A yottabyte is a unit of data that is equal to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. That’s a lot of data! In fact, it’s so much data that we’ve only ever generated about one yottabyte of data in the entire history of the world. But what does that actually mean? Let’s break it down.
How Much Data Is There in the World?
A yottabyte is a unit of measure that equals one septillion bytes—or one trillion gigabytes—of data. To put that into perspective, if you were to take all the digital data that has been created in the last year and compress it into a single file, that file would be about one zettabyte in size. And a zettabyte is only one-thousandth the size of a yottabyte!
In other words, there is a LOT of data being generated every day. In fact, every minute of every day, we collectively create more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data! And all of that data has to be stored somewhere.
How Much Data Can You Store on a Yottabyte Drive?
Theoretically, you could store every movie ever made on a yottabyte drive—and then some! If each movie averaged out to be about 5 gigabytes in size, you could fit 200 million movies onto a single yottabyte drive. That would be enough movies to keep you entertained for centuries!
Of course, movies are just one type of data. You could also use a yottabyte drive to store every photo ever taken (estimated at around 3 trillion), every email ever sent (more than 200 billion per day), and every website on the internet (more than 1 billion). In short, if you had a yottabyte drive, you would never run out of space!
What is after a yottabyte?
According to the International System of Units (SI), the answer is a brontobyte.
As you might expect, a brontobyte is a unit of data that is larger than a yottabyte. In fact, it is so large that it is almost impossible to comprehend. To put it into perspective, a brontobyte is approximately equal to 30,000,000,000,000,000,000 gigabytes. In other words, it would take over 3 billion years to download a single brontobyte of data using today’s technology.
So what is after a brontobyte? The answer is still unknown. The SI does not currently have a unit of measurement that is larger than a brontobyte. However, scientists have proposed the names “geopbyte” and “hellocbyte” for units of data that are even larger than a brontobyte. But for now, the brontobyte remains the largest unit of data that we can measure. A yottabyte is an unimaginably large unit of data. In fact, we’ve only ever generated about one yottabyte of data in the entire history of the world!
A yottabyte drive could theoretically store every movie ever made, every photo ever taken, and every website on the internet—and still have room to spare. So what are you waiting for? Start generating some data!