NANOCUBIC™: Overview

A new era in data storage was ushered in recently when IBM began shipments of TotalStorage Enterprise Tape Cartridge 3592, the very first product to incorporate Fujifilm’s groundbreaking NANOCUBIC technology.

Nanocubic Technology Construction

This is not the first time that a Fujifilm storage technology has been responsible for an industry breakthrough. More than a decade ago, Fujifilm developed ATOMM (an acronym for Advanced super Thin layer and high Output Metal Media) technology to significantly enhance high-density recording. In concert with Iomega Corporation, Fujifilm’s ATOMM led to the development of the Zip storage system. This was an unprecedented achievement which brought disk capacity from 1.44MB to 100MB and then eventually 750MB, launching an entirely new category of product in data storage: the high-capacity floppy disk. Fujifilm also worked with Quantum Corporation to develop DLTtape IV, the wildly successful backup tape solution that quickly became an industry standard. And Fujifilm was able to bring the world’s first high-definition videotape (W-VHS) to the market thanks to ATOMM technology.

Building upon the accomplishments of ATOMM, Fujifilm has further solidified its position as a storage innovator with NANOCUBIC technology. NANOCUBIC is an entirely new coating technology that makes magnetic recording layers ten times thinner than the super high resolution of ATOMM technology. Imagine one data cartridge, small enough to fit into a shirt pocket, being able to store the equivalent of 200 two-hour movies, 50,000 trees made into paper, 100,000,000 web pages or all the X-ray films in a large hospital! NANOCUBIC technology makes this possible.

Nanocubic Technology Tape Coating

There is a huge demand for the type of capacity enabled by NANOCUBIC from customers in fields such as life sciences and digital media industries that are overwhelmed by the petabytes of data (a petabyte is equivalent to 20 million four-drawer filing cabinets full of text) that digital images create. Just one example of an industry that is seeing remarkable information growth is medical imaging. The IT opportunity in this industry alone is estimated at $5 to $10 billion, growing annually at 15 percent CAGR (Frost & Sullivan).

From ATOMM to NANOCUBIC, Fujifilm is enabling all types of business applications through tape technology-today you’ll find tape just about anywhere you find information stored electronically. Bank teller transactions are recorded on tape to provide a permanent record for auditors; the U.S. Census Bureau stores its data on tape; insurance companies store policyholder data on tape; NASA stores space flight data on tape… even U.S. Social Security data is stored on tape.

NANOCUBIC technology will make unprecedented advances in all of these areas, as well as in Disaster Recovery implementations-a very hot topic right now. More and more companies today are seeing the need to protect business critical data and to implement disaster recovery solutions. Seventy percent of companies go out of business after a major data loss (Source: DTI). Fujifilm is addressing this need. Tape is the media of choice for backing up data in case of system failures, and NANOCUBIC technology will make this much more feasible and easily deployable for businesses of all sizes.

In addition to the IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Tape Cartridge 3592, Fujifilm is also in league with Iomega to provide a 1.5GB disk to be used as a digital capture technology platform device for future digital entertainment products. In addition, StorageTek, a leading tape drive developer for the enterprise tape market, recently announced that it will partner with Fujifilm to utilize NANOCUBIC technology to help develop that company’s next generation of enterprise-class tape drives. And that’s just the beginning. Fujifilm will be shaping the data storage industry for years to come. In addition to mini-storage and enterprise tape, applications in development include: magnetic storage tape, both for helical scan and linear recording formats; high-capacity floppy disks; and high-definition, long-duration digital video tape for broadcast and home use.

Considering Fujifilm’s history in storage innovation, it is no surprise that this revolutionary technology is bringing about the next wave in data storage. The extraordinary capacities and levels of performance that can be achieved through the breakthrough in NANOCUBIC technology come at a time when the corporate demand for data storage solutions seems insatiable. Who knows what’s next on the horizon from Fujifilm?