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Names of large numbers (base 10 and base 2)

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    Names of large numbers (base 10 and base 2)

    We all know what a google is: 10^100 (A number of 101 digits).

    I came across the following article:
    Forget Blu-ray's 200 GB disc capacity. Say good bye to HD DVD's 1,024 GB (one Terabyte) storage capability. While you're at it you can cross out Hitachi-Maxell's 300GB holographic CD and InPhase's upcoming 1.6 TB rewritable optical disc.

    Why even the 50,000 GB DVD couldn't hold a candle to the new Rainbow Versatile Disc's (RVD) 123.60 Petabyte capacity. Actually you shouldn't hold a candle to the RVD because it's made out of paper.

    Yes, you read it right. It's made of paper and it holds 123.60 Petabytes of data.

    A petabyte is 2 to the 50th power, or 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes. That's a figure only Stephen Hawking's mind can comprehend without going into shock so don't push your luck. Currently, the largest hard drives are measured in terabytes so you can only reach petabyte territory when measuring storage space of multiple hard drives or other collections of data. Until now.
    One word reached out of this article to grab me in the tusch: Petabyte. We all know about kilobytes (10^3), megabytes (10^6), gigabytes (10^9), and even terabytes (10^12). What in the world is a petabyte? Well, according to this article, it is 2 to the 50th power or over 1 quadrillion bytes (10^15). In other words, a petabyte is a 1000 terabytes.

    This discussion brings up a question. Do you know the names of large numbers? For numbers that describe base 2 computer numbers, there are two sets of numbers. One is the base 10 number representing approximately the binary (base 2) numbers (Source)

    Kilobyte (Kb 10^3 bytes, 2^10) - kibibyte (KiB)
    Megabyte (Mb 10^6 bytes, 2^20) - mebibyte (MiB)
    Gigabyte (Gb 10^9 bytes, 2^30) - gibibyte (GiB)
    Terabyte (Tb 10^15 bytes, 2^40) - tebibyte (TiB)
    Petabyte (Pb 10^18 bytes, 2^50) - pebibyte (PiB)
    Exabyte (Eb 10^21 bytes, 2^60) - exbibyte (EiB)
    Zettabyte (Zb 10^24 bytes, 2^70) - zebibyte (ZiB)
    Yottabyte (Yb 10^27 bytes, 2^80) - yobibyte (YiB)

    To give an idea of how much a petabyte is,

    • All the contents of U.S. academic libraries can be stored in 2 petabytes of disk (Source).
    • Google is now estimated to have about 4 petabytes of RAM data storage capability (Source), in 450,000 machines. They are adding machines at the rate of 100K per quarter, with each machine holding 4-5Gb RAM in the past and most of the recent machines holding 8 Gb RAM.
    • On February 24, 2006, DataDirect Networks announced they will provide 1 petabyte of networked storage for Europe's fastest Supercomputer, Tera10, at Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique (Source).
    • As on 2005, Kaaza owned by Sharman Networks (Source) created by Niklas Zennström and Janus Fried (who invented Skype) and providing peer-to-peer filesharing to exchange MP3 music files, claims to be in the range of 54 petabytes.
    • CERN, during their bit particle experiments, can collect as much as 1 petabyte of data per second. Researchers at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center adds 2 terabytes of data per day to a 500 Tb database (Source).
    • Indiana University claims to have the largest university owned supercomputer and disk based storage of 1 petabyte.
    • Internet Archive is a digital online library hosted by a non-profit organization in California. It has 16 racks of 600 systems containing 2,500 spinning drives and 1.5 petabytes of stored data, maintained by 1.5 persons

    Here is a web-based calculator for converting the various units

    Last edited by Wise Young; 29 Nov 2006, 4:16 PM.

    What I find most interesting is the Indian student inventor of the RVD used geometric shapes for computing, instead of ones and zeros. Squares and triangles and circles are used with different colors to store the data in images.


    Indian student develops paper-based storage system

    November 25, 2006 at 2:19 pm

    A Kerala student claims to have invented an eco-friendly, paper-based storage system capable of compacting 90 to 450GB on a single disk, Arab News reports.

    Sainul Abideen, 24, of the Muslim Educational Society Engineering College, says the secret behind his “Rainbow Versatile Disc” (RVD) is that “instead of using zeroes and ones for computing, he used geometric shapes such as circles, squares and triangles for computing which combine with various colours and preserve the data in images”.

    This “Rainbow Format” data is then read by a scanner. In a demo at his college lab, Abideen demonstrated 432 pages of foolscap content compacted onto a four-inch-square piece of paper. The Arab News correspondent said he also saw a 45-second video clip read from ordinary paper.

    .....He’s also developing a SIM-card-sized Rainbow Data card for mobile phones capable of carrying 5GB. Thinking bigger, he moots the idea of a “databank with almost 123.60 Petabyte capacity...



    I don't know how far the petabyte RVD is in our future, but they're currently viewing videos read from paper, which is amazing.
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      rdf, there is some criticism of the claims of this invention, for example... Discussion in Reddit. In order to achieve the higher densities of data storage that are being claimed, i.e. 450 Gb on a surface area of a CD or a DVD disc, the new technology needs to be about 100 times more efficient that current DVD. The fact that it is paper is not so important. Presumably, all binary bit-coded signals can also be printed on paper.

      The above is the image that the inventor used to explain his technology.

      As pointed out by others, the key is having a printer and scanner that can produce and read microdots of various shapes and colors. However, even if one were to assume that each of the shapes with colors encoded 24 bits of information (as opposed to 1 bit) and the shapes are printed at 600 shapes per inch, this would have 360K shapes per square inch or 10 Mbit/square inch. If an average page in a book has 100 square inches, this comes to 1 Gb per page. A book of 1000 pages would hold a terabyte. Of course, if one were to increase the density of the print by 1000 fold, one would be able to have a petabyte.

      According to the news, Avideen demonstrated a 45-second video clip encoded on n A4 sheet of of paper and that he can put 90-450 Gb or 2.7 Gb per square inch (Source). An article in Ars Technica claims that a scanner that has a maximum resolution of 1200 dots per square inch will at best code 134 million dots on a standard sheet and even if the scanner were able to accurately detect 256 shades of color for each dot, the amount of stored data would about 100 Mb.

      According to a Techworld article, the general expert consensus is that this cannot be done with current paper printing or scanning technology. There is currently no paper scanning technology that has sufficient resolution and color range. Since paper distorts, may shrink and swell, it is not the best medium for such densely printed information. The article goes on to show both theoretically and practically that the claim of having discoverd a way to store many gigabytes of data per sheet of paper is simply wrong.

      I didn't want to pile on the criticism of the inventor but just to talk about petabytes. On the other hand, what the story shows clearly is that current printing and scanning technology is good enough to hold at least one Gibabyte per A4 sheet of paper. This alone presents an interesting possibility that one sheet of a book can contain the electronic (digital) image that would the entire book in pdf format.


      Other Indian scientists that have proposed competing technology
      Indian-born scientist developing coated DVD's that can make hard disks obsolete

      Sydney, Jul 8 (ANI): An Indian born scientist in the US is working on developing DVD's which can be coated with a light -sensitive protein and can store up to 50 terabytes (about 50,000 gigabytes) of data.

      Professor V Renugopalakrishnan of the Harvard Medical School in Boston has claimed to have developed a layer of protein made from tiny genetically altered microbe proteins which could store enough data to make computer hard disks almost obsolete.

      "What this will do eventually is eliminate the need for hard drive memory completely," ABC quoted Prof. Renugopalakrishnan, a BSc in Chemistry from Madras University and PhD in biophysics from Columbia/State University of New York, Buffalo, New York as saying.

      The light-activated protein is found in the membrane of a salt marsh microbe Halobacterium salinarum and is also known as bacteriorhodopsin (bR). It captures and stores sunlight to convert it to chemical energy. When light shines on bR, it is converted to a series of intermediate molecules each with a unique shape and colour before returning to its 'ground state'.
      Last edited by Wise Young; 29 Nov 2006, 9:04 PM.