A terabyte (TB) is a measure of computer storage capacity that is 2 to the 40th power or approximately a trillion bytes (that is, a thousand gigabytes). The prefix tera is derived from the Greek word for monster.
Hitachi began selling 1-terabyte hard drives to consumers in 2007. (Today, consumers can purchase a 2-terabyte external hard drive for around $180.) A one terabyte drive can hold:
- 472 hours of broadcast quality video.
- 150 hours of hi-definition recording.
- Enough words that it would take every adult in America speaking at the same time five minutes to say them all./li>
According to futurist Raymond Kurzwell is "The Singularity is Near," the capacity of a human being's functional memory is estimated to be 1.25 terabytes.
Also see byte, gigabyte, teraflop, and petabyte.
Contributor(s): Jack Duffie
This was last updated in May 2009
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