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HP, IBM, and Seagate introduce Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology for licensing to storage manufacturers

LTO technology yields Ultrium format with up to 200GB capacity and Accelis format with access time under 10 seconds

Silicon Valley, Calif - 07 Apr 1998: - Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM Corporation and Seagate Technology Inc. today unveiled Linear Tape Open™ (LTO™) Technology, a powerful open tape architecture, setting the stage for a new generation of tape storage products expected to surpass current tape capacity and performance benchmarks while maintaining the highest data integrity. Licenses are available now to all manufacturers for the two formats based on the technology: Ultrium, a high-capacity, single-reel implementation that offers up to 200GB of capacity assuming a 2:1 compression ratio (100GB native) and Accelis, a fast-access, dual-reel
implementation that offers data retrieval in under 10 seconds.

LTO technology combines the advantages of linear multi-channel, bi-directional formats with enhancements in servo technology, data compression, track layout and error correction code to maximize capacity, performance and reliability. Both the Accelis and Ultrium specifications were derived from the LTO technology and use LTO media, channel and servo technology. Each format is expected to offer a four-generation roadmap for subsequent capacity and performance advancements. Further information about LTO technology can be found on a new website ( http://www.lto-technology.com) which also was launched today.

LTO addresses both read-intensive and write-intensive applications by specifying Accelis for fast-access requirements and Ultrium for high-capacity needs.

About Accelis

The Accelis format is designed for applications that require exceptionally fast access times, such as online data inquiry and retrieval. Tape devices based on the Accelis format are expected to provide data access in under 10 seconds. The Accelis format is expected to debut with capacities of up to 50GB compressed (25GB native) capacity on a dual-reel cartridge and deliver transfer rates from 20-40MB per second compressed (10 to 20MB per second native). The Accelis roadmap is expected to result in products with access times under 7 seconds, capacities of up to 400GB compressed (200GB native) and transfer rates ranging from 160-320MB compressed (80MB per second to 160MB per second native).

About Ultrium

Ultrium is a single-reel format targeted at users requiring ultra-high capacity backup, restore and archive capabilities. The Ultrium format enables manufacturers to develop products with up to 200GB of compressed capacity and deliver transfer rates from 20-40MB per second compressed (10 to 20MB per second).

When Ultrium products reach the market, a single 200GB drive is expected to be able to accommodate cartridges of varying capacities including: 200GB compressed (100GB native), 100GB compressed (50GB native), 60GB compressed (30GB native) and 20GB compressed (10GB native). Ultrium's roadmap is designed to enable future products with compressed capacities up to 1.6TB (800GB native) on a single cartridge and transfer rates ranging from 160-320MB compressed (80MB per second to 160MB per second native).

"The LTO specifications and roadmap reaffirm that tape has a long future as a premier backup and near-online storage solution," said Michael Matson, HP vice president and general manager, Information Storage Group. "With the high capacities and fast transfer rates offered by Ultrium and the quick access times of Accelis, no other technology can compete on a cost and capacity basis with tape."

"Since the November announcement we've all worked extremely hard to bring the specifications to a level that allows licensees to begin developing products," said James Vanderslice, vice president and group executive, IBM. "With today's announcement, all of our companies are now eager to turn our full attention toward taking part, with other licensees, in the product development race."

"Our extensive experience in the storage industry has taught us that in order for manufacturers to succeed in this industry, we must produce best-of-breed technologies that can be licensed by competitors and partners alike," said Al Shugart, chairman and CEO, Seagate. "LTO allows customers to choose the solution that works best for them and ensures data integrity, compatibility and multiple sources within each format."

About Licensing

Both Ultrium and Accelis tape mechanism and cartridge specifications are being offered on a licensee basis. The specifications, know-how, and certain patent rights for implementation are included in the following license packages:

Accelis tape mechanism
Accelis tape cartridge
Ultrium tape mechanism and
Ultrium tape cartridge

Interchange specifications are available separately, but do not contain the know-how or the patents available within the mechanism and cartridge license packages. Requests for licenses and additional information are available from the law firm of Ladas & Parry of Los Angeles, California, a third party administering the license process. Ladas & Parry can be reached by phone at (213) 934-2300, by fax at (213) 934-0202 or by email at LTO_INFO@ladasparry.com. Further information about LTO technology can be found on the LTO website at
http://www.lto-technology.com.

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Contact(s) information

Jim Leal
IBM Corporation
408-256-9451
jleal@us.ibm.com

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