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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Which byte size unit is the largest?

Which byte size unit is the largest?

  • Zettabyte
  • Terabyte
  • Petabyte
  • Yottabyte


Yottabyte is equal to 10^24 bytes.

The Byte

The byte is composed of eight bits.

  • 0.1 bytes: A binary decision
  • 1 byte: A single character
  • 10 bytes: A single word
  • 100 bytes: A telegram OR A punched card

Kilobyte (1024 Bytes)

  • 1 Kilobyte: A very short story
  • 2 Kilobytes: A Typewritten page
  • 10 Kilobytes: An encyclopaedic page OR A deck of punched cards
  • 50 Kilobytes: A compressed document image page
  • 100 Kilobytes: A low-resolution photograph
  • 200 Kilobytes: A box of punched cards
  • 500 Kilobytes: A very heavy box of punched cards

Megabyte (1024 Kilobytes)

  • 1 Megabyte: 4 books (873 pages of plain text) OR A 3.5-inch floppy disk
  • 2 Megabytes: A high-resolution photograph
  • 5 Megabytes: The complete works of Shakespeare OR 30 seconds of TV-quality video
  • 10 Megabytes: A minute of high-fidelity sound OR A digital chest X-ray
  • 20 Megabytes: A box of floppy disks
  • 50 Megabytes: A digital mammogram
  • 100 Megabytes: 1 meter of shelved books OR A two-volume encyclopedic book
  • 200 Megabytes: A reel of 9-track tape OR An IBM 3480 cartridge tape
  • 500 Megabytes: A CD-ROM OR The hard disk of a PC

Gigabyte (1,024 Megabytes, or 1,048,576 Kilobytes)

  • 1 Gigabyte: A pickup truck filled with paper OR A symphony in high-fidelity sound OR A movie at TV quality. 1 Gigabyte could hold the contents of about 10 yards of books on a shelf.
  • 2 Gigabytes: 20 meters of shelved books
  • 5 Gigabytes: An 8mm Exabyte tape
  • 20 Gigabytes: A high-quality audio collection of the works of Beethoven OR A VHS tape used for digital data
  • 50 Gigabytes: A floor of books OR Hundreds of 9-track tapes
  • 100 Gigabytes: A floor of academic journals OR A large ID-1 digital tapes.

Terabyte (1,024 Gigabytes)

  • 1 Terabyte: An automated tape robot OR All the X-ray films in a large technological hospital OR 50,000 trees made into paper and printed.
  • 1 Terabyte: 1,613 650MB CDs or 4,581,298 books.
  • 1 Terabyte: 1,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
  • 2 Terabytes: An academic research library OR A cabinet full of Exabyte tapes
  • 10 Terabytes: The printed collection of the US Library of Congress

Petabyte  (1,024 Terabytes, or 1,048,576 Gigabytes)

  • 1 Petabyte: 5 years of Earth Observing System (EOS) (at 46 mbps)
  • 1 Petabyte: 20 million 4-door filing cabinets full of text or 500 billion pages of standard printed text.
  • 2 Petabytes: All US academic research libraries.
  • 20 Petabytes: Production of hard-disk drives in 1995
  • 200 Petabytes: All printed material ever OR Production of digital magnetic tape in 1995

Exabyte (1,024 Petabytes)

  • An exabyte of data is created on the Internet each day in 2012 or 250 million DVDs worth of information.
  • 5 Exabytes: All words ever spoken by human beings.

Zettabyte (1,024 Exabytes)

Yottabyte (1,204 Zettabytes, or 1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 bytes)

  • It’s equal to one septillion (1024) or, strictly, 280 bytes.
  • Its name comes from the prefix ‘Yotta’ derived from the Ancient Greek οκτώ (októ), meaning “eight”, because it is equal to 1,0008
  • In 2010, it would have cost $100 trillion to make a yottabyte storage system made out of the day’s hard drives.
After ‘Yotta’, the officially recognized prefix system comes to a halt, likely because humans haven’t had the need to work with larger quantities of… anything really. There are some other measurement units, however, which go well beyond the Yotta and which are recognized by some experts in their fields. For instance, the brontobyte is 1 followed by 27 zeros and some believe will be the scale of data enabled by the internet of things (smart devices from toasters to fridges to home sensors that constantly transmit and receive data). Gegobyte is 10 to the power 30, which by now is futile to count in DVDs or anything like it.


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