IBM has announced the first LTO6 tape drive, wich is is the latest LTO Ultrium tape format. It offeres 6.25TB of compressed storage space, 2.5TB raw, and data transfers at 400MB/sec compressed, 160MB/sec raw. The current LTO-5 generation offers 1.5TB raw capacity and a 140MB/sec transfer rate.
The LTO-6 capacity increase comes from using a barium ferrite recording material with the tape having greater linear density of data signals, a larger number of tracks and longer length compared to LTO-5 tape. The drive can run at one of 14 speed levels to match more closely the sending host’s data rate, after data compressibility has been factored out.
The announced availability date for the new drive is November 9, 2012.