IBM Announces New Tape Storage on 50 Year Anniversary of Tape Invention

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TUCSON, Ariz. - 19 Nov 2002: As IBM celebrates its 50th anniversary of inventing tape storage, the company 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.

Customers use LTO for backing up and archiving, and as a disaster recovery solution for critical information such as credit card transactions, medical records and payroll.

"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 to Original Equipment Manufacturing customers. The second generation LTO Ultrium 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 writethe first generation LTO, protecting customers' previous investments. Next generation tape products are expected throughout 2003.

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 1 TB 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.

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