Remember the cassette? Maybe you do, maybe not. It’s been pretty much replaced in the consumer market by the CD and the DVD and the Blu Ray. But the fact is that for storing huge amounts of data, companies still use cassettes. Why? Because they’re old school, and old school is much more reliable. CDs will get scratched, Blu Ray’s may malfunction but you can always count on the cassette.
SONY, the pioneer of the Blu Ray has come together with IBM to create one of a kind cassette that stores a whopping 185 Terabytes. To give you some sense of that size, it would take 3,700 Blu Ray discs to store that amount of information. The cassette stores 148 gigabytes of information per square inch. The two innovators managed to design this little monster with the help of some complicated polymer engineering.
For those of you who don’t know, cassettes work by imprinting information on to a tape magnetically. The tape in this case was designed to handle tremendous amounts of data. SONY used a technique called sputter deposition to create the tape. It involves shooting argon ions at a polymer film substrate to create a layer of magnetic crystal particles. By tweaking this process to suit their needs, a particle size of 7.7 nm was achieved with a soft magnetic under layer.
This cassette has shattered the previous record of 35 terabyte cassette created by IBM 2 years ago and the 135 terabyte single tape drive also made by IBM last year. The industry is moving fast and though the commercial users won’t be affected by this advancement, the companies and giant conglomerates will be looking for such cassettes to pool and store and back up their valuable information.