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Next generation LTO kicks it up a notch

A trio of big-name vendors announced that licenses for its second-generation LTO Ultrium format hits the streets early next year. The new technology ups the storage capacity of tape as well as enhances transfer rates.

A trio of technology providers for the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Program, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., and Seagate Removable Storage Solutions LLC, announced that licenses for second-generation LTO Ultrium technology will be available in the first quarter of 2002 to storage and media manufacturers.

The second-generation LTO Ultrium format, part of a four-generation roadmap, will provide users with double the storage capacity of generation one technology, up to 200G Bytes, as well as enhanced transfer rates, which according to the company, will improve to 20 to 40 M Bytes per seconds.

The second generation will also feature backward read/write compatibility with LTO products based on the previous generation.

Brad Renfee, spokesperson for Seagate's LTO said one of the strongest underlying features of the Ultrium tape format is the consistency of its product roadmap. "We're executing on our planned generation jumps and not dumping our roadmap on a quarterly basis."

The LTO Ultrium format storage solution is a single-reel, high-performance tape cartridge ideal for backing up, restoring, and archiving applications. As the next market-leading tape technology for ultra-high capacity storage, the LTO Ultrium format has a four-generation roadmap for growth and scalability.

According to Freeman Reports, an Ojai, Calif.-based analyst firm, the total shipment of LTO Ultrium drives will jump in 2002 as system and library vendors continue to adopt the technology.

Freeman Reports said tape formats like SDLT, LTO Ultrium, 8mm, DAT and QIC are attractive for some high capacity/high performance tape applications because of their rapid upward migration in capacity and performance, especially when bolstered by the use of automated tape libraries.

There are approximately 30 licensees with licenses to manufacture and market LTO Ultrium-based drives, autoloaders, and tape cartridges. In addition to OEMs HP, IBM, and Seagate, storage media companies including EMTEC, Fujifilm, Imation, Maxell, and TDK, currently have LTO Ultrium products on the market.

Ultrium has a four-generation roadmap that specifies a doubling of capacity and performance with each generation, combined with requirements for backwards compatibility.

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor


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