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Six orders of magnitude in linear tape technology: The one-terabyte project

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6 Author(s)
E. R. Childers ; IBM Systems Group, 9000 South Rita Road, Tucson, Arizona 85744, USA ; W. Imaino ; J. H. Eaton ; G. A. Jaquette
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For the last 50 years, tape has persisted as the media of choice when inexpensive data storage is required and speed is not critical. The cost of tape storage normalized per unit capacity (dollars per gigabyte) decreased steadily over this time, driven primarily by advances in areal density and reduction of tape thickness. This paper reports the next advance in tape storage—a demonstration of a tenfold increase in capacity over current-generation Linear Tape-Open® (LTO®) systems. One terabyte (1 TB, or 1000 GB) of uncompressed data was written on half-inch tape using the LTO form factor. This technical breakthrough involves significant advances in nearly every aspect of the recording process: heads, media, channel electronics, and recording platform.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 4 )