The Model 7 was used with the IBM System/360 Model 60 and above, except for the 360's Model 67. It was compatible with IBM 2400-series Magnetic Tape Units, Models 4, 5 and 6, and the 2420 Model 5. It accommodated a nine-track data format and 1,600 bits per inch on standard one-half inch tape. Automatic threading was provided for 8 ½" and 10 ½" reels and minireels. A standard feature permitted automatic loading with the new IBM wraparound cartridge, which enclosed a 10 ½" reel, eliminating manual handling of both tape and reel.
- A new tape transport technology minimized tape wear and mechanical delay.
- Automatic tape threading took only 10 seconds with or without a tape cartridge.
- Automatic in-flight single track defect correction.
- In-column high-speed rewind -- about 500 inches per second -- reduced rewind time for reels containing less than 2,400 feet of tape.
- From full stop, tape was moved to first character of data in two milliseconds, with nominal interblock gap time of three milliseconds.
- Up to eight tape units -- any combination of 2420 Model 7s and Model 5s and 2401/2402s -- could be attached to the same Tape Control Unit.
- Model 7 could also read in a read-backward mode.
- IBM 2816 Switching Unit permitted switching between Model 7, tape controls and other tape drives.