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(Linear Tape Open) A family of open magnetic tape standards developed by HP, IBM and Quantum (formerly the Certance subsidiary of Seagate) that is licensed to third-party vendors. As of 2019, LTO is the only thriving tape cartridge format.

LTO cartridges contain an LTO-CM (LTO cartridge memory), which is a non-volatile EEPROM chip that stores location data and usage. The tape is drawn out of the cartridge to a non-removable take-up reel inside the drive.

Although LTO was introduced with a native capacity of only 100GB, multi-terabyte tapes followed. Starting with LTO-3, write once-read many (WORM) support was added, and LTO-4 built in hardware encryption (see table below). See WORM.

Ultrium Won Out
In 1998, two LTO formats were introduced: single-hub Ultrium and dual-hub Accelis. Sharing head, track layout and other features, the single-hub Ultrium was accepted, while Accelis never took off. For information, visit See magnetic tape.

An LTO (Ultrium) Cartridge
The single-hub Ultrium is the only LTO format, and LTO and Ultrium are synonymous.

   LTOGeneration    Native         Hardware  (year)     Capacity  WORM  Encryption

  LTO-8 (2017)  12.0TB     X       X
  LTO-7 (2015)   6.0TB     X       X
  LTO-6 (2012)   2.5TB     X       X
  LTO-5 (2010)   1.5TB     X       X
  LTO-4 (2007)   800GB     X       X
  LTO-3 (2005)   400GB     X
  LTO-2 (2003)   200GB
  LTO-1 (2000)   100GB
References in periodicals archive ?
Fujifilm has launched an LTO-5 data cartridge with a 3TB capacity (at 2:1 compression; 1.
Tokyo, Aug 10, 2010 - (ACN Newswire) - Fujitsu today announced that its ETERNUS LT20, LT40 and LT60 tape libraries will be equipped with the next generation of LTO tape drives, LTO-5.
Customers will benefit from the technology upgrade in many ways: providing up to 3 TB of storage capacity, as each LTO-5 tape reduces the number of tapes needed in total and enables industry leading capacities of almost twice that of LTO-4 and four times that of LTO-3.
lt;p>Imation is the first company to license the Ultrium LTO-5 tape media.
With the introduction of LTFS for our video archive, we've been able to utilize LTO-5 tape to significantly reduce our storage costs, improve our scalability, ease of use and reliability over our previous systems," said Jamie Morganstern, BAMM.
With general availability of LTO-6 tape drives and media expected in 2012, customers can now join the LTO-6 pre-purchase program and receive LTO-5 drives today for use until LTO-6 drives become available.
LTO-6 drives are designed with backwards-compatible read-and-write capability with LTO-5 cartridges, and backward read capabilities with LTO-4 and LTO-5 cartridges, to ensure investment protection and to ease deployment.
Spectra Logic, celebrating 30 years of data storage innovation, announced today that it is now shipping LTO-5 drives and Spectra certified LTO-5 media cartridges in its T-Series tape libraries.
LTO-5 media cartridges have a native capacity of 1.
Tape Manufacturers to Support LTO-5 Technology and the Ultrium Format Capacity, Performance, and Feature Enhancements
Customers who select the LTO-5 pre-purchase option can receive an LTO-4 drive today for use until LTO-5 drives become available.
Spectra Logic's LTO-5 pre-purchase program is an economical choice that will allow us to scale up without worry," said John Funke, manager of network engineering, ON24 Inc.