In an interesting development, scientists at IBM have managed to develop a prototype magnetic tape drive that fits in the palm of your hand and can store a whopping 330TB of uncompressed data. IBM Research worked alongside Sony Storage Solutions for years to achieve increased areal recording densities and develop this magnetic tape.
If you are wondering about the recording density, the prototype comes with an unprecedented 201Gb per inch density. “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 Research fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou in a statement.
“While sputtered tape is expected to cost a little more to manufacture than current commercial tape, the potential for very high capacity will make the cost per terabyte very attractive, making this technology practical for cold storage in the cloud,” he said.
In its release about the magnetic tape cartridge, Sony said that this achievement was made possible by bringing together it’s “new magnetic tape technology employing lubricant with IBM Research – Zurich’s newly developed write/read heads, advanced servo control technologies and innovative signal-processing algorithm.” It further pointed out that closing the gap between the magnetic tape and magnetic head is critical to achieving high-density recording capabilities for tape storage media.
Interestingly, IBM has also said that this achievement is also reflective of the viability of scaling up storage on tapes continuously for another decade.
Our storage needs have been growing for years with advancement in technology sector and if you didn’t realise this till now, just imaging how iPhones with 8GB base storage would feel in this day and age. This sort of achievement gives hope that our data requirements will be met with advancement in technology and we won’t be ill-equipped to tackle the situation going forward.