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A storage tape with the capacity of almost 200 hard drives?

Researchers at Sony have created a new kind of magnetic tape that can store 148GB of data per square inch which is impressive in itself but the company is planning to sell cartridges that will hold up to 185TB of data- it’s essentially an old school tape with the capacity of a couple of hundred hard drives… well that’s not exactly it but it’s not too dissimilar.

These new tapes will drastically cut down on the space required for backup libraries amongst other storage needs. The tape is manufactured using a vacuum thin film forming system which creates a string of uniformly orientated nano-crystals in a layer less than five micrometers thick.

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Does anyone even remember when these used to be a thing?

The crystals used for recording data are much smaller than previously achieved, averaging around 7.7 nanometres across, this is what allows for huge 148GB data densities per square inch. Sony explained further in a statement: “By optimizing sputter conditions and independently developing a soft magnetic under layer with a smooth interface, Sony has made it possible to minimize disparities in crystalline length and growth.”

These mass storage tapes aren’t ready for commercialising just yet but Sony is definitely working on it: “Sony will continue to work towards commercializing this next generation tape storage media, as well as the development of increasingly advanced thin layer deposition technologies based on the sputter method, with the aim of increasing recording densities even further.”

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KitGuru Says: While a breakthrough like this won’t send the whole world back to using tapes, it will help out industries that require huge archives of data. I still think it’s crazy that there has been such a breakthrough in storage tapes of all things, I can’t even remember the last time I saw a cassette tape. 

Source: The Register, Sony

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