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IBM and Fujitsu's 154GB/in tape is another trip back to the future

Promising double density every other year
Tue May 20 2014, 17:25
Tape

IBM AND FUJITSU have announced the second major advance in tape storage of the year.

Following on from Sony's recent announcement of tape that is capable of storing 148GB per square inch, the two companies have revealed that they have managed to reach 154GB.

Although that figure isn't a huge jump, IBM and Fujitu's announcement comes with an impressive forecast. The alliance believes it can double the density of its tape every other year for the next decade.

Although innovations involving magnetic tape seem like something from a post-modern vision of 2014 viewed from 1965, the speed at which technology is moving in this field is accelerating at a rate more in line with demand.

Data centres are having to come up with more ingenious methods of cold storing petabytes of data being generated from social media, cloud storage and archiving.

Facebook has dabbled in the concept of the Blu-ray array as a temporary solution to the problem, while the SSD manufacturers continue to make strides in increasing the capacity of their products, but neither are likely to be as cost effective as magnetic tape. It isn't suitable for quick access, and its longevity and durability is yet to be tested, but it could prove to be a solution for a growing problem.

The 154GB/in tape is only a prototype, but if the hype is to be believed, we can expect to see 4TB per square inch by 2024. This month, Sandisk released the first 4TB SSD in a standard 2.5in casing. The rest of the math follows from that. µ

 

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