This week, during the International Magnetics Conference in Dresden, Sony revealed a new project they’ve been working on which pushes an old medium to places unimaginably new. Using a new technique, the company has developed a cassette tape that can hold 148 gigabytes per square inch. Which means one inch of this tape holds more data than an entire Bluray disc. A full cassette could hold up to 185 terabytes, which is an amount so enormous it’s difficult to even realistically imagine (I mean, that’s over 180,000 gigs). explained a little bit about the process by which Sony created this record breaking storage amount:

Sony employed the use of sputter deposition, which creates layers of magnetic crystals by firing argon ions at a polymer film substrate. Combined with a soft magnetic under-layer, the magnetic particles measured in at just 7.7 nanometers on average, able to be closely packed together.

Sony has announced plans to go commercial with the tape and continue experimenting and pushing the development technique further. While this is really incredible, and there’s the potential for some beneficial applications, don’t jump on this being an iPod-killer or some grand step forward in music, movie, or video game storage. As ExtremeTech points out, the read and write times for tape are still extremely bad and have always been better suited to being a space for data backup. So we’re not taking the first steps toward a retro-futurist utopia, but nonetheless the potential for this is impressive.

Comments (7)
  1. I remember learning years ago that magnetic (analog) tape could hold digital data just like a hard drive or a CD, and having my mind blown. Like, just the fact that it is even possible. (Of course, computer data was stored on tape for years before the advent of discs and whatnot.) Well, with this news, my mind is blown 1,099,511,627,776 times that.

  2. ::Neil Young grumbles silently as he takes a bite from a Toblerone bar::

  3. I keep seeing this news-byte posted with an image of a music cassette tape, which is misleading. This development is almost entirely in the data-storage space, and will likely be used in a format more like an LTO cartridge.

    Basically, don’t expect your next high-end stereo to have a tape player, unless you’re into that retro-thing.

  4. Get your pencils ready cause when shit hit’s the fan you’re going to need a way to recover your precious MP3s and all the seasons of X-Files.

  5. This is incredible! It will be interesting to see how using old technology to offer consumers more storage space will do in the market. Ronn Torossian speaks on Sony’s unique PR strategy and if it will be a PR bust on 5WPR

  6. It’s realy wonderful to know this.Cassettes are very good medium for the data storage.i am a fan of old sony audio cassettes.If this type of technology comes,then ,nothing like it..!!!!!!!!!
    My best wishes to ‘SONY’

    Thnks a lot

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