Cerabyte roadmaps ceramic nano-memory storage

German startup Cerabyte says its ceramic-based storage technology will enable 100 petabyte archives using cartridges and 1 exabyte ones using ceramic tape.

Update: Cartridge points added; 4 Sep 2023. Cartridge data carrier details added; 6 Sep 2023.

Christian Pflaum

Co-founder and CEO Christian Pflaum will present some details about its ceramic nano-memory technology at the 2023 Storage Developer Conference in Fremont, California, September 18 to 21.  We have seen his session abstract and it is an informative read.

He will introduce storage technology based on inorganic nano layers using ceramics that are 50-100 atoms thick to store information protected against most data storage media threats: fire, flood, electrical surges, etc. 

Data can be written and read using laser or particle beams, structuring the information in data matrices, in a similar way to QR-codes (quick-response codes); two-dimensional, machine-readable, optical bar codes. 

Cerebyte says volumetric data density mainly scales with the thickness of the substrate, which can be 100-300 µm thick glass sheets, or 5 µm thick tapes coated with 10 nm thick ceramic coating.

The technology roadmap is projected to scale from 100 nm to 3 nm bit sizes, corresponding to areal densities of GB/cm2 to TB/cm2 class. Data reading is achieved with high-resolution microscopic imaging techniques for optical read, or electron beam microscopy for structures below the optic diffraction limit. 

Cerebyte told us this about the shape of the media inside the cartridge: “The data carriers are square-shaped, single accessible sheets, stacked in the cartridge, both sides are ceramic-coated, and the data is written in the form of holes/ no holes (zeros & ones) into the ceramic layer; quasi-punched cards in nano-scale.”

Laser beam matrices will enable datacenter rack storage densities scaling from initial 10 PB systems to 100 PB using CeraMemory cartridges (2025-30) and 1 EB using CeraTape (2030-2035). Particle beam matrices will enable further scaling. 

GBps class read speeds will be enabled by high-speed image sensors in combination with advanced robotics access. Read times are in the seconds-class domain down to a few seconds for performance-optimized Ceramic Nano Memory systems. 

Cerabyte says its Ceramic Nano Memory can also enable writing of data at GB/s class speed providing for fast data ingest for datacenter rack-based systems. It claims it can write up to 2,000,000 bits with one laser pulse.

Cerebyte graphic. Note the written QR-code-type data on the left of the light beam

Particle beam writing on tape could achieve TB/mm3 class density, it claims, exceeding the storage density of all commercially available storage solutions today by an order of magnitude. 

The cost roadmap is expected to offer cost structures below projections of current commercial storage technologies. 

It says the media is fully recyclable, and has low power write and read access as well as high media longevity. That means Ceramic Nano Memory has a strong sustainability value proposition. 

In summary, Cerebyte says its Nano Memory is poised to address the density, performance and access paradigms as well as cost and sustainability demands of datacenters, offering a scaling path to the Yottabyte Era.


Cerabyte says it has already established partnerships with what it calls major players in relevant manufacturing areas.

Spectra Logic has just announced its Tfinity tape Libraries can scale to 2.5 EB raw data capacity using IBM TS1770 tapes with their 50TB JF tape media. That could increase threefold using compression.

The statement that volumetric data density “mainly scales with the thickness of the substrate” could mean that read and write devices will have to have sophisticated technology to write and then read data at the right depth and location in the media. It is not easy. Developing such technology put paid to holographic storage.

However, Cerebyte tells us: “Using separately accessible thin sheets overcomes the difficulties of reading through many layers into the depth.” And so it would.

Check out Cerebyte’s website for background information.