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Magnetic tape as used for data storage is reviewed. Attributes such as bit and track densities, tape cartridge capacities and data rates are discussed in terms of the growth seen over time together with future trends envisioned for tape. Tape has seen almost six orders of magnitude density increase since its introduction as a computer data storage device in the early 1950's with 1 Terabyte native capacity tape cartridges being introduced into the market. The recording methods and technologies used for tape data storage devices are outlined and tapes position in the storage landscape discussed. Most of the world's data is stored and archived on magnetic tape primarily because of its long shelf life and favorable cost factors.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2008