tlb
Volume 5, Number 9 -- March 4, 2008

Imation Previews Super-Dense Adjacent Track Tape Tech

Published: March 4, 2008

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Researchers at Imation, the magnetic tape manufacturer that was spun out of 3M in 1996 and which is one of the dominant makers of removable data storage media, recently announced a new breakthrough in its tape technology that will allow it to double the capacity on existing LTO-4 tape cartridges.

Materials scientist Denis Langlois from Imation recently demonstrated a new multichannel, adjacent track data writing and reading technique that the company has created for LTO-4 tapes. The new technique was shown at the Information Storage Industry Consortium trade show in San Jose, one of the epicenters of storage technology and one of the hot spots where IBM and 3M worked together to create the first tape drives for computers back in 1952.

That was the Model 726 tape drive, which used a 12-inch movie reels loaded with magnetic tape and which could store a whopping 1.4 megabytes of data on a reel. Since that time, the areal density of tape media has increased by a factor of 100,000. Imation says that from the 1950s and the 1990s, the density increases for tape drives came primarily for increasing the data density of the tape media, but since then, the manner in which tracks are written down--and the skinniness of the tracks--has been a more important factor. Data tracks have long since not been laid down in parallel lines lengthwise on the tape, and employ a variety of sophisticated techniques to interleave data so reads and writes can be done in a timely fashion even as tapes get denser and tape drives hit physical limits on how fast they can roll a bit of tape over a tape head.

According to Imation, the adjacent track recording technique uses regular magnetic tape, but employs an amplitude-based servo pattern to lay down tracks that are adjacent to the normal LTO tracks and then uses a new thin-film head to write data to the tape and a new multi-layer magneto-resistive array for reading the data back off the tape.

"The application of a track-following servo has enabled track density to make a more dramatic contribution," explains Subodh Kulkarni, vice president of research, development, and manufacturing for Imation's global commercial business. "To maintain backward compatibility, designers have kept tape formats similar from generation to generation by using the same servo format and channel spans on the recording and playback heads. This design philosophy results in the need to simultaneously write and read sets of tracks that are spaced apart by significant intervals, which makes the dimensional stability of the substrate materials very critical as tracks become narrower. Without a breakthrough approach to how tracks are written on the tape, conventional, low-cost, substrates are rapidly reaching their limits. Our new adjacent-track write and read technology is an important breakthrough that has demonstrated a major advance in capacity and track-following capability."

The ability to double the capacity of an LTO-4 cartridge to 1.6 TB, and therefore take the pressure off development of the LTO-5 drives and matching tape technology, is something that Imation is pitching to the tape industry. Without the adjacent track recording technique, LTO-5 is on track to deliver tape drives with 1.6 TB capacity, double that of LTO-4 drives, with a 50 percent boost in data transfer rate to 180 MB/sec. The LTO-5 spec is expected to be finished in the first or second quarter of 2009, and LTO-6 will push out drives that can handle 270 MB/sec of bandwidth on tapes that max out at 3.2 TB. (Those data rates are not including data compression, as are the capacities.) It would be interesting to see if the existing LTO-5 and LTO-6 technologies can be augmented with the adjacent track technique, allows capacities and data transfer rates to climb even faster than the LTO roadmaps have set.


RELATED STORIES

LTO-5 On Course for 2009

LTO Drives, Libraries Rule the Midrange Tape Storage Market

LTO 3 Tape Makes Its Way to Market



                     Post this story to del.icio.us
               Post this story to Digg
    Post this story to Slashdot


Sponsored By
SHAOLIN MICROSYSTEMS

The Linux Infrastructure & Storage Company

ShaoLin Microsystems is the leading provider of Linux infrastructure and storage software solutions for enterprise.

· ShaoLin HA Cluster - Easy-to-use and low cost high availability cluster software to minimize system downtime.

· ShaoLin Volume Replicator - Powerful and open disaster recovery solution to ensure data integrity and application availability.

· ShaoLin CogoFS - Outperform compressed filesystem for Linux to multiply network performance and storage capacity.

www.shaolinmicro.com


Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Kevin Vandever,
Shannon O'Donnell, Victor Rozek, Hesh Wiener, Alex Woodie
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
Contact the Editors: To contact anyone on the IT Jungle Team
Go to our contacts page and send us a message.

Sponsored Links

Bytware:  The power of McAfee with award-winning StandGuard Anti-Virus for Linux
COMMON:  Join us at the annual 2008 conference, March 30 - April 3, in Nashville, Tennessee
NowWhatJobs.net:  NowWhatJobs.net is the resource for job transitions after age 40


 

IT Jungle Store Top Book Picks

Getting Started with PHP for i5/OS: List Price, $59.95
The System i RPG & RPG IV Tutorial and Lab Exercises: List Price, $59.95
The System i Pocket RPG & RPG IV Guide: List Price, $69.95
The iSeries Pocket Database Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket Developers' Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket SQL Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket Query Guide: List Price, $49.00
The iSeries Pocket WebFacing Primer: List Price, $39.00
Migrating to WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
iSeries Express Web Implementer's Guide: List Price, $59.00
Getting Started with WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries: List Price, $79.95
Getting Started With WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries: List Price, $89.00
Getting Started with WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
WebFacing Application Design and Development Guide: List Price, $55.00
Can the AS/400 Survive IBM?: List Price, $49.00
The All-Everything Machine: List Price, $29.95
Chip Wars: List Price, $29.95


 
The Four Hundred
Q&A with IBM's Mark Shearer: Still Mister System i

Linux and Windows Server Sales Outpace the Market in Q4

Infinite Software Partners with HP, Acquires Altos Technology Group

Mad Dog 21/21: Plane's Peeking

MetaRAM Quadruples DDR2 Memory Capacity in Servers

Four Hundred Stuff
i5/OS V6R1 Compatibility an Issue for Software Vendors

JDA Focuses on 'Slow and Erratic' Product Forecasting with E3

Help/Systems Gives SEQUEL a Web Makeover

IBM Patches Security Flaw in Quickr for i5/OS

BOSaNOVA Adds Encryption to Thin Clients

Big Iron
Thinking Inside the Box

Top Mainframe Stories From Around the Web

Chats, Webinars, Seminars, Shows, and Other Happenings

Four Hundred Guru
XAMPP: The PHP Developer's Dream

Programmatically Retrieve Defined System i Names

Admin Alert: Five Minutes to Moving System i Objects Between Partitions

System i PTF Guide
February 23, 2008: Volume 10, Number 8

February 16, 2008: Volume 10, Number 7

February 9, 2008: Volume 10, Number 6

February 2, 2008: Volume 10, Number 5

January 26, 2008: Volume 10, Number 4

January 19, 2008: Volume 10, Number 3

The Windows Observer
Microsoft Promises To Be Less Secretive, More Open

Welcome to Legacy Status, Windows Server

'Centro' and 'Cougar' Become Windows Server Essentials

Microsoft Presses Forward with Yahoo, as Shareholder Lawsuits Mount

Today is the Big 'Heroes Happen Here' Launch Event

The Unix Guardian
Q&A with HP's Brian Cox: Tukwila Itaniums and Hockey Pucks

Gartner Gives Annual Report Cards to Server Makers

IDC Tweaks Global IT Spending Estimates Downward for 2008

As I See It: Change in Plan

Welcome to Legacy Status, Windows Server

Four Hundred Monitor
Four Hundred Monitor's
Full iSeries Events Calendar

THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY:

Storix
Guild Companies
Roaring Penguin
IT Security
ShaoLin Microsystems


Printer Friendly Version


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Linux and Windows Server Sales Outpace the Market in Q4

Novell Swings to a Modest Profit in Fiscal Q1

MetaRAM Quadruples DDR2 Memory Capacity in Servers

As I See It: Change in Plan

Microsoft Promises To Be Less Secretive, More Open

But Wait, There's More:

Canonical Sets Ubuntu 8.10, Taps KVM Virtualization . . . Linux Vendors React to Microsoft's Openness Promises . . . Dell's 10 Percent Growth and Profit Drop Disappoints Wall Street . . . Sun Open Sources "Honeycomb" Disk Array Software . . . Imation Previews Super-Dense Adjacent Track Tape Tech . . .

The Linux Beacon

BACK ISSUES





 
Subscription Information:
You can unsubscribe, change your email address, or sign up for any of IT Jungle's free e-newsletters through our Web site at http://www.itjungle.com/sub/subscribe.html.

Copyright © 1996-2008 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Guild Companies, Inc., 50 Park Terrace East, Suite 8F, New York, NY 10034

Privacy Statement