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Gone are the days when tapes were used for storing data. With the invention of CD’s CDs, cloud services and other forms of digital storage, tapes have become almost outdated. It is, however, used by many businesses and archives around the world.
Keeping this in mind, Sony has created a way to boost the potential of the iconic material to not only match its digital rivals, but also surpass them.
The Japanese firm has developed tape for businesses that can store up to 185TB of data — 74 times the capacity of traditional tapes and the equivalent of 3,700 Blu-rays.
It has been designed specifically for organisations that need to store large amounts of data.
Magnetic tapes with a coating of magnetic powder are currently used as the mainstream form of tape storage media — with a recording capacity of 2.5TB.
Previously, if companies wanted to increase this capacity, they’d need to use technology to shrink the size of the magnetic particles on which data is stored. This was tricky and expensive process, and isn’t cost effective.
Sony’s new tape consists of a soft magnetic underlayer with a smooth surface created using a vacuum thin film forming technique called sputter deposition.
Sputter deposition involves shooting argon ions onto polymer film to produce layers of extremely fine crystal particles in a uniform pattern.
By optimising the sputter technique, as well as developing the smooth, soft magnetic layer, Sony has made it possible to shrink the crystals while keeping their shape — increasing the recording density.