IBM and Fujifilm are developing a 580TB magnetic tape

IBM announced a major achievement in cooperation with Fujifilm, in creating a new tape for magnetic storage with a capacity of 580 terabytes.

And all data that people and companies around the world store must be backed up to the cloud in some way. Magnetic tape has long been the preferred backup medium, and IBM still believes that magnetic tape will remain the best for decades to come.

The American company says: The only technology capable of dealing with a huge amount of data is magnetic tape, noting that the age of this technology has exceeded 60 years.

IBM and Fujifilm have now announced a 317GB storage capacity per square inch of magnetic tape. The enormous capacity was obtained on a prototype of a magnetic strip of strontium ferrite particles developed by Fujifilm.

Fujifilm’s massive 317GB capacity is about 27 times denser compared to the space available in today’s modern commercial tape drives. New storage allows a single ribbon cartridge to store 580 terabytes of data. IBM is putting capacity in perspective, stating that 580 terabytes is equivalent to 786,977 (compact disc) CDs stacked 944 meters high.

The current generation magnetic tape uses barium ferrite particles on magnetic tape storage media. Fujifilm has invented strontium ferrite particles in chemistry labs for the new tape to provide superior properties with higher density storage for the same tape space. In addition to new particles, the company has also developed new technologies to achieve the record, including: a low-friction head for tape.

Fujifilm has also created a new line of servo controllers that help maintain the precise position of the read and write heads relative to the tape using the head drive. These new machines enabled the position of the head with an accuracy of 3.2 nm, a world record.

magnetic tape's layer structure
magnetic tape’s layer structure

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