What is a Yottabyte?
Yottabyte – the largest unit of quantity in information technology
A yottabyte is a quantity of information technology for storage capacities or data volumes. The smallest electronic storage unit is a bit. It contains binary information – 0 or 1 – and therefore means “binary digit”. The largest digital storage unit¹ is a yottabyte – also known as a yotabyte, yobibyte, ybyte or yb.
What are the proportions between bit and yottabyte?
- 8 bits – eight binary information – are one byte.
- 1024 bytes are one kilobyte (KB, KBbyte).
- 1024 kilobytes are one megabyte (MB, MByte).
- 1024 megabytes are one gigabyte (GB, GByte).
- 1024 gigabytes are one terabyte (TB, TByte).
- 1024 terabytes are one petabyte (PB, PByte).
- 1024 petabytes are an exabyte (EB, EByte).
- 1024 exabytes are a zettabyte (ZB, ZByte).
- 1024 zettabytes are a yottabyte (YB, YByte, Yobibyte).
For simplicity’s sake, manufacturers and professional articles use a conversion in steps of 1,000, so that 1,000 bytes represent one kilobyte and 1,000 kilobytes represent one megabyte. For a yottabyte, this would result in a deviation of more than 20%:
- 1 yb = 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 bytes = 1024 bytes (with rounding)
- 1 yb = 1 208 925 819 614 629 174 706 176 bytes = 280 bytes = 10248 bytes
The long road to the yottabyte
Commercial hard disks in laptops and desktop computers are now in the terabyte range. The data volume per month for mobile phone contracts is often in the single-digit gigabyte range.
In 2000, total internet traffic was approximately 2.4 petabytes; in 2022, the monthly volume was an estimated 292 exabytes per month.² Videos account for most internet traffic (approximately 240 exabytes per month); in the US, Netflix accounts for nearly 25% of total internet traffic.³
Notes (some in German):
 Defined by the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures, which is concerned with the promotion and enhancement of global comparability of measurements and units of measure.
 Data volume of global consumer internet traffic from 2017 to 2022
 Anteil des Desktop-Traffics von netflix.com nach Herkunftsland im November 2022
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