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This paper will deal with the novel approach taken to produce a low-cost, high-capacity, high-speed direct access tape drive. The drive utilizes a removable one-half inch magnetic tape cartridge to compliment industry trends. The device will initially store 80 Mbytes per cartridge with an initial data rate of 500 Kbytes per second. The cartridge format is made up of 615 blocks of 131 Kbytes per second. Within each block the tape is motionless, and the drive operates as a random access device with two active heads and sixteen cylinders. A stepping motor, in conjunction with a peripheral drive, is used to access the tape from block-to-block.