Sony has developed a new storage tape that hold up to 185 terabytes (TB) of data.
Created with help from IBM, Sony’s technology allows for tapes that can store the equivalent of 3,700 Blu-ray discs.
The tape holds 148 gigabits (Gb) per square inch – beating the previous record by more than five times over.
Storage tapes are typically used by businesses to hold huge amounts of data for a long time. Using tapes is cheaper and more energy efficient method of storing data when compared to power-hungry racks full of hard drives.
However, retrieving data from tape is a much slower process, tapes only offer sequential access which means data has to be accessed in the order it was written in. The tape has to literally be moved to the right position for the data to be accessed.
Sony and Panasonic have teamed up to develop the next-generation storage discs called “Archivial Disc” which will eventually hold 1TB.
The first generation will hold 300GB per disc and is scheduled for release summer 2015. Over time they will roll out 500GB and 1TB versions of the disc. They are being aimed at big companies that need to store vast amounts of data.
The disc will be double sided and have 3 layers per side.
In an age of cloud storage, some have questioned the need of such discs but actually such systems are crucial. Facebook has begun installation of 10,000 Blu-ray discs in a prototype storage cabinet as back-ups for users’ photos and videos. Such a system will reduce its costs by 50% and use 80% less energy compared to traditional storage.