IBM claims new areal density record with 220TB tape tech

Big Blue working to add cold storage to OpenStack Swift


VIDEO IBM and FUJIFILM have demonstrated new technologies they say crams 123 billion bits into every square inch of tape, to deliver a 220 terabyte (probably LTO) tape cartridge.

The two companies say they've pulled off this trick with something called NANOCUBIC technology that “decreases barium ferrite (BaFe) magnetic particle volume, which is essential for high-density data recording, while maintaining its thermal stability to ensure long-term archivability of recorded data.” “Enhanced write field head technology” makes it possible to deal with the smaller BaFe particles.

Other boffinry helping things along includes “A set of advanced servo control technologies that include a high bandwidth head actuator, a servo pattern and servo channel and a set of tape speed optimized H-infinity track follow controllers that together enable head positioning with an accuracy better than 6 nanometers.” All that science means “... track density of 181,300 tracks per inch, a more than 39 fold increase over LTO6.”

The pair say they've also cooked up “Innovative signal-processing algorithms for the data channel, based on noise-predictive detection principles, [to] enable reliable operation with an ultra narrow 90 nanometer wide giant magnetoresistive (GMR) reader.”

Enough of the storage science talk: the bit (pardon the pun) that really matters is that Big Blue says “IBM Research scientists in Zurich are exploring the integration of tape technology with current cloud object storage systems such as OpenStack Swift. This would enable object storage on tape and allow users to seamlessly migrate cold data to an extremely low-cost, highly durable cloud based storage tier perfectly suited for back-up or archival use cases.”

Stick that up your cloud, “tape is dead” whiners.

As ever, there's no word on when this stuff might actually go on sale. But IBM's worked with FUJIFILM for a decade or more on tape tech, plenty of which has ended up in the LTO standard. The LTO roadmap already goes out to generation 10, which is expected to deliver 48TB of raw capacity some time in the early 2020s. Each LTO iteration doubles its predecessor's native capacity, so if that plan holds and this this technology delivers the promised 220TB cartridge that could make it the basis of LTO 12, which would mean it lands some time around 2030.

The Reg can't promise to be there at the time. But your correspondent, and storage colleague Chris Mellor, now have another 15 years of follow-ups to pursue. ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Infosys skips government meeting – and collecting government taxes
    Tax portal wobbles, again

    Services giant Infosys has had a difficult week, with one of its flagship projects wobbling and India's government continuing to pressure it over labor practices.

    The wobbly projext is India's portal for filing Goods and Services Tax returns. According to India's Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the IT services giant reported a "technical glitch" that meant auto-populated forms weren't ready for taxpayers. The company was directed to fix it and CBIC was faced with extending due dates for tax payments.

    Continue reading
  • Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use
    Phew!

    Google has quietly dropped its demand that users of its free G Suite legacy edition cough up to continue enjoying custom email domains and cloudy productivity tools.

    This story starts in 2006 with the launch of “Google Apps for Your Domain”, a bundle of services that included email, a calendar, Google Talk, and a website building tool. Beta users were offered the service at no cost, complete with the ability to use a custom domain if users let Google handle their MX record.

    The service evolved over the years and added more services, and in 2020 Google rebranded its online productivity offering as “Workspace”. Beta users got most of the updated offerings at no cost.

    Continue reading
  • GNU Compiler Collection adds support for China's LoongArch CPU family
    MIPS...ish is on the march in the Middle Kingdom

    Version 12.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) was released this month, and among its many changes is support for China's LoongArch processor architecture.

    The announcement of the release is here; the LoongArch port was accepted as recently as March.

    China's Academy of Sciences developed a family of MIPS-compatible microprocessors in the early 2000s. In 2010 the tech was spun out into a company callled Loongson Technology which today markets silicon under the brand "Godson". The company bills itself as working to develop technology that secures China and underpins its ability to innovate, a reflection of Beijing's believe that home-grown CPU architectures are critical to the nation's future.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022