Research

The tape drive developed by researchers at IBM and Sony has a density of 201 gigabits per square inch. IBM developed new read/write heads, advanced servo control technologies and innovative signal-processing algorithms, which were combined with Sony's new low-friction lubricant technology for magnetic tapes.

Like all data storage methods, magnetic tapes have pluses and minuses.

When you think about the future of data storage, Sony and IBM want you to think of magnetic tapes. The only catch is that it uses a storage technique that you probably thought was long dead: magnetic tape. The objective of this drive was to backup data, maintain archives, and aid Sony entertained in storing different data resources. Magnetic storage tapes can be used for local data backup in data centres, disaster recovery solutions and providing compliance with legal requirements for data storage.

Computer hard drives feature thin layers of various metals to store tiny magnetic charges. Sony has also improved the tape's lubricant layer so it runs more smoothly through the machine and faces less resistance. It's expected that when the new kind of cartridge is commercially produced it will be more expensive than current offerings, but still competitively priced. Any snag against the mechanism could cause a delay resulting in the header missing a magnetised zone, corrupting the data.

As we strive to find ways to store vast amounts of data into smaller and smaller spaces, IBM has just managed to put 330TB into the palm of our hand.

This makes the technology very practical for cold storage in the cloud, explained IBM fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou.

In recent years, developments in the Internet of Things, the popularization of cloud services, and the leveraging of big data have helped to create new markets, resulting in increased demand for high-capacity data storage media.

"Magnetic tape shows great potential as a storage media thanks to its various strengths, including its capacity for storing data over long periods of time, low power consumption, low cost, and space saving capabilities", Sony added.

Latest News