BOB HIRSHON (host):
Storing big data on cassette tapes. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
[Nat Sound: tape cassette into machine]
From videocassettes to 8-track cartridges, nothing says “20th Century” like magnetic tape. So you might be surprised to hear it’s now behind a record-breaking advancement in computer storage. IBM electrical engineer Johan Engelen and his colleagues recently squeezed 220 terabytes of data—nearly half the data stored by the entire US Library of Congress—onto a tape cartridge half the size of a VHS cassette. With the explosion of bank data, hospital records and YouTube vídeos, Engelen says we need all the capacity we can get.
JOHAN ENGELEN (IBM):
The amount of data people create is increasing exponentially. At the moment, we create more data than we can store.
And even though the technology is nearly a century old, he says magnetic tape still hasn’t reached its limits. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.