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As IBM celebrates its 50th anniversary of inventing tape storage, the company today announced the next generation of its Linear Tape-Open (LTO) product line, and a significant milestone with the shipment of the 100,000th IBM TotalStorage Ultrium LTO tape drive.
"IBM has a storied history of tape technology leadership," said Frank Elliott, vice president of sales, IBM Tape Storage Solutions. "The next generation LTO tape drives will build upon this technology leadership in high performance and capacity offering customers solutions based on open standards and investment protection."
After successfully passing the second generation LTO certification testing requirements, IBM is shipping this next generation Ultrium drives to OEM customers. The second generation drives will offer customers double the capacity up to 400GB compressed (assuming 2:1 compression) and up to more than double the data transfer rates of the previous generation. Second generation LTO drives will include Ultra-160 SCSI and 2 gigabit fibre attachment technologies. The new drives are designed to read and write the first generation LTO, protecting customers' previous investments in media.
In May 1952, IBM introduced the Model 726 tape drive, which stored a total of 1.4 megabytes (equal to 1 floppy disk today) on a movie reel over 12 inches in diameter. Earlier this year, IBM announced it successfully recorded 1 terabyte of information onto a digital linear tape cartridge, or the equivalent storage capacity of more than 1500 CD's (see photo). The 1TB cartridge roadmap includes the release of a family of enterprise class tape drives supporting capacities from 200 GB up to the 1 TB over the next few years, complementing the midrange solutions provided by the LTO technology.