3M announces 10 GB Black Watch 3590 Half-Inch Tape Cartridge -- 50 times more capacity than 3480.
The products are called the 3M Black Watch 3590 Half-Inch Tape Cartridge and IBM 3590 High Performance Cartridge Tape.
Created as part of a co-development agreement between 3M and IBM, the new tape cartridge system increases storage capacity by 50 times over current industry leading technology.
The new IBM Magstar system features an improved data compression technique that enables the capacity of the tape cartridge to be increased to 30 GB -- a three-fold leap over uncompressed capacities.
3M Monday also announced several more 3590-compatible products. They include 3M brand 10-cartridge magazines that can each hold up to 100 GB (uncompressed) of 3590 tape cartridges, and 3M and IBM brand 3590 cleaning cartridges.
The 3M Black Watch 3590 Half-Inch Tape Cartridges, IBM 3590 High Performance Cartridge Tape, and other 3590-compatible products are expected to be available July 28 through regular 3M distribution channels. Suggested list prices will be announced in July.
Big and Fast
The new 3590 tape cartridge will provide users with 10 GB of uncompressed data capacity. This improvement represents more than a 12-fold capacity increase when compared with the relatively recent 3490E cartridge/drive system. The Magstar tape drive transfers data at up to 9 megabytes per second (MB/s), a 300 percent increase in data transfer speed.
According to Chuck Kummeth, business development manager for half-inch linear tape products, 3M Data Storage Tape Technology Division, the increased transfer rate of the Magstar tape drive will significantly reduce operational time in data centers. In addition, the leap in capacity in the 3590 tape cartridge will dramatically shrink the amount of space users must devote to storage.
The new 3590 cartridge will be used in a wide range of applications -- from the frequent start/stop reading and writing typical of business transactions to the non-stop data streaming of scientific data acquisition. Other applications include batch processing, interchange, distribution, hierarchical storage management, archiving, data backup and restore.
The Magstar tape drive utilizes linear recording technology to meet both high reliability and high performance requirements. This design permits both start/stop and streaming operations.
"3M's years of experience in developing tape products, combined with the success of the 3490E cartridge that also was co-developed with IBM, made 3M the obvious choice for this implementation," said Kummeth.
"With performance and capacity continuing to be the primary needs for data-intensive organizations such as those various commercial and scientific/technical industries, we believe these products effectively address the principal requirements of high-end users," he added.
The new 3M cartridge is based on the 3480 form factor, making it backward compatible with existing 3480 and 3490E storage and automation slots. The new 3590 cartridge uses 1,100 feet of high coercivity, 1,600 oersted (Oe), metal particle media that is specially formulated for higher capacity, performance and reliability.
The Magstar tape drive utilizes a serpentine, longitudinal recording technique that permits data to be recorded and read-verified in a bidirectional mode. Breakthrough recording technology allows the system to record 128 data tracks across the tape, compared with 36 tracks with current technology.
This increased data tracking is made possible by a new integrated head assembly that includes a track-following servo. By following the three servo tracks embedded in the new 3M tape, the drive head is positioned to assure highly accurate alignment and permit the data tracks to be recorded much closer together. This produces significant capacity increases without slowing data access time.
Compared to helical scan recording, which uses a rotating head to read and write data on tape -- the same process as a VCR -- longitudinal recording allows the tape to start and stop very quickly under a stationary head, making it much more useful in a multi-function computing environment.
When the tape movement is stopped, both the head and media are stopped, causing no wear or stress in either the media or head. Because of the relatively low tape-to-head forces, a longitudinal head can be expected to last 10 to 20 times longer than a high-performance helical head used under comparable conditions. The lower forces also reduce the generation of loose debris particles from the tape, which in turn results in lower temporary error rates.
3M and IBM co-developed the industry's first half-inch computer tape in 1953. In 1992, 3M and IBM co-developed the long-length 3490E compatible cartridge that is now marketed as 3M brand E-Cart and the IBM Enhanced Capacity Cartridge Tape System.
3M is the world's largest supplier of branded removable data storage media. For more information about 3M half-inch tape products, contact 3M at 800/888-1889, Ext. 33. -0-
NOTE TO EDITORS: Black Watch and ECart are trademarks of 3M.
CONTACT: 3M Data Storage Products, St. Paul
Larry Teien, 612/736-5961
Fleishman-Hillard Inc., Minneapolis/St. Paul
Brent Bauer, 612/222-4885