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Sony creates record storage tape

By Tim Sandle     May 5, 2014 in Technology
Japanese tech giant Sony has developed a new storage tape that is able to hold up to 185 terabytes (TB) of data per cartridge.
Sony's technology, developed with the help of IBM, has created a tape that can store the equivalent of 3,700 Blu-ray discs (which is a mind-boggling 148 gigabits (Gb) per square inch), the Daily Mail has announced.
Storage tapes are typically used by businesses to hold huge amounts of data for a long time. Furthermore, tape is a cheaper and more energy efficient method of storing data when compared to power-hungry large data centers full of hard drives.
The reason why Sony has invested so much in the new tapes is because analysts predict that by 2020, global data storage will amount to 40 trillion gigabytes. This is around 5,200 gigabytes per person.
According to Pete Paschal at Mashable: "To put that in perspective, the tape can hold about 60 million songs — far more than anyone could listen to in their lifetime (that would be about 17 million, assuming continuous listening for 100 years, even while sleeping, and 3 minutes per song). All of the printed works of the Library of Congress add up to only about 10 terabytes."
Computer World notes that Sony used a kind of vacuum thin film-forming technology called sputter deposition. The process involves shooting argon ions at a polymer film substrate, which produces layers of magnetic crystal particles. By tweaking the sputter conditions and developing a soft magnetic underlayer on the film, the manufacturer was able to create a layer of fine magnetic particles with an average size of 7.7 nanometers.
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