Tape Drives: What the Future Holds

New Formats

Several new formats available now or soon...

  • LTO: Linear Tape Open Consortium (two different types)
  • VXA (new technology, low price)
  • AIT (8mm with chip-on-cartridge)
  • All incompatible with existing formats!
Type Name Capacity Speed Available Cost/Media Comments
VXA VXA1 33 GB 3 MB/S Now <$900/$80 Multi-speed, 4 heads, helical scan 8mm
AIT AIT-1 25 GB 3 MB/S Now $2.4k/$100 Chip on each 8mm cartridge
Not compatible with Exabyte
AIT-2 50 GB 6 MB/S Now $5k/$100 Next Generation AIT
LTO Accelis 25 GB ? Any day now? ? 8mm helical scan
Ultrium 100 GB 10-20 MB/S Any day now? ? 1/2-inch linear tape


Tape Drives: What the Future Holds
Pat Murphy