Sony Corp. said Wednesday it has developed a new type of magnetic tape that can record 20 times more data than previously possible, a technology that could be useful as the spread of cloud computing and artificial intelligence call for more memory space and a dependable way to preserve data.
The technology, developed in collaboration with IBM Research's Zurich laboratory, can store approximately 330 terabytes -- roughly equal to data used for 80,000 movies -- per cartridge compared with 15 terabytes on conventional magnetic tapes.
Sony is looking to commercialize the technology soon but has not announced when it plans to do so.
Magnetic tapes, once common in households as videotapes and audiotapes, have seen a resurgence in recent years as a low-cost and low-energy alternative to store data over long periods.
Sony's new magnetic tapes use a special lubricant that allows them to travel smoothly across the head that reads and writes the data, a feature that is key to achieving high capacity. IBM Research developed the head, servo control technology and signal-processing algorithms.