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Multiples of bytes
Value Metric
1000 kB kilobyte
10002 MB megabyte
10003 GB gigabyte
10004 TB terabyte
10005 PB petabyte
10006 EB exabyte
10007 ZB zettabyte
10008 YB yottabyte
1024 KiB kibibyte KB kilobyte
10242 MiB mebibyte MB megabyte
10243 GiB gibibyte GB gigabyte
10244 TiB tebibyte
10245 PiB pebibyte
10246 EiB exbibyte
10247 ZiB zebibyte
10248 YiB yobibyte

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.[1][2][3][4][5] The unit symbol is ZB.

1 ZB = 10007bytes = 1021bytes = 1000000000000000000000bytes = 1000exabytes = 1millionpetabytes = 1billionterabytes = 1trilliongigabytes.

A related unit, the zebibyte (ZiB), using a binary prefix, is equal to 10247bytes.

Usage examples[edit]

  • 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.[6][7]
  • ZFS allows for a maximum storage capacity of 256 quadrillion zettabytes.[8]

Comparisons for scale[edit]

  • The combined space of all computer hard drives in the world was estimated at approximately 160 exabytes in 2006.[9] As of 2009, the entire World Wide Web was estimated to contain close to 500 exabytes.[10] 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.[11]
  • In 2013, one expert estimated that the amount of data generated worldwide would reach 4 zettabytes by the end of that year.[12]
  • 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).[13][14]
  • 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.[15]
  • 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".[16]
  • 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.[17]
  • Research from the University of California, San Diego reports that in 2008, Americans consumed 3.6 zettabytes of information.[18]


  1. ^ Burton, Tom (2008-01-31). "Zettabyte flood predicted for 2015". 
  2. ^ Mearian, Lucas (2007-03-06). "A zettabyte by 2010: Corporate data grows fiftyfold in three years". Computerworld. 
  3. ^ Mearian, Lucas (2008-03-11). "Study: Digital universe and its impact bigger than we thought". Computerworld. 
  4. ^ "Internet Traffic to Reach a Zettabyte by 2015, Says Study". 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ Swanson, Bret; Gilder, George (2008-01-29). "The Impact of Video and Rich Media on the Internet: A ‘zettabyte’ by 2015?". Discovery Institute. 
  6. ^ "FAQ: Drive Partition Limits" (PDF). UEFI Forum. 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  7. ^ Roderick W. Smith (2012-07-03). "Make the most of large drives with GPT and Linux". IBM. Retrieved 2013-05-29. Disk pointers are 64 bits in size, meaning that GPT can handle disks of up to 512 x 264 bytes (8 zebibytes, or 8.6 billion TiB), assuming 512-byte sectors. 
  8. ^ "Oracle Solaris ZFS Administration Guide". Oracle Corporation. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ John F. Gantz (March 2007). "An IDC White Paper: The Expanding Digital Universe" (PDF). EMC. 
  10. ^ Richard Wray (2009-05-18). "Internet data heads for 500bn gigabytes". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ Douglas Perry (2011-07-22). "The Average HDD is Now 590 GB in Capacity". Tom's Hardware. 
  12. ^ Richard Currier (2013-06-21). "In 2013 the amount of data generated worldwide will reach four zettabytes". 
  13. ^ Martin Hilbert and Priscila López (2011-02-10). "The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information" (PDF). University of Vermont.  Vol. 332 no. 6025 pp. 60-65
  14. ^ Martin Hilbert (2011-06-11). "World_info_capacity_animation". YouTube. 
  15. ^ "IDC Predicts 2012 Will Be the Year of Mobile and Cloud Platform Wars as IT Vendors Vie for Leadership While the Industry Redefines Itself". IDC. 2011-12-01. 
  16. ^ Mark Liberman (2003-11-03). "Zettascale Linguistics". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  17. ^ Suzanne Wu (2011-02-10). "How Much Information Is There in the World?". University of Southern California. 
  18. ^ Roger E. Bohn & James E. Short (January 2010). "How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers" (PDF). University of California, San Diego. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zettabyte — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

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