LTO® Program Further Extends Product Roadmap Through Generation 10

  • Updated roadmap increases capacity expectations to 120 TB per cartridge
  • Throughput rates expected to increase more than 600 percent

SILICON VALLEY, ” said Joel Tax, Santa Clara Research Group. “With a road map showing four more generations beyond the current one, the LTO Program has shown commitment to innovation and support for the format”. Transfer rates are expected to increase at a more significant rate than ever before. Plans include compressed transfer rates of up to 1,770 MB/second for generation 9 and a blazing 2,750 MB/second for generation 10*. “LTO technology continues to set the standard for cost-optimized backup and long-term archive storage, ” said Chris Powers, Vice President, Data Center Development Unit, HP. “With the extension of the roadmap, organizations can expect advancements in capacity and efficiency that lower costs by reducing management overhead and provide the flexibility needed to scale for future growth.” The two future generations will continue to provide the same conveniences and features that have made LTO technology the tape storage option of choice for millions of users. Each new generation will include read-and-write backwards compatibility with the prior generation as well as read compatibility with cartridges from two generations prior, helping to protect investments and ease implementation. Other features include Read Once, Write Many (WORM), encryption and partitioning – which allows for Linear Tape File System capabilities to enable easy file location and broader compatibility. The current generation of LTO technology – LTO generation 6 – supports tape cartridge storage compressed capacity of up to 6.25TB*, more than twice the compressed capacity over the previous generation, and tape drive data transfer rates of up to 400MB* per second for over 1.4 terabytes of storage performance an hour per drive. As with previous generations, LTO-6 drives provide backward compatibility with the ability to read and write LTO generation 5 cartridges and read LTO generation 4 cartridges, helping to preserve media investments and ease implementation. The LTO Program will be providing further insight into LTO technology and roadmap plans for a broad range of data managers this fall at IBC in Amsterdam, ASIS in Atlanta, Georgia, and Supercomputing in New Orleans, Louisiana. Find conference dates and information at  Learn more about LTO technology, LTFS, exciting user stories and a variety of compelling storage white papers at

How to License LTO Ultrium Technology

The LTO Program has historically offered several different license packages – from enhanced packages that provide the specifications and licenses to manufacture LTO Ultrium products, to basic packages providing LTO format specifications. Buyers seeking LTO Ultrium format-compliant products should look for the LTO Ultrium format compliance verification trademarks on both tape drives and data cartridges. Storage and media manufacturers interested in licensing LTO formats may obtain information by contacting the LTO Program at

About Linear Tape-Open (LTO)

The LTO Ultrium format is a powerful, scalable, adaptable open tape format developed and continuously enhanced by technology providers HP, IBM Corporation and Quantum Corporation (and their predecessors) to help address the growing demands of data protection in the midrange to enterprise-class server environments.  This ultra-high capacity generation of tape storage products is designed to deliver outstanding performance, capacity and reliability combining the advantages of linear multi-channel, bi-directional formats with enhancements in servo technology, data compression, track layout, and error correction. The LTO Ultrium format has a well-defined roadmap for growth and scalability.  The roadmap represents intentions and goals only and is subject to change or withdrawal.  There is no guarantee that these goals will be achieved.  The roadmap is intended to outline a general direction of technology and should not be relied upon in making a purchasing decision.  Format compliance verification is vital to meet the free-interchange objectives that are at the core of the LTO Program.  Ultrium tape mechanism and tape cartridge interchange specifications are available on a licensed basis.  For additional information on the LTO Program, visit and the LTO Program Web site at


* Assuming a 2.5:1 compression achieved with larger compression history buffer available beginning with LTO generation 6 drives.

Note:  Linear Tape-Open, LTO, the LTO logo, Ultrium, and the Ultrium logo are trademarks of HP, IBM and Quantum in the US and other countries.