The zettabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. The prefix zetta indicates multiplication by the seventh power of 1000 or 1021 in the International System of Units (SI). A zettabyte is one sextillion (one long scale trilliard) bytes. The unit symbol is ZB.
- 1 ZB = 10007bytes = 1021bytes = 1000000000000000000000bytes = 1000 exabytes = 1 millionpetabytes = 1 billionterabytes = 1 trilliongigabytes.
A related unit, the zebibyte (ZiB), using a binary prefix, is equal to 10247bytes.
- GUID Partition Table (GPT) allows for a maximum disk and partition size of 7.02 zettabytes, or 5.946 zebibytes, when using 512-byte sectors.
- ZFS allows for a maximum storage capacity of 256 quadrillion zettabytes.
Comparisons for scale
- The combined space of all computer hard drives in the world was estimated at approximately 160 exabytes in 2006. As of 2009, the entire World Wide Web was estimated to contain close to 500 exabytes. This is one half zettabyte. This has increased rapidly however, as Seagate Technology reported selling a total capacity of 330 exabytes of hard drives during the 2011 Fiscal Year.
- In 2013, one expert estimated that the amount of data generated worldwide would reach 4 zettabytes by the end of that year.
- The world's technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks was 0.432 zettabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 0.715 in 1993, 1.2 in 2000, and 1.9 (optimally compressed) zettabytes in 2007 (this is the informational equivalent to every person on earth receiving 174 newspapers per day).
- According to International Data Corporation, the total amount of global data was expected to grow to 2.7 zettabytes during 2012. This is an increase of 48% from 2011.
- Mark Liberman calculated the storage requirements for all human speech ever spoken at 42 zettabytes if digitized as 16 kHz 16-bit audio. This was done in response to a popular expression that states "all words ever spoken by human beings" could be stored in approximately 5 exabytes of data (see exabyte for details). Liberman did freely confess that "maybe the authors [of the exabyte estimate] were thinking about text".
- Research from the University of Southern California reports that in 2007, humankind successfully sent 1.9 zettabytes of information through broadcast technology such as televisions and GPS.
- Research from the University of California, San Diego reports that in 2008, Americans consumed 3.6 zettabytes of information.
- 1 zettabyte is equivalent to 152 million years of high-definition video.
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