Technology

A single cartridge that can store 580 TB of data

Magnetic tape's layer structure. | Picture by special arrangement.  

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Technology giant IBM and Fujifilm have collaborated to develop magnetic storage media that can store about 580 terabytes (TB) of data in a single cartridge. It can have applications in hybrid cloud environments in addition to storing backup and archival data.

The prototype strontium ferrite (SrFe) particulate magnetic tape developed by Fujifilm offers 317 GB per square inch in areal density, around 27 times more than the current state-of-the-art commercial tape drives, which IBM claims is a new record.

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This is possible as SrFe can be made into smaller particles with “superior properties,” offering higher density storage on the same amount of tape, compared with today’s tape drives that use barium ferrite (BaFe) particles to coat the magnetic tape storage media, IBM explained in a blog post.

In addition, they have developed technologies such as a new low friction tape head, and a detector that enables reliable detection of data with an ultra-narrow read sensor.

Watch | A single cartridge that can store 580 TB of data
 

According to the tech giant, around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is currently produced on a daily basis, and at this rate, worldwide data is expected to hit 175 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025 (One ZB is equivalent to a trillion gigabytes).

There are now more than 500 hyperscale data centres in the world storing an estimated 547 exabytes (EB) of actual data, with more than 151 facilities underway. Also, tech companies and academic institutions continue to use magnetic tape technology for archival storage, IBM noted.

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“It is tape’s low cost per gigabyte, long-term durability, reliability, low energy, security and scalability that have driven its advancement and ensured its longevity far into the future,” it added.

IBM estimates that today more than 345,000 EB of data currently reside in magnetic tape storage systems – a technology more than 60 years old.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 10:41:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/a-single-cartridge-that-can-store-580-tb-of-data/article33409715.ece

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