CES 2012 Tape is not dead: Sony, which has stopped developing its proprietary AIT/Super AIT tape media, has signed up for an LTO-6 licence agreement.
Sony's Storage Media Division has decided there is life in tape yet and is licensing LTO-6 media manufacturing rights from the Linear Tape Open (LTO) consortium of HP, IBM and Quantum, known as the Technology Provider Companies (TPCs). LTO-6 is the coming sixth generation of LTO media and it will store 3.2TB of raw data, 8TB with 2.5:1 compression, on a single cartridge and transfer data at a rate of 210MB/sec (525MB/sec compressed).
The current LTO-5 generation format holds 1.5TB of raw data in a cartridge (3TB compressed) and transfers it at 140MB/sec (280MB/sec compressed). It also introduced the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), which LTO-6 will continue. LTO says this provides file system access at the operating system level especially for unstructured data. It uses one partition to hold the content’s index and the other partition to hold the content.
There are two more LTO generations planned: LTO-7 and LTO-8, holding 6.4TB and 12.8TB of raw data respectively. The LTO-7 is slated to arrive in 2014 and the LTO-8 in 2016.
Sony already manufactures LTO-1 to LTO-5 media products. Its LTO-5 media was approved by LTO in 2010. The LTO-6 media will require finer magnetic particles and new manufacturing processes. ®