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Sony and IBM collaborate to develop 330TB tape storage

by Mark Tyson on 4 August 2017, 11:01

Tags: IBM (NYSE:IBM), Sony (NYSE:SNE)

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Sony and IBM have collaborated on a new Magnetic Tape Storage Technology. In a press release yesterday Sony announced the development of tape storage with the industry's highest areal recording density of 201Gb per square inch. In comparison with tapes available on the market at this present time the new tapes will offer approx 20x greater capacity. That is indeed a significant advancement. What it means in practice is that backup tape cartridges, currently topping out at 15TB storage, will be available in capacities up to 330TB following commercialisation.

Magnetic storage tapes are often used in large scale backup operations. As most will be aware, people, companies, and the cloud are squirreling away increasing amounts of data at an alarming rate and backups are important in the event of inevitable hardware failures.

So, how have Sony and IBM managed such a ground breaking boost in tape recording capacity? They have simultaneously leveraged a number of complementary technologies:

  • Closing the gap (spacing) between the magnetic tape and magnetic head was made possible by a Sony developed lubricant. It reduces tape friction to enable high capacity and high speed data transfer.
  • A new nano-grained magnetic layer with microscopic magnetic particles in extended tape length was used. The manufacturing of such tape was previously difficult but a new process which reduces impurity gas and uses sputter deposition helped the companies realise tape with an average grain size of 7nm, and cartridges that can old 1000m of tape.
  • IBM's write and read heads, advanced servo control technologies, and innovative signal-processing algorithms were also vital in the new tape storage development.

Looking at the data density on offer in the prototype tapes, one of these 330TB tapes has a volume of about 0.33 litres, that's similar in volume to a standard soft drink can. Currently magnetic storage on spinning disks is much less space efficient with a 3.5-inch HDD (also about a third of a litre volume) which top out at 12TB.

Sony says it is working on the commercialisation of this next-generation magnetic tape storage technology.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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Great Move I think
wow! So Facebook/Twitter will no longer need to secretly compress posted pictures to 640x480.
330TB is all very well but it's pie in the sky…

Currently magnetic storage on spinning disks is much less space efficient with a 3.5-inch HDD (also about a third of a litre volume) which top out at 12TB.

.. because, currently, tape cartridges for Joe MediaHoarder top out at a mere 6TB, the drives are very expensive and the cartridges are not cheap.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_Tape-Open#Generations

LTO-6 … 2.5TB … £1300-£1700 … https://www.scan.co.uk/search?q=lto-6
Cartridge … £25 … https://www.scan.co.uk/search?q=tape+cartridge+lto-6

LTO-7 … 6.0TB … £2700-£3500 … https://www.scan.co.uk/search?q=lto-7
Cartridge … £90 … http://www.misco.co.uk/product/2578164/HPE-LTO-7-Data-Backup-Tape-Cartridge

Break-even for LTO-6 is about 90TB and for LTO-7 it's about 280TB (versus 8TB harddisks at £200).
Nevermind 330TB being pie in the sky seems storage is yet another field where we hear wild tales about scientific breakthroughs allowing 10 billion petabytes to be stored on a single molecule and yet here we are still with good old clunky magnetic tapes.
devBunny
.. because, currently, tape cartridges for Joe MediaHoarder top out at a mere 6TB, the drives are very expensive and the cartridges are not cheap.

And then, there's those access times lol.