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IBM and Sony Manage to Store 330TB of Data on Tape Cartridges

IBM together with Sony was able to create a new world record in tape data storage. Tape cartridges have become obsolete in the consumer segment. However, they’re still a very valued storage method for cloud based services and large data archives.

IBM and Sony joined forces to launch 330 Terabyte tape cartridge, crunching all the data down to a size that fits your palm. This magnetic tape reel has 20 times the recording density compared to a commercial tape drive. The tape length has been extended with the help of several layers of Nanoparticles and the best part being that 330TB isn’t the limit for this technology.

In an interview with Dr. Mark Lantz, a researcher at IBM, he explained that previously IBM used to apply barium ferrite particles in liquid form to put layers on the tape directly. Whereas, with the new cartridge, they have switched to something called ‘Sputtered Media’, the same tech used in manufacturing circuits.

Dr. Lantz also claims that the storage space can be double every two years with this tech for the next decade, which is an amazing discovery considering that cloud storage is becoming the primary need for every large company in this era of digital storage, communications, and computing.

The Sputtered magnetic layer lubricant enables 200Gb data storage per inch. The main focus of amazement about sputtering is that it produces a magnetic tape with magnetic grains that are placed just a few nanometers across, instead of being tens and hundreds of nanometers across, such as the ones on commercially available tapes.

The new lubrication layer makes sure that tape comes out of the cartridge and the machine extremely smoothly because previously some of the biggest difficulties while recording and playing were the friction management, slightest air resistance movement or friction caused wear and tear. The tape is expected to cost a several thousand pounds due to the complex manufacturing process.