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Sony
Sony's 185 TB Cassette Tape Breaks Storage Record

By Salvador Rodriguez
May 7, 2014 9:34AM

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The tech industry is eyeing new technology from Sony -- a cassette tape that holds 185 terabytes. With these cassette tapes, companies will be capable of storing more data in the same amount of space that they use today. That's important for enterprises, considering that by 2020 the amount of data on the planet will reach 40 zettabytes.
 



Sony announced it has created a cassette tape that smashes a previous record for data storage. The Japanese company says its new tape is capable of holding 185 terabytes, or 148 gigabits per square inch. At that much capacity, Sony's new tapes hold the equivalent of 11,840 16 gigabytes iPhone 5s devices -- or about 3,700 Blu-ray discs.

The cassette tapes, which were developed with the help of IBM, obliterate the previous record, which was set in 2010 by Fujifilm and IBM. Back then, the companies set the record with a tape capable of holding 35 terabytes.

Sony is set to present and explain its new cassette tapes at the INTERMAG Europe 2014 international magnetics conference, being held this week in Dresden, Germany.

There, Sony will explain how it enhanced a technology known as "sputter deposition" to achieve the high-storage cassette tapes, which are about 74 times the capacity of tapes being used today.

Tech giants like Facebook and Google use data centers to store all the information users upload to their services, such as photos posted on Facebook or emailed through Gmail. With these cassette tapes, companies will be capable of storing more data in the same amount of space that they use today.

That's important considering that by 2020 the amount of data on the planet will reach 40 zettabytes, or the equivalent of nearly 43 trillion terabytes. That's about 5,200 gigabytes for every person in the world.

"The expansion of cloud services and the creation of new markets to utilize big data have led to a growing need for a data storage media which can store large amounts of information," Sony said in a statement.

Sony's new cassette tapes are important for the tech industry, but they likely won't have a direct effect on consumers. That's because accessing data on a cassette tape takes more time than it does to access data on a disc drive.

So while companies will appreciate the high storage capabilities of Sony's tapes, consumers prefer the speedy flash drives found on their laptops, tablets and smartphones.
 


© 2014 Los Angeles Times (CA) under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

Tell Us What You Think
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Mike M:

Posted: 2014-06-05 @ 7:58am PT
Sure, that's great, but how long does it take to backup 185TB....?

Hugh:

Posted: 2014-05-13 @ 9:13pm PT
Just to correct, you added a few zeros there uneccesarily. 40 zettabytes is the equivalent of 40 billion (not trillion) terabytes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zettabyte

Still a lot of data though.

RP:

Posted: 2014-05-12 @ 11:40am PT
how would you search it??? Good grief!!

ERNIE WAIN:

Posted: 2014-05-12 @ 1:18am PT
I love the medium of tape it is so cool to record on, but it has so many potential problems, like walking by a strong magnet and all that priceless data would be gone??? I don’t like it when just a few songs disappear but when i could lose everything so easily, I think I want to look into this tech a lot more first, but I am skeptical to say the least, but I also love Sony!!! I would be so torn. Ha ha ha.

James Brogan:

Posted: 2014-05-09 @ 11:42am PT
I would prefer an easy access 185TB blu ray or any other disc format if the format can get this kind of storage rather than a cassette that could still be easily damaged during playback because of moving parts and does not have an easy way to access bonus features or alternate versions of films.



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