Stupid hipster 80s fetishism notwithstanding, cassette tapes don't get much love. That's a shame, because magnetic tape is still a surprisingly robust way to back up data. Especially now: Sony just unveiled tape that holds a whopping 148 GB per square inch, meaning a cassette could hold 185 TB of data. Prepare for the mixtape to end all mixtapes.
Sony's technique, which will be discussed at today's International Magnetics Conference in Dresden, uses a vacuum-forming technique called sputter deposition to create a layer of magnetic crystals by shooting argon ions at a polymer film substrate. The crystals, measuring just 7.7 nanometres on average, pack together more densely than any other previous method.
The result: three Blu-Rays' worth of data can fit on one square inch of Sony's new wonder-tape.
Naturally, that kind of memory isn't going to go in the cassette deck on your ancient boom box any time soon. Sony developed the technology for long-term, industrial-sized data backup, a field where tape's slow write times and the time it takes to scroll through yards and yards of tape to find a single file aren't crippling problems.
Sony wouldn't say when or if this new type of tape is expected to hit the market, but when it does, it'll be a victory for the old school. [ExtremeTech]
Image: Shutterstock /Giuliano Coman