Exabyte is the name of a company headquartered in Boulder, Colorado who pioneered the use of helical scan recording for data backup. Their first product was the 8mm backup tape drive with a capacity of 2 Gigabytes. They now make a backup device--the Mammoth 2, that can back up 60 GB uncompressed.

Early Exabyte drives were notorious for quality control problems, but have greatly improved and now are as reliable as their chief competitors, the DLT drives.

Note that exa now officially means 10^18 even in the context of data processing. The prefixes kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta, yotta always refer to powers of 10.

To refer to powers of 2^10 (powers of 1024), use the new binary prefixes kibi, mebi, gibi, tebi, pebi, and exbi. So

1 exabyte = 1 EB = 10^18 bytes
1 exbibyte = 1 EiB = (1024)^6 bytes

These new prefixes were created in December 1998 by the International Electrotechnical Commission: see the node prefixes for binary multiples for fuller explanation.

It is permissible to use "exabyte" to mean exbibyte on a temporary basis until industry standards have shifted to the new terms.

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