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Print 14 comment(s) - last by Trisped.. on May 17 at 12:24 PM


The high density process invented by IBM (left) versus existing tape density technologies (right)
IBM researchers announced that they have established a new world record in data density by cramming 6.67 billion bits into a square inch of magnetic tape

Researchers at IBM claim to have invented a process for storing data onto magnetic tapes that will increase storage capacity by at least 15 times. Even though high capacity reliable hard drives are cheaper and more popular than ever before, tapes are still commonly used for storing less frequently accessed information like tape back ups, disaster recovery files and records maintained over years for regulatory compliance. IBM sold its first tape storage unit in 1952 and has come a long way since then. IBM’s tape storage revenues increased by 9 percent last year, outpacing the company as a whole.

To accomplish this, IBM scientists at the Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, worked with Fuji Photo Film to change the NANOCUBIC material that makes up the tape and also improved the way data can be read and written. Customers would need to upgrade to new tape machines to take advantage of this new technology which is expected to be available to the market in about 5 years.

The new technology will allow tape storage devices to store data bits in sizes approximately 15nm by 6nm.  Existing tape technologies of the highest densities are approximately 150nm by 10nm in size. The size and spacing of the bits on new NANOCUBIC technology are slightly irregular, which IBM claims improves the density of real world data.

IBM researchers claim Linear Tape Open (LTO) cartridges will be able to hold eight terabytes a piece when the technology is rolled out into retail backup devices.


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a bit
By Wwhat on 5/17/2006 3:52:31 AM , Rating: 3
"expected to be available to the market in about 5 years."

Am I alone in finding the concept that we'll still be using tape in 2011 a bit depressing?




RE: a bit
By ceefka on 5/17/2006 8:46:12 AM , Rating: 2
What else do you suggest we'll use? 8TB per cassette. My guess is, that it is the cheapest way to store that much data.


RE: a bit
By Souka on 5/17/2006 11:35:55 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I recall a few years back IBM developing...or in process of developing....holographic storage cubes.

Something like a billard-chalk sized cube holding terabyte or more.....and this is back when a 20gb drive was huge.


Anyhow...


RE: a bit
By GoatMonkey on 5/17/2006 12:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
The holographic stuff hasn't been in the news much lately. I doubt they have just forgotten about it though. At some point we'll hear about a breakthrough that will allow them to mass produce the things. It is the logical next step for mass storage backups.



RE: a bit
By Alphafox78 on 5/17/2006 12:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
Its not like a commadore casette tape, a DLT or LTO tape is very beefy and the best for archiving data. you can store a lot on a tape, as long as you dont need to access it frequently since access times are long.


Archival?
By Eris23007 on 5/16/2006 7:05:45 PM , Rating: 2

Wonder how long the data will stay good... A long term, extraordinarily large archival format would be outstandingly useful (and will sell!)...

Incidentally, do you think IBM would plow all that money into research and development if they couldn't get a patent on the idea of how it works? I doubt it... no payoff on the millions of dollars they would have to invest.




RE: Archival?
By Eris23007 on 5/16/2006 7:06:27 PM , Rating: 2
I guess IP issues are still on the brain after an earlier posting chain... :-P


RE: Archival?
By Lonyo on 5/16/2006 7:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
I would assume the data will stay good as long as current tape backups do, and since a lot of places use tape for long term storage, they would have no issue switching to higher capacity tape backup.
Of course, that's just an assumption that the tapes will last as long, but I don't see why not.


RE: Archival?
By bombledmonk on 5/16/2006 10:58:01 PM , Rating: 2
It is using a non-oxidizing tape which does not chimically or phisically change over time. Data integrity "should" be good for longer than you'll probably need or own the tapes.(or more likely the drives)


5yrs?
By Souka on 5/16/2006 7:40:01 PM , Rating: 4
Totally differnt technologies....but...

Think about current HD's sizes and HD's sizes of 5 years ago.....

5 years might be to long to bring a product to market....


Just a comment...no critisim....




RE: 5yrs?
By Trisped on 5/17/2006 12:24:03 PM , Rating: 2
At "6.67 billion bits into a square inch of magnetic tape" and with 12in*500ft*6.67*10^9=4.00*10^13=40Tb=5TB of storage on one nice little tape (probably about the size of a laptop hard drive). Shelf life of tapes is usually 10 years.
Tapes are not designed for home users, but for server backups. Typical protocol requires a complete backup of all server data once a week with updates everyday.

Indecently, does anyone have a reader for a DC 2120, also known as a QIC? Drive died before I could back it up to CDs. :)


Long time?
By Clauzii on 5/16/2006 8:46:37 PM , Rating: 2
5 years seem like long time to me? If they know they can make it...

PS: Picture looks like a cornfield viewed with Google Earth :)




RE: Long time?
By NullSubroutine on 5/16/2006 9:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
you know when im down in the cornfield i look up and think this looks like the google sat/plane.


patents
By Samus on 5/17/2006 1:04:57 AM , Rating: 3
IBM does file more patents than any other company world-wide.




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