Data storage

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RNA is an ancient storage medium.[1]
Various electronic storage devices
Edison cylinder phonograph c. 1899. The phonograph cylinder is a storage medium. The phonograph may be considered a storage device.
On a reel-to-reel tape recorder (Sony TC-630), the recorder is data storage equipment and the magnetic tape is a data storage medium.

Data storage is the recording (storing) of information (data). Recording is accomplished by virtually any form of energy.

DNA and RNA, handwriting, phonographic recording, magnetic tape, and optical discs are all examples of storage media. Electronic data storage requires electrical power to store and retrieve data. Data storage in a digital, machine-readable medium is sometimes called digital data. Computer data storage is one of the core functions of a general purpose computer.

Electronic documents can be stored in a much less space than paper documents.[2] Barcodes and magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) are two ways of recording machine-readable data on paper.

Digital media[edit]

A study published in 2011 estimated that the world's technological capacity to store information in analog and digital devices grew from less than three (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1986, to 295 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007,[3] and doubles roughly every three years.[4]

It is estimated[by whom?] that the year 2002 marked the beginning of the digital age for information storage, the year that marked the date when human kind started to store more information digitally than on analog storage devices.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gilbert, Walter (Feb 1986). "The RNA World". Nature. 319 (6055): 618. Bibcode:1986Natur.319..618G. doi:10.1038/319618a0. 
  2. ^ Rotenstreich, Shmuel. "The Difference between Electronic and Paper Documents" (PDF). The George Washington University. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Hilbert, Martin; López, Priscila (2011). "The World's Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information". Science. 332 (6025): 60–65. PMID 21310967. doi:10.1126/science.1200970. ; free access to the article through here:
  4. ^ "video animation on The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information from 1986 to 2010

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]