LTO-2 (Linear Tape-Open 2)

Contributor(s): Ed Hannan

LTO-2 is the second tape format from the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Consortium. It followed the initial LTO-1 version in 2000 and was succeeded by LTO-3 in 2005.

The Consortium released LTO-4 in 2007, LTO-5 in 2010 and LTO-6 in 2012. The LTO-7, LTO-8, LTO-9 and LTO-10 tape formats are on the drawing board, but not yet available as of September 2015.

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Released in 2002, LTO-2 doubled the speed and capacity of LTO-1. It offered 200 gigabytes (GB) native capacity (400 GB compressed). Throughput was increased to 40 megabytes per second (MBps) or 80 MBps compressed.

Previous LTO specs

LTO-1, with 100 GB native capacity (200 GB compressed) and a native transfer speed of 20 MBps (40 MBps compressed), was the first LTO magnetic tape to serve as an open standard substitute to the available formats of the day.

LTO-2, LTO-3 and LTO-4 each doubled native capacity and data transfer rates, bringing the LTO-4 version to 800 GB native capacity or 1.6 terabytes (TB) compressed, and a transfer rate of 120 MBps (240 MBps compressed). LTO-3 was the first LTO format to feature write once, read many (WORM) technology, while LTO-4 offered 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard-Galois Counter Mode drive-level encryption.

LTO-5 boosted native capacity to 1.5 TB (3 TB compressed) and data transfer rates up to 140 MBps (320 MBps compressed).

LTO-6 features 2.5 TB native capacity (6.25 TB compressed) with native throughput as high as 160 MBps (400 MBps compressed).

Future LTO formats and specifications

The Consortium also has LTO-7, LTO-8, LTO-9 and LTO-10 tape formats in its roadmap, but none of them have been released as of September 2015. The projected specifications for each format are as follows:

  • LTO-7: 6.4 TB native capacity (16 TB compressed) and native throughput of 315 MBps (788 MBps compressed).
  • LTO-8: 12.8 TB native capacity (32 TB compressed) and native throughput of 472 MBps (1,180 MBps compressed).
  • LTO-9: 26 TB native capacity (62.5 TB compressed) and native throughput of 708 MBps (1,770 MBps compressed).
  • LTO-10: 48 TB native capacity (120 TB compressed) and native throughput of 1,100 MBps (2,750 MBps compressed).
This was last updated in September 2015

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