Deborah D. McAdams /
Sony Develops Super Dense Data Tape
Capacity said to 185 TB per cartridge
TOKYO—Sony said it has developed a super-dense data tape capable of recording more than 185 terabytes per cartridge. The tape, tested in conjunction with IBM, will be introduced at the INTERMAG Europe 2014 international magnetics
conference to be held in Dresden, Germany beginning May 4.
Sony said its new tape has the highest areal density of any available on the market at 148 Gb per square inch, about 74 times that of an LTO-6 Ultrium cartridge.
It said LTO-6 high-end LTO Ultrium format
data cartridges have an areal recording density of
approximately 2 Gb/in2, with a total recording capacity of 2.5 TB uncompressed.
Sony said it achieved this by “independently developing a soft magnetic
underlayer with a smooth interface using sputter deposition,” a form of
thin-film deposition in which electrostatic discharge is used to force
argon ions to collide with the material. The materials generated from
the collision become the thin layer deposited on the substrate. In this
way, Sony created what it’s calling a “nano-grained” magnetic layer
“with fine magnetic particles and uniform crystalline orientation.” The electronics giant said a coating of magnetic powder measuring tens of
nanometers is considered
mainstream for tape storage media.
Sony explained its methodology for creating this nano-grained layer measuring less than 5 micrometers: “Until now, when the sputter method was used to deposit a
thin film of fine magnetic particles on a polymer film, roughness on the
surface of the soft magnetic underlayer caused the orientation of the
crystals in the underlayer above it to become non-uniform. This in turn
caused non-uniform crystalline orientation and variations in the size of
the magnetic particles (grain) in the nano-grained magnetic layer
directly above the underlayer, and prevented increases in recording
“By optimizing sputter conditions and independently developing
a soft magnetic underlayer with a smooth interface, Sony has made it
possible to minimize disparities in crystalline length and growth. This
enabled Sony to create a nano-grained magnetic layer composed of fine
magnetic particles with an average size of 7.7 nm.”