Sony Crams 185TB of Data on One Cassette Tape

First there was VHS. Then, there was Betamax (which lost to VHS). Then, there was LaserDisc. Then along came DVDs, which have slowly been giving way to Blu-ray. Now, there is the cassette tape.

Wait, what? We went backwards in time and also jumped from video formats to a format associated with music.

As crazy as it sounds, the geniuses over at Sony have figured out a way to store 185 terabytes of data on a single cassette tape. It uses a technology called sputter deposition in which – get ready for your eyes to cross – layers of magnetic crystals fire argon ions at a polymer film substrate. You follow? No? That’s okay, I don’t either.

The important thing to note is that 185 terabytes of data is a lot of data. As BGR points out, that’s the storage capacity of about 3,700 Blu-rays, all on one cassette tape. And to think, we used to waste them making mix tapes.

This technology has a long way to go before it finds itself in consumer hands. Sony has to find a way to take that magnetic tape and deliver it in a more practical package, but rest assured that they’re currently brainstorming a way to do just that.


With cloud storage taking off the way it is, it’s interesting to see Sony still working on hardware-based storage solutions. There’s no reason that the two can’t work in conjunction. It would be nice to carry around every bit of data you could ever need (and I mean ever) on something that can fit in your pocket.

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