330TB on the palm of the hand


IBM and Sony have now joined a project that has led to the creation of a storage solution capable of storing 330TB in a very small physical space. A few years ago, it took a whole warehouse to store only 5MB of information, today, 330TB fit in the palm of the hand.

Although the most common storage systems have a capacity around 1TB, the industry has already gone a long way in relation to this brand. More recently, a joint team of collaborators from both IBM Research and Sony was able to create a small magnetic tape capable of storing 330TB of files. The most impressive of this is the size of the device, which shames many of the 500GB external drives currently on the market.

This tape is small enough to fit in the palm of one hand, so this drive, whose previous limit was “only” 15TB, is now able to store the equivalent of 3,379 compressed copies of all articles on Wikipedia. This component is not designed for the common user, but for servers and data centers. The technique can, however, be replicated to scale in the creation of versions for the consumer market.

The tape itself is the trick, for every inch square, it can store 201GB, that is, 20 times more than the maximum achieved previously. The team responsible for the project explains that to achieve this level, a new lubricant had to be developed that would help smooth the movements of the components, thus improving the read speeds of this device. In addition, new techniques were developed that reduced the space between the tape and the magnetic head.

The new system will also benefit from a new storage strategy between layers of nanoparticles, which means that it will be possible to double the storage capacity of the nanoparticles every two years for at least two years, one of each.