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A zettabyte (symbol ZB, derived from the SI prefix zetta-) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to one sextillion (one long scale trilliard) bytes.[1][2][3][4]

  • 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes = 10007, or 1021.

The term "zebibyte" (ZiB), using a binary prefix, is used for the corresponding power of 1024.

Comparisons for scale

A zettabyte is equal to 1 billion terabytes.

According to the annual survey of the global digital output by International Data Corporation, the current total amount of global data is expected to pass 1.2 zettabytes sometime during 2010. This is equivalent to the amount of data that would be generated by everyone in the world posting messages on the microblogging site Twitter continuously for a century.[5]

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."[6]

Research from the University of California, San Diego reports that in 2008, Americans consumed 3.6 zettabytes of information.[7]


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