LTO-3 is a tape format from the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Consortium released in 2005. It was succeeded by LTO-4 in 2007, LTO-5 in 2010 and LTO-6 in 2012. LTO-7, LTO-8, LTO-9 and LTO-10 formats are scheduled, but not yet available.
According to the Consortium, LTO-3 offers an approximate capacity of 800 gigabytes (GB), native sustained data transfer rates of up to 245 GB per hour, compressed sustained data transfer rates of up to 324 GB per hour and a compressed burst transfer rate of 160 megabytes per second (MBps). Both the capacity and data transfer rates for LTO-3 assume a 2:1 compression ratio, while uncompressed capacity/throughput is 400 GB per 80 MBps.
The LTO-3 format introduced the write once, read many (WORM) feature that writes information to the tape once and prevents it from being erased.
Additional LTO format specifications
LTO-1 was released in 2000. It was the first iteration of the LTO magnetic tape data storage technology that was an open standard alternative to the formats available at the time.
LTO-2 was released in 2002 with a capacity of 200 GB. It doubled the capacity and speed of LTO-1, improving capacity from 100 GB to 200 GB and speed from 20 MBps to 40 MBps.
The LTO-5 format, first released in 2010, has a capacity of about 3 terabytes with data transfer rates of up to 280 MBps. LTO05 tape capacity assumes a 2:1 compression ratio; uncompressed capacity/throughput is 1.5 TB per 140 MBps.
Upcoming LTO formats and specifications
- LTO-7: 16 TB tape capacity, data transfer rates up to 788 MBps and uncompressed capacity/throughput of 6.4 TB per 315 MBps.
- LTO-8: 32 TB tape capacity, data transfer rates of up to 1,180 MBps and uncompressed capacity/throughput of 12.8 TB per 472 MBps.
- LTO-9: 62.5 TB tape capacity, data transfer rates of up to 1,770 MBps and uncompressed capacity/throughput of 26 TB per 708 MBps.
- LTO-10: 120 TB tape capacity, data transfer rates of up to 2,750 MBps and uncompressed capacity/throughput of 48 TB per 1,100 MBps.