IBM has touted a major tape storage breakthrough that could theoretically allow 220TB of data to be stored in a form factor as small as 4in.
IBM said that the firm's scientists, working in conjunction with Fujifilm, have demonstrated the ability to store 123 billion bits of uncompressed data on a square inch of magnetic tape.
This could be scaled up to the equivalent of 220TB in a form factor that would sit in the palm of your hand, according to IBM. This storage capacity is the equivalent of 1.37 trillion mobile text messages or the text of 220 million books.
This storage capability is an 88-fold improvement over existing Linear Tape-Open 6 cartridges, and a 22-fold improvement over IBM’s current enterprise class tape products.
Big Blue said the feat demonstrated that computer tape remains a viable and important storage medium, especially in the era of big data and cloud computing that is seeing the creation of ever-increasing amounts of data.
“With this demonstration, we prove again that tape will continue to play an important role in the storage hierarchy for years to come,” added Evangelos Eleftheriou, IBM Fellow.
“This milestone reaffirms IBM's continued commitment and leadership in magnetic tape technology.”
The video below provides more information on the work IBM has carried out to reach the capabilities now being touted.
More technical details about the tape technology will be presented at the 2015 Intermag conference between 11-15 May in Beijing and at the IBM Edge conference in Las Vegas at the same time.
The breakthrough is the latest in a long line of innovations from IBM, which earlier this year retained its crown for the most patents awarded for a staggering 21 years in a row.
In 2013 IBM showed off a 'movie' it had made that consisted entirely of atoms. The firm explained that the project demonstrated the work it is doing at the atomic level to create a new form of memory technology.
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