Tape drives were invented over 60 years ago and were traditionally used for archiving tax documents and health care records. IBM’s first tape unit used reels of half-inch-wide tape that could only hold about 2 megabytes.
In order for researchers to achieve the 201 gigabits per square inch, IBM researchers had to develop several new technologies. IBM worked closely with Sony for several years, particularly on enabling increased areal recording densities. “The results of this collaboration have led to various improvements in the media technology, such as advanced roll-to-roll technology for long sputtered tape fabrication and better lubricant technology, which stabilizes the functionality of the magnetic tape.”
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