Cassette Tapes That Can Hold 35TB

 

  • 35TB each
  • 200x more efficient
  • 10cm x 10cm x 2cm

Cassette tapes might just make a comeback if IBM and Fujifilm’s project turns out to be a success.

 

  • 35TB each
  • 200x more efficient
  • 10cm x 10cm x 2cm

Cassette tapes might just make a comeback if IBM and Fujifilm’s project turns out to be a success.

The duo is working on prototypes that can hold data up to 35TB each, and are up to 200 times more efficient compared to standard hard drives.

These cassette tapes measure extremely small despite the large storage capacity. We’re talking about dimensions of just 10cm x 10cm x 2cm!

Using tapes is energy-efficient. Data centres based on disc drive arrays use over 200 times more power than would a tape library of similar size, according to a 2010 study by The Clipper Group, a technology consultancy based in Rye, New Hampshire.

The reason behind this is that discs tent to spin continuously, using up more energy, while tape drives only use power when they are being read or recorded on, says Jon Hiles of Spectra Logic, a digital archiving firm in Boulder, Colorado.

However, there is a downside to tapes. They are slower to access than hard discs because they are spooled. But the Linear Tape File System, which is being developed, expedites this process to make it comparable to disc drives, Eleftheriou says.

“As storage needs skyrocket, hard drives won't be able to keep up and keep power down. Density improvements in hard drives are facing physical limits that mean they can only add more power-munching platters. It's time to take advantage of the low power and low cost of tape," he says.

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