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What's bigger than a petabyte? A zettabyte...

The zettabyte - zet to define a new level of digital output
The zettabyte - zet to define a new level of digital output

As if geek lexicon wasn't convoluted enough already, research about the amount of data we're consuming has forced the use of a new term: the zettabyte.

Tech research and consultancy firm IDC has been looking into the amount of information the human race is outputting digitally, showing that we've outputted 8 million petabytes of information onto the web so far - the equivalent of 8,000,000,000,000 GB.

And given the rate at which we're sharing video, tweeting, uploading photos etc, that number will soon cross into unheard of territory: 1.2 zettabytes of information, or 12,000,000 PB.

It's all about the facts

Adrian MacDonald, VP of EMC that sponsored the survey, said: "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."

We're (or a certain member of our team is) putting forward our claims for the next unit of measurement: the gazzabyte. Has a certain ring to it - better than a yottabyte anyway...

Via the Telegraph

Gareth Beavis

Global Editor-in-Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.