IBM Teases 330TB of Data in Palm-Sized Cartridge

IBM's cartridge can store 330TB data

According to The Verge, each square inch of this new tape inside the cartridge is capable of storing 201GB giving it 20 times the storage density of existing magnetic tape drives.

IBM and Sony have worked closely together to reach the new mark, with the Eleftheriou noting that the former developed several new technologies that have resulted in major steps forward in media technology, such as advanced roll-to-roll technology for long sputtered tape fabrication and better lubricant technology, which stabilises the functionality of the magnetic tape. The inception of tape drives dates back to nearly 6-decades back and was initially used in government institutions of taxation and health care for storing public data in large amounts. These physical drives are twice in size but have the capacity of holding half the data when compared with contemporary Sony tape cartridge.

For mass storage duties, you can forget about mechanical hard drives, let alone solid state drives wielding NAND flash memory. The tape has a magnetic layer and a lubricant layer. Having a tape jam on your cassette player can result in a few seconds of garbled music, but when you're storing data a mechanical mishap like that can be catastrophic.

IBM and Sony's breakthrough involves the use of "sputter deposition", a method of adding layers to a material that has been used for years to make hard drives but hasn't been added to tape before. A standard tape cartridge may have magnetic grains that are tens or even hundreds of nanometres wide.




Magnetic tape drives have been around for more than six decades now. The company squeezed about 330TB into a package that fits into the palm of your hand.

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

At the same time, IBM's researchers developed a new read head just 48-nanometers in size that was capable of accurately reading the minuscule magnetic particles on Sony's new tape, as well as new servo technology allowing for precise control of the tape as it flows through the machine.

Sony entertainment was the main user of this magnetic technology before the progression in this field, the use of this data storage was mainly used to store movies and media content that were under the ownership of Sony.

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