Is Ceramic the Solution to Usher in the «Yottabyte Era» of Storage?
In summary: A German technology start-up has made some impressive claims about its new storage solution. Using «nano-layers» of ceramic as building blocks, this innovative storage medium will apparently make everything that came before it seem insignificant.
Cerabyte will demonstrate how its Nano Ceramic Memory technology works at the upcoming Storage Developers Conference in Fremont, California. Meanwhile, the brief introduction posted by Cerabyte’s founder, Christian Pflaum, is already making an impact with its grand promises about an unprecedented breakthrough in the data storage market.
Nano Ceramic Memory is designed to address the «density, performance, and access paradigms,» as well as cost and sustainability demands of data centers, said Pflaum. The new technology will take storage into the «Yottabyte Era,» where one yottabyte is equal to 1,000 billion terabytes, using nano-layers of ceramic 50-100 atoms thick. Ceramic is an inorganic material that can withstand heat and corrosion and has been used by humans for at least 26,000 years.
Now, Cerabyte wants to exploit the exceptional qualities of ceramic to store information that can be protected against «most threats to data storage media.» The data is written and read using lasers or «particle beams,» the company claims, with bits structured in arrays similar to QR codes. Cerabyte already has its own roadmap for the technology, projecting to scale from bit sizes of 100 nm to 3 nm or to an aerial density of GB/cm2 to TB/cm2.
Nano Ceramic Memory promises a 75% reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO) in data centers, as the technology requires no media replacement, «zero energy,» and no data migration. For files, cloud companies, or entertainment, the ceramic-based memory offered by Cerabyte is a storage solution that can last for more than 5,000 years and withstand extreme temperature ranges, from space-like conditions (-273°C) to furnaces (300°C).
Storage solutions based on Nano Ceramic Memory technology will first hit the market in the next seven years as «CeraMemory» cartridges, offering ranges from 10 petabytes to 100 petabytes, Cerabyte claims. Between 2030 and 2035, the company promises an enhanced solution called «CeraTape» that will offer storage capacities of 1 exabyte. Particle beam arrays «will allow for greater scalability» in storage density, while read and write speeds will be in the «GB/s» class.
The demand for data storage continues to grow exponentially, Pflaum stated in his brief presentation, with most of this data becoming «cold» after one month. Scientific, business, and user data are then stored for decades and are almost never deleted, and the digital world seemingly needs a new, secure, reliable, and low-cost storage solution to manage it. Details about how Nano Ceramic Memory actually works will hopefully be presented during the 2023 Storage Developers Conference, which is scheduled to take place from September 18 to 21.