Cassette tape prototype able to store 35 terabytes of data

Oct 22, 2012
4
Cassette tape prototype able to store 35 terabytes of data

The cassette tape was a popular medium back in the 80s and early 90s, and served as one of the main platforms for distributing music. Today, the cassette is all but living as other types of media have taken over since then. However, researchers have developed a prototype that is able to store 35TB of data onto a single cassette tape.

Researchers from both Fuji Film and IBM were able to take a cassette tape that measures about 4 inches x 4 inches x 1 inch and stuff 35TB of data into it onto the magnetic tape that has been coated in particles of barium ferrite. News Scientist refers to this as "a new wave of ultra-dense tape drives."

However, don't expect these high-density casette tapes to reach your local store, though. They'll be made with servers in mind, and would only be available to large companies who have huge server farms, like Facebook, Google, Apple, etc. Plus, these tapes are currently only being developed for the $43 million IBM computer that will run the upcoming Square Kilometre Array telescope (SKA).

The SKA, which will be the world's largest radio telescope once it's complete in 2024, will be able to push out a petabyte of data per day (approximately 1 million gigabytes). Obviously, this would be a huge task for today's paltry hard drives, and the researchers are working to shrink the new cassette tape system even further, by attempting to squeeze in 100 terabytes per cassette.

[via New Scientist]

Image via Flickr


Must Read Bits & Bytes