IBM, Fujifilm Set World Record in Magnetic Tape Density

Paul Lilly

After all this time, there still remains room for innovation in the magnetic tape industry. This point was underscored recently when IBM Research and Fujifilm announced they had collaborated to set a new world record in magnetic tape density, pushing the technology to 30G bits per square inch, which is enough keep magnetic tape relevant for at least another decade.

"Magnetic tape, which is the greenest storage technology available today, is alive and will continue to be a cost-effective alternative to other storage technologies for at least another decade," said IBM Fellow Evangelos Eleftheriou in a video . "Achieving 29.6G bits per square inch means that a single cartridge 10 by 10 by 2 centimeters in size will hold up to 35 terabytes of uncompressed data."

Magnetic tape remains popular as a low-cost solution, with the latest advancement in density driving the price down to just a penny per gigabyte. By comparison, today's densest optical disks are Blu-ray. Blu-ray discs store 50GB, and it would take about 700 of them to match the storage capacity of a single 4-inch tape cartridge holding 35TB of a data. Not only that, but Blu-ray runs about 30 cents per gigabyte.

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