IBM successfully stored 330TB of uncompressed data on a tape cartridge that is as small as a human palm. This latest breakthrough transformed an old technology, earning it a spot on the roster of the most preferred storage of the modern times.

Old tape technology makes remarkable comeback

The 60-year-old tape technology has been long dismissed following the arrival of cloud storage such as Amazon's Glacier, Google Nearline, and Google Coldline. Although some individuals and organizations still make use of tapes for long-term storage needs, the technology was losing the public’s interest.

However, ZD net reports that scientists from IBM have found a brilliant way to save it.

Thanks to IBM, the tape technology has made an unexpected comeback. IBM announced that they have successfully developed a tape that is capable of storing 330TB of uncompressed data. The amazing breakthrough has set new records. According to one of IBM’s lead scientists on the tape project, Dr. Mark Lantz, the tape can hold 201 gigabytes of data per Square Inch. The company believes that the success of the project has transformed the almost-forgotten technology into a valuable addition to the roster of cold storage.

The technology that made it possible

In order to improve its storage capacities, IBM enhanced the design of the original tapes.

Several layers of thin barium ferrite liquid metal were painted onto the tape, employing the process used in the production of integrated circuits. IBM made use of the same metal and skipped the sputtering process. As a result, the tape was able to store 123 gigabytes of data for every square inch. IBM used the same process on a standard cartridge which measured about the same as human palm.

This resulted in the production of a tape storage that successfully captured 330TB of uncompressed data.

IBM successfully set an unforeseen record says The Verge. The new storage tape capacity translates to 330 million copies of books. Furthermore, the breakthrough also serves as an opportunity for IBM and the rest of the magnetic-tape developers.

On the plus side, the tape storage alternative is much cheaper compared to its disk counterparts. It can be used to store massive files and archives.

Meanwhile, other storage facilities such as Google and Amazon remain positive during the imminent threat of IBM’s tape technology. The cold-storage service providers bank on convenience as an edge. Clouds offer faster data access and easier management. But IBM is up for the challenge.