IBM Smashes Data Storage Record

IBM Smashes Data Storage Record
A storage cartridge which uses a new type of magnetic tape can store 330 TB of data in the palm of the hand.

(CCM) — IBM has smashed an important data storage record by producing a prototype tape cartridge small enough to fit in the palm of a hand which can store 330 TB of uncompressed data — the equivalent of about 330 million books, according to an International Business Times report.

The cartridge uses a new type of magnetic tape called "sputtered tape" developed by Sony that can store over 200 gigabits of data per square inch. This is over 20 times more data density than is offered by any current commercial data storage tape.

Although sputtered tape is slightly more expensive to make than conventional magnetic storage tape, its ability to store data very densely means that it is likely to be adopted by companies which operate cloud storage services to store vast data archives for their customers at very low cost. Data stored on magnetic tape takes longer to access than data stored on more expensive spinning disks or solid state drives, but this is usually not important when the data is old and only needs to be accessed in exceptional circumstances.

The new cartridge is a far cry from the original magnetic tape drives introduced over 50 years ago which typically used reels of half-inch wide tape and which could typically store about 2 MB of data per square inch.

Image: © Daniel Kaesler -