The zettabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. The prefix zetta indicates multiplication by the seventh power of 1000 or 1021 in the International System of Units (SI). A zettabyte is one sextillion (one long scale trilliard) bytes.[1][2][3][4][5] The unit symbol is ZB.

1 ZB = 10007bytes = 1021bytes = 1000000000000000000000bytes = 1000exabytes = 1millionpetabytes = 1billionterabytes = 1trilliongigabytes.
1000 ZB = 1 yottabyte (YB).
Multiples of bytes
Value Metric
1000 kBkilobyte
10002 MBmegabyte
10003 GBgigabyte
10004 TBterabyte
10005 PBpetabyte
10006 EBexabyte
10007 ZBzettabyte
10008 YByottabyte
1024 KiBkibibyte KBkilobyte
10242 MiBmebibyte MBmegabyte
10243 GiBgibibyte GBgigabyte
10244 TiBtebibyte
10245 PiBpebibyte
10246 EiBexbibyte
10247 ZiBzebibyte
10248 YiByobibyte

A related unit, the zebibyte (ZiB), using a binary prefix, is equal to 10247 (=270) bytes (approximately 1.181 ZB).

Usage examples

  • GUID Partition Table (GPT) allows for a maximum disk and partition size of 7.02 zettabytes, or 5.946 zebibytes, when using 512-byte sectors.[6][7]
  • ZFS allows for a maximum storage capacity of about 256 quadrillion zettabytes.[8]
  • In the film Enthiran (2010), Chitti was making a clone of himself, and specified a memory space of 1 zettabyte for his clone.

Comparisons for scale

  • Between 1986 and 2007, the world's technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks was 0.432 zettabytes of optimally compressed information in 1986, 0.715 ZB in 1993, 1.2 ZB in 2000, and 1.9 (optimally compressed) ZB in 2007, this being the informational equivalent to every person on Earth receiving 174 newspapers per day.[9][10]
  • In 2003, Mark Liberman had calculated the storage requirements for all human speech ever spoken at 42 zettabytes if digitized as 16 kHz 16-bit audio. He did this in response to a popular[11][12][13] expression that states "all words ever spoken by human beings" could be stored in approximately 5 exabytes of data. Liberman confessed that "maybe the authors [of the exabyte estimate] were thinking about text".[14]
  • In 2007, humankind successfully sent 1.9 zettabytes of information through broadcast technology such as televisions and GPS per research from the University of Southern California.[15]
  • In 2008, Americans alone consumed 3.6 zettabytes of information per a 2009 study from the University of California, San Diego.[16]
  • As of 2009, the entire World Wide Web was estimated to contain close to 500 exabytes, or half a zettabyte.[17]
  • In 2011 the International Data Corporation expected the "total amount of global data" to grow to 2.7 zettabytes during 2012, an increase of 48% from 2011.[18]
  • In 2012, U.S. Americans accessed already 6.9 zettabytes of data per a 2013 study.[19]
  • In 2013, one expert estimated that the "amount of data generated worldwide" would reach 4 zettabytes by the end of the year.[20]
  • In 2018, International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated the global datasphere has reached 33 zettabytes and is expected to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025.[21]

See also


  1. Burton, Tom (2008-01-31). "Zettabyte flood predicted for 2015".
  2. Mearian, Lucas (2007-03-06). "A zettabyte by 2010: Corporate data grows fiftyfold in three years". Computerworld.
  3. Mearian, Lucas (2008-03-11). "Study: Digital universe and its impact bigger than we thought". Computerworld.
  4. "Internet Traffic to Reach a Zettabyte by 2015, Says Study". 2008-01-31.
  5. Swanson, Bret; Gilder, George (2008-01-29). "The Impact of Video and Rich Media on the Internet: A 'zettabyte' by 2015?". Discovery Institute.
  6. "FAQ: Drive Partition Limits" (PDF). UEFI Forum. 2010-06-09. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  7. Roderick W. Smith (2012-07-03). "Make the most of large drives with GPT and Linux". IBM. Retrieved 2013-05-29. Disk pointers are 64 bits in size, meaning that GPT can handle disks of up to 512 x 264 bytes (8 zebibytes, or 8.6 billion TiB), assuming 512-byte sectors.
  8. "Oracle Solaris ZFS Administration Guide". Oracle Corporation. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  9. Martin Hilbert and Priscila López (2011-02-10). "The World's Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information" (PDF). University of Vermont. Vol. 332 no. 6025 pp. 60-65
  10. Martin Hilbert (2011-06-11). "World_info_capacity_animation". YouTube.
  11. Verlyn Klinkenborg (2003-11-12). "Trying to Measure the Amount of Information That Humans Create". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-07-19. (login)
  12. "How many bytes for..." techtarget.com. Retrieved 2006-07-19.
  13. "'Robbie the Robot' making data easier to mine". purdue.edu. 2005-12-06. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
  14. Mark Liberman (2003-11-03). "Zettascale Linguistics". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  15. Suzanne Wu (2011-02-10). "How Much Information Is There in the World?". University of Southern California.
  16. Roger E. Bohn & James E. Short (9 December 2009). "How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers" (PDF). University of California, San Diego. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 April 2013.
  17. Richard Wray (2009-05-18). "Internet data heads for 500bn gigabytes". The Guardian.
  18. "IDC Predicts 2012 Will Be the Year of Mobile and Cloud Platform Wars as IT Vendors Vie for Leadership While the Industry Redefines Itself". International Data Corporation. 2011-12-01.
  19. Julie Riggott (30 October 2013). "Americans consume media in a major way, study finds". University of Southern California.
  20. Richard Currier (2013-06-21). "In 2013 the amount of data generated worldwide will reach four zettabytes".
  21. David Reinsel, John Gantz & John Rydning (2018). "Data Age 2025: The Digitization of the World from Edge to Core" (PDF). Seagate. Retrieved 2019-09-24.
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