Is Tape Really an Old Technology?

When we ask people about the image of magnetic tape, we often hear things like, "you have to regularly rewind the tape," or, "sometimes the tape gets tangled and it becomes unusable." Those impressions exist because there are many that have used the older tapes in the past, have had those types of experiences, or have heard stories about them. Even when we are actually talking about the latest magnetic tapes, some people still ask such questions. In the user manuals of previous old tape products, you would see "please rewind time to time." The purpose was to prevent the tape surface from sticking to each other, or the magnetic layer being peeled off by leaving it wound for a long time. Current magnetic tapes used in storage systems where large amounts of data are stably archived, are left in the tape library or storage shelf but with none of the old problems.
Magnetic tape is made by mixing fine-grained nano-sized magnetic powder with a polymer that serves as an adhesive and applied on a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) film at a submicron thickness. Polymers used in the past may decompose if it is left in ambient environments with high temperatures or humidity that exceeded normal usage environments for a long time and would also sometimes deteriorated and became sticky. Thus, it was recommended to frequently rewind the tape to prevent this.
Now, LTO tape is made with a polymer that is made to resist environments with high temperatures and humidity. Even if the tapes are stored for over a month in an ambient environment over 55 degrees Celsius (131 °F) and 80% relative humidity, the data shows that there should be no problem. Before any LTO tapes are manufactured, FUJIFILM puts them through a rigorous R&D testing and stress phase which includes labs that reproduce every kind of temperature and humidity environment imaginable. A reliability evaluation test is then performed by continuously repeating, recording and reproducing the tape and taking each one in and out of a drive thousands of times. The latest magnetic tapes, equipped with Nano technologies, use the latest advances and have performance that is nothing like the old-line tapes.
LTO tape systems give you advantages of uniquely high storage capacities, high transfer rates, and low power consumption.
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