|Orders of magnitude of data|
The yottabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. The prefix yotta indicates the eighth power of 1000 and means 1024 in the International System of Units (SI), and therefore one yottabyte is one septillion (one long scale quadrillion) bytes. The unit symbol for the yottabyte is YB.
As part of the Global Information Grid and Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative, the US National Security Agency (NSA) is building a $2 billion Utah Data Center facility to process (not store) yottabytes of information.
To store a yottabyte on terabyte-size hard drives would require ten billion city block size data-centers, as big as the states of Delaware and Rhode Island. If 64 GB microSDXC cards (the most compact data storage medium available to the public as of early 2013) were used instead, the total volume would be approximately 2500000 cubic meters, or the volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Alternatively, using recently demonstrated DNA as storage media, one yottabyte would require a volume between 0.003 and one cubic meter, depending on number of redundant backup copies desired. ("Our genetic code packs billions of gigabytes into a single gram"). DNA is much less mature technology than microSDXC cards (for this application) and accompanied by uncertain costs, but this gives a feeling for potential information density.
Announced by US president Obama in April 2013, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, with $100 million in initial funding, "could eventually entail yottabytes of data".
- James Bamford (15-Mar-2012). "The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)". Wired.
- Dowd, NYTimes: "Creeping Cloud", 28 Sep 2013
- Jesus Diaz (7-Jun-2010). "The One Hundred Trillion Dollars Hard Drive". Gizmodo. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- "New DNA Hard Drives Can Store Entire Library of Congress in a Single Molecule". August 20, 2012.
- "Yottabyte DNA. Database of the New Age". August 17, 2012.
- John Foley (21-Jun-2013). "As Big Data Explodes, Are You Ready For Yottabytes?". Forbes.