IBM, Fujifilm intro 35TB magnetic tape

By : |January 25, 2010 0

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: IBM Research, Zurich and Fujifilm Corporation of Japan demonstrated areal data density on linear magnetic tape, a significant update to one of the computer industry’s most resilient, reliable and affordable data storage technologies.

VTL: Reworking the economics of tape

This proves that tape technology can increase capacity for years to come, which has important implications, as tape storage systems are more energy efficient and cost-effective than hard disk drive storage systems. 

As the physical world becomes increasingly networked with sensors, vast amounts of data are amassed in various formats from medical images to security camera feeds to supply chain sensors to financial records. All of this data needs to be archived, replicated for disaster recovery, and/or retained or regulatory compliance.

The scientists at IBM Research, Zurich, in cooperation with the Fujifilm Corporation of Japan, recorded data onto an advanced prototype tape, at a density of 29.5 billion bits per square inch, about 39 times the areal data density of today’s most popular industry-standard magnetic tape product.

IBM Research has developed several new critical technologies, and for the past three years worked with Fujifilm to optimize its next-generation dual-coat magnetic tape based on barium ferrite (BaFe) particles. 

Cindy Grossman, vice president, IBM Tape and Archive Storage Systems, said: "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."

The company claims that these new technologies are estimated to enable cartridge capacities that could hold up to 35 trillion bytes (terabytes) of uncompressed data. This is about 44 times the capacity of today’s IBM LTO Generation 4 cartridge. A capacity of 35 terabytes of data is sufficient to store the text of 35 million books, which would require 248 miles (399 km) of bookshelves.

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