Zettabytes overtake petabytes to become largest digital measurement unit

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London, May 4 (ANI): It's goodbye petabytes and hello zettabytes - courtesy the tremendous growth of the "digital universe".

At the moment, the total digital output of humanity stands at 8,000,000 petabytes. But owing to explosion of social networking, online video, digital photography and mobile phones, it is expected to pass 1.2 zettabytes this year, according to estimates.

One zettabyte is equal to one million petabytes, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual bytes.

This amount of digital content, which can be either generated or stored, is equivalent to all the information that could be stored on 75bn Apple iPads, or generated by everyone in the world posting messages on the micro-blogging site Twitter constantly for a century.

The latest figures were released in the annual survey of the world's digital output by IDC, the technology consultancy. According to the survey, the digital universe is forecast to expand by a factor of 44 over the next decade.

"There has been mammoth growth in the types of media that make up the digital universe.

"A huge increase in video and digital photography - in the old days people would take one photograph, now they can knock off 20 photos and rather than store just one, people store all 20. Then there is the fact that the number of devices where information can be generated and stored has also increased," The Telegraph quoted Adrian MacDonald as saying. He is the vice president of EMC, the IT firm that sponsors the survey. (ANI)

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