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Multiples of bytes
as defined by IEC 60027-2
SI prefix Binary prefixes
Name Symbol Multiple Name Symbol Multiple
kilobyte kB 103 (or 210) kibibyte KiB 210
megabyte MB 106 (or 220) mebibyte MiB 220
gigabyte GB 109 (or 230) gibibyte GiB 230
terabyte TB 1012 (or 240) tebibyte TiB 240
petabyte PB 1015 (or 250) pebibyte PiB 250
exabyte EB 1018 (or 260) exbibyte EiB 260
zettabyte ZB 1021 (or 270)
yottabyte YB 1024 (or 280)

A petabyte (derived from the SI prefix peta- ) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to one quadrillion (one long scale billiard) bytes. It is commonly abbreviated PB.

Because of irregularities in using the binary prefix in the definition and usage of the kilobyte, the exact number in common practice could be either one of the following:

  • 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes — 10005, or 1015.
  • 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes — 10245, or 250. This capacity may be expressed unambiguously as a pebibyte.

Petabytes in use

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) in the USA has a 1 petabyte hard disk store and a 6 petabyte robotic tape store, both attached to the National Science Foundation's TeraGrid network. (Source: Electronics Weekly, December 11, 2002)

The Internet Archive Wayback Machine contains approximately 1 petabyte of data and is currently growing at a rate of 20 terabytes per month. (Source: Internet Archive FAQ) The Internet Archive also acquired an additional 1.5 petabytes of space on June 22, 2005 [1].

NOB Cross media facilities in the Netherlands employs a 1.5 petabyte storage network for the storage of all old and new public television and radio content in digital format. Within the next year, most Dutch public television content will be pulled directly out of this database during broadcast.

Reportedly, Google has between 1.8 and 5 petabytes of storage.

As of 15 October 2005, 3:50pm, all the files being shared on Kazaa total around 54 petabytes.

In the science-fiction TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, the android Data was built with an ultimate storage capacity of 800 quadrillion bits, or approximately 88 petabytes.

See also

External links