IBM partners with Fujifilm to set record with 154TB cartridge


Just weeks after the announcement of a new magnetic tape of 185TB with Sony, IBM has weighed in with another tape announcement claiming another world record 154TB of storage, but this time with Fujifilm.

The companies have reported a 62-fold increase in the storage capacity of a standard Linear Tape-Open (LTO) cartridge – 154TB, versus just 2.5TB in the 2012-vintage LTO.

IBM’s demo showed that Fujifilm double-coated tape can store 85.9 gigabits per square inch – world record in areal density for low-cost linear magnetic particulate tape.

“Today, most storage technologies like HDD [hard-disk drive], flash, and DRAM [dynamic random access memory] are facing or will very soon face very difficult challenges to continue scaling,” said Mark Lantz, a research scientist and manager of exploratory tape at IBM Research.

“In contrast, our demonstration shows that tape can continue scaling at the current rate of doubling cartridge capacity every two years for at least the next 10 years.”

“This data density achievement is significant as corporate data is growing at an incredible rate, and secure and reliable storage remain critical considerations in today’s market,” said Peter Faulhaber, president, Fujifilm Recording Media U.S.A., Inc.

“Together with our partners at IBM, we have been able to create the basis for extraordinary data density on tape that is fast, cost effective and energy efficient – characteristics that benefit every organization.”

Since 2002, the companies have been researching about the optimization of dual-coat magnetic tape based on BaFe particles, among other studies. IBM also said that it envisions scaling magnetic tape to even higher areal densities in the future.

Earlier this month, IBM teamed up with Sony to launch storage tape of 185TB capacity, utilizing “sputter deposition” technique that prevents magnetic particles used to store data from growing beyond a certain size.

Sony’s development achieved a 148Gbit/in2 tape density for 185TB, while Fujifilm’s development process involves extending Barium Ferrite (BaFe) tape particle technology to achieve 85.9Gbit/infor 154TB.

Christopher Sciacca, Manager of Communications at IBM Research said the IBM and Sony release is a more expensive version, compared to the particulate media tape that was announced by IBM and Fujifilm, noting that 154TB tape is viable only if the companies “keep the costs low.”