IBM and FujiFilm Show That Tape Storage Still Has Potential

Most people would consider tape storage to be a thing of the past, but that’s far from the case. It is still the most efficient and cheapest-per-byte method of storing large amounts of data that’s infrequently used, and cloud storage comes to mind here just as general archives. IBM and Fujifilm together figured out how to improve upon the current technology for a whopping 220TB of data on a 10 x 10 x 2 cm big tape drive.

The new prototype Fujifilm tape packs 88 times as much data as current tape drives that can hold about 2.5TB uncompressed data on a cartridge. You shouldn’t however start saving up for this yet, as it most likely will take 5 to 6 years before it is ready for a mass production. It’s a big accomplishment none-the-less.

“The new technologies won’t come out in products for several years and may not be quite as extreme when they do, but the advances show tape can keep getting more dense into the future,” said Mark Lantz, manager of IBM’s Advanced Tape Technologies Group.

IBM is demonstrating the new technology this week at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas. “The tracks on the tape are narrower, the heads are smaller, and even the particles of barium ferrite that store each bit are finer. All are now measured in nanometers, so the movement of the heads has to be more precise, too. It’s accurate to within less than 6 nanometers, IBM says.”

Thanks to ComputerWorld for providing us with this information