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IBM breaks tape capacity record

Along with Fujifilm
Mon Jan 25 2010, 16:50

DATA STORAGE GORILLA IBM is working along with Fujifilm to improve the data density on linear magnetic tape, and according to an announcement from the pair they have already broken a world record.

Today the firms said that the fruits of their three-year labours is a significant update to tape data storage capacity, and has proven that tape technology can be used for years to come and will increase capacity over time.

"This exciting achievement shows that tape storage is alive and strong and will continue to provide users reliable data protection, while maintaining a cost advantage over other storage technologies, including hard disk drives and flash," said Cindy Grossman, vice president, IBM tape and archive storage systems.

Helping make room for all that data are servo control technologies that will increase the number of data tracks that can fit onto a single half inch wide piece of tape by up to twenty-five times, and other tools that limit and control deviation on the tape's target track. IBM said that the breakthrough could extend the life and increase the relevance of magnetic tape for at least another decade.

The dual-coat magnetic Nanocubic tape system is based on barium ferrite (BaFe) particles and should allow for cartridge capacities of up to 35 terabytes of uncompressed data, IBM added. It explained that this is roughly 44 times the capacity of its current LTO Generation 4 cartridge.

If you cannot picture 35 terabytes of data, IBM helpfully explained that it would equate to a bookshelf full of books that extends 248 miles wide. µ


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