Is Ceramic the Solution to Usher in the “Yottabyte Era” of Storage?
In summary: A German technology start-up has made some impressive statements about its new storage solution. Using “nano-layers” of ceramic as building blocks, this innovative storage medium will seemingly make everything that came before it look insignificant.
Cerabyte will demonstrate how its Ceramic Nano Memory technology works during the next 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.
Ceramic Nano Memory is designed to address the “paradigms of density, performance, and access,” as well as the cost and sustainability demands of data centers, said Pflaum. The new technology will take storage to the “Yottabyte Era,” where a yottabyte is equal to 1,000 billion terabytes, using nano-layers of ceramic that are 50-100 atoms thick. Ceramic is an inorganic material that can resist 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 mediums.” Data is written and read with lasers or “particle beams,” says the company, with bits structured in arrays similar to QR codes. Cerabyte already has its own roadmap for the technology, which has projections to scale from bit sizes of 100 nm to 3 nm or to an aerial density class of GB/cm2 to TB/cm2.
Ceramic Nano Memory promises a 75% reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO) in data centers, as the technology does not require media replacement, “no energy,” and no data migration. For archives, 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, going from conditions similar to space (-273°C) to ovens (300°C).
Storage solutions based on Ceramic Nano Memory technology will first come to the market in the next seven years as “CeraMemory” cartridges, offering ranges from 10 petabytes to 100 petabytes, as Cerabyte claims. Between 2030 and 2035, the company promises an enhanced solution called “CeraTape” that will offer a storage capacity of 1 exabyte. Arrays of particle beams “will allow for greater scalability” of storage density, while the write and read speeds will be in the class of “GB/s”.
The demand for data storage continues to grow exponentially, Pflaum stated in his brief presentation, with most of this data becoming “cold” after a month. Scientific, business, and user data are then kept for decades and are almost never deleted, and the digital world seemingly needs a new storage solution that is secure, reliable, and low-cost to manage. Details about how Ceramic Nano Memory actually works will hopefully be presented during the Storage Developers Conference of 2023, which is scheduled to take place from September 18 to 21.