LTO data cartridge
This section describes the construction, operation, and components of the IBM® LTO data cartridge.
The IBM LTO 9 cartridge is green with a silk screen label on top that specifies “Ultrium 9 – 18000 GB”. The IBM LTO 8 cartridge is burgundy with a silk screen label on top that specifies "Ultrium 8 - 12 TB." The IBM LTO 7 cartridge is purple with a silk screen label on top that specifies "Ultrium 7 - 6 TB." The IBM LTO 6 cartridge is black with a silk screen label on top that specifies "Ultrium 6 - 2.5 TB." The IBM LTO 5 cartridge is burgundy with a silk screen label on the top that specifies "Ultrium 5 - 1.5 TB." The IBM LTO 4 cartridge is green with a silk screen label on the top that specifies "Ultrium 4 - 800 GB." The IBM LTO 3 cartridge is blue-gray. The IBM LTO 2 cartridge is purple, and the LTO 1 cartridge is black. WORM data cartridges are two tones in order to distinguish them from other data cartridges. Each WORM cartridge is the color as the same generation of data cartridge on the top, but it is gray on the bottom.
When processing tape in the cartridges, the LTO tape drives use a linear, serpentine recording format. LTO 9 drives read and write data on 8960 tracks, LTO 8 drives read and write data on 6656 tracks, LTO 7 drives read and write data on 3584 tracks, LTO 6 drives read and write data on 2176 tracks, and LTO 5 drives read and write data on 1280 tracks. LTO 9, 8, and 7 drives read and write 32 tracks at a time. LTO 6 and LTO 5 drives read and write 16 tracks at a time. The first set of tracks is written from near the beginning of the tape to near the end of the tape. The head then repositions to the next set of tracks for the return pass. This process continues until all tracks are written and the tape is full, or until all data is written. For additional information about LTO tape drive and cartridge compatibility, refer to the topic about LTO tape drives.
Figure 1 shows the IBM LTO data cartridge and its components.
|1||LTO cartridge memory||4||Write-protect switch|
|2||Cartridge door||5||Label area|
|3||Leader pin||6||Insertion guide|
All generations of the IBM LTO data cartridge include a Linear Tape-Open Cartridge Memory (LTO-CM) chip ( 1 in Figure 1) that contains information about the cartridge and the tape (such as the name of the manufacturer that created the tape), as well as statistical information about the cartridge's use. The LTO-CM enhances the efficiency of the cartridge. For example, the LTO-CM stores the end-of-data location, which when you next insert a cartridge and issue the Write command, enables the drive to quickly locate the recording area and begin recording. The LTO-CM also aids in determining the reliability of the cartridge by storing data about its age, how many times it has been loaded, and how many errors it has accumulated. Whenever you unload a tape cartridge, the tape drive writes any pertinent information to the cartridge memory.
The cartridge door 2 protects the tape from contamination when the cartridge is out of the drive. Behind the door, the tape is attached to a leader pin 3 . When you insert the cartridge into the drive, a threading mechanism pulls the pin (and tape) out of the cartridge, across the drive head, and onto a non-removable takeup reel. The head can then read or write data from or to the tape.
The write-protect switch 4 prevents data from being written to the tape cartridge. The label area 5 provides a location for you to place a label. Affix only a bar code label. When affixing a label, place it only in the recessed label area. A label that extends outside of the recessed area can cause loading problems in the internal drive or in the TS4500 tape library. The insertion guide 6 is a large, notched area that prevents you from inserting the cartridge incorrectly. You can order tape cartridges with the bar code labels included, or you can order custom labels.
Generation 3 and later generations of the LTO data cartridge have a nominal cartridge life of 20,000 load and unload cycles.