After my previous post on “how much big is big“, here I introduce in more details the SI units of measuring the size of data plus some interesting relevant information (courtesy of Julian Bunn).

  • The story begins by 1 byte which contains 8 bits, i.e., 8 binary (yes/no) decisions.
  • 1 Kilo-byte (KB) is 1024 bytes. A very low-resolution photo is around 100 KB.
  • 1 Mega-byte (MB) is 1024 KB. The complete works of Shakespeare is 5 MB.
  • 1 Giga-byte (GB) is 1024 MB. A movie in TV-quality is 1 GB.
  • 1 Tera-byte (TB) is 1024 GB. All the X-ray films in a large technological hospital should be around 1 TB. The printed collection of the US Library of Congress should be around 10 TB.
  • 1 Peta-byte (PB) is 1024 TB. All US academic research libraries is estimated to be 2 PB.
  • 1 Exa-byte (EB) is 1024 PB. All words ever spoken by human beings in all languages should be around 5 EB.
  • 1 Zetta-byte (ZB) is 1024 EB. According to International Data Corporation, the total amount of global data is expected to grow to 2.7 zettabytes during 2012. Mark Liberman calculated the storage requirements for all human speech ever spoken at 42 zettabytes if digitized as 16 kHz 16-bit audio.
  • 1 Yotta-byte (YB) is 1024 ZB.
  • 1 Xenotta-byte (XB) is 1024 YB.
  • 1 Shilentno-byte (SB) is 1024 XB.
  • 1 Domegemegrotte-byte (DB) is 1024 SB.

Up to DB, are we safe for the decade ahead, or we need to invent new unit titles?!