Would you like a storage device with a capacity that would put the majority of traditional hard drives to shame? If this sounds like something you need then you should take a look at the magnetic tape drive of Sony, made in collaboration with IBM. Their new tape drive has the highest areal recording density, which means that one single drive is able to hold as much as 185 TB of data. To put this into perspective this is around the same amount of storage as 3,700 Blu-ray discs.
Sony revealed the technology at the INTERMAG Europe 2014 International Magnetics Conference held this week and says that they managed to achieve this by “creating a nano-grained magnetic layer with fine magnetic particles and uniform crystalline orientation.” This was made possible by using sputter deposition otherwise known as a vacuum forming technique; this is a technique which forms thin films which have multiple layers of crystals. After optimising sputter conditions to create a smooth and soft magnetic under layer, the primary data layer of Sony has fine magnetic particles which on average are 7.7nm in size.
[Image Source: Sony]
The standard coated magnetic tape drives, which are shown in the photo, rely on technology that is simpler; these have lower capacities and typical areal densities of around 2 GB per square inch. The new magnetic tape tech comes with an areal density of around 148 GB per inch, which happens to be 74 times denser.
However before you get too excited, the new magnetic tape drives will not be featured in home computers or portable storage devices anyimte soon due to the fact that they are considered to be a slow form of storing data. They will however become an asset for supercomputers along with centres that archive data and who need some type of large capacity storage without coming with a big physical footprint.
Sony, along with Panasonic, had also earlier revealed a new optical disc standard that would allow storage of ten times the amount that the Blu-ray disc can hold. This new Archival Disc is aimed at long term data storage. It has been said that due to wireless technology, smart products along with software defined businesses are having a huge effect on the amount of data stored around world.