The “Yottabyte Era” of data storage: may ceramics be the key?
In a nutshell, a German technology start-up has made some impressive claims about its new storage solution. Using ceramic “nano layers” as building blocks, this novel storage medium appears to outperform all that has come before it.
Cerabyte will demonstrate the operation of their Ceramic Nano Memory technology at the upcoming Storage Developer Conference in Fremont, California. Meanwhile, Cerabyte founder Christian Pflaum’s quick introduction is already making waves for its bombastic boasts of a historic breakthrough in the data storage sector.
Ceramic Nano Memory is intended to solve datacenter “density, performance, and access paradigms,” as well as cost and sustainability needs, according to Pflaum. The new technique will usher in the “Yottabyte Era,” in which a yottabyte equals 1,000 billion terabytes, by employing ceramic nano layers 50-100 atoms thick. Ceramics are inorganic materials with high heat and corrosion resistance that have been utilized by humans for at least 26,000 years.
Cerabyte now intends to use ceramics’ exceptional properties to store data that is resistant to “most data storage media threats.” According to the business, data is written and read using laser or “particle beams,” with bits arranged in QR code-like matrices. Cerabyte already has its own roadmap for the technology, which is expected to scale from 100 nm to 3 nm bit sizes or from GB/cm2 to TB/cm2 class areal density.
Ceramic Nano Memory claims to cut the total cost of ownership (TCO) by 75% in data centers because it doesn’t need to replace media, uses “no energy,” and doesn’t need to move data. Cerabyte’s ceramic-based memory is a storage system that can last more than 5,000 years and can handle temperatures from -273° C (like outer space) to 300° C (like an oven). It can be used for archives, cloud businesses, or entertainment.
Ceramic Nano Memory-based storage options will first be available as “CeraMemory” cartridges within the next seven years, according to Cerabyte. These cartridges will offer ranges of 10 petabytes to 100 PB. The company says that by 2030–2035, a better version of “CeraTape” will be able to store 1 exabyte of data. Writing and reading speeds will be in the “GB/s class” with particle beam arrays.
In his short talk, Pflaum said that the need to store data is growing at an exponential rate and that most of this data is “cold” after one month. Then, data about science, business, and users is kept for decades and almost never deleted. The digital world seems to need a new way to store data that is safe, reliable, and cheap to handle. The 2023 Storage Developer Conference, which will take place from September 18 to 21, is where we hope to learn more about how Ceramic Nano Memory really works.