The explosive growth in the amount of data created in the world continues to accelerate and surprise us in terms of sheer volume, though experts could see the signposts along the way. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel and the namesake of Moore's law, first forecast that the number of transistors that could be placed on an integrated circuit would double year over year. Since 1965, this "doubling principle" has been applied to many areas of computing and has more often than not been proven correct.
When applied to data, not even Moore's law seems to keep pace with the exponential growth of the past several years. Recent IDC research on digital data indicates that in 2010, the amount of digital information in the world reached beyond a zettabyte in size. That's one trillion gigabytes of information. To put that in perspective, a blogger at Cisco Systems noted that a zettabyte is roughly the size of 125 billion 8GB iPods fully loaded.
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