IBM and Fujifilm have jointly announced that they have developed a magnetic tape that can store up to 35 TB worth of data, setting a world record in data density in linear magnetic tapes and incidentally breathing new life in the format.
The magnetic tape, which was developed in IBM Research Labs in Zurich, is capable of storing text of 35 million books which would normally require 399 km or 248 miles of bookshelves, the companies said in a statement.
Commenting on the development, Cindy Grossman, vice president, IBM Tape and Archive Storage Systems, mentioned “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.”
According to the researchers at Japan-based Fujifilm, the magnetic tape is 800 meters in length and one and a half inch wide and boasts of a density of 29.5 billion bits per square inch.
The tape utilises Barium Ferrite magnetic material, which was developed by the two companies along with several other new technologies, which made the creation of this revolutionary tape possible.
Current industry standard magnetic tapes use metal magnetic particles to store data, however, IBM and Fujifilm have managed to reduce the size of the particles in order to store more data in them.
The biggest hard disk drive on the market can currently hold "only" 2TB. At 35TB, a single tape could potentially store 18 such hard disk drives and cost a fraction of the price. Obviously using tape comes with its own set of disadvantages. Still it will be interesting to find out how the market reacts.