LTO is an open format technology, which means that users have multiple sources of product and media. Also, because they license manufacturing to other vendors, LTO enables compatibility between different vendors offerings. LTO technology is currently announced in fifth generation and will continue to evolve with its Roadmap.
2. DLT - Digital Linear Tape
Quantum Corporation originally purchased Digital Linear Tape (DLT) technology from Digital Equipment Corporation in 1994, and Quantum is now the primary manufacturer of DLT drives.
In 1998, Quantum licensed the right to manufacture DLT drives to Tandberg Data. The early product line included the DLT 2000, 4000, 7000, and 8000 products. Also in 1999, Quantum announced the next generation of DLT technology, called Super DLT. The first Super DLT product began production shipments in early 2001. DLT made a promise of backward compatibility for previous DLT users, but initial Super DLT shipments were not backward compatible. Following the strong Roadmap, Quantum has continued to evolve new generation of SDLT and the latest version SDLT600 has been announced Feb. 2004
3. AIT - Advanced Intelligent Tape
Sony began producing the Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT) drive in 1996. Sony's AIT drives and media have been designed and manufactured entirely by Sony.
Although the 8 mm helical scan recording method is used, the AIT recording format was specifically designed for computer applications and is incompatible with the early 8mm drives from Exabyte. The AIT-1 drive was the first generation of a technology family positioned to double capacity and transfer rates every two years. Since its introduction, three new AIT products have been released: an extended-length tape for the AIT-1 drive, the AIT-2 drive, and the new AIT-3 drive, which has lived up to the AIT promise of doubling capacity and transfer rates. Sony also currently announced SAIT format separately with AIT Roadmap for high-capacity backup with its SAIT-1 format, 500GB native capacity.