The Last Resort: Streamer Technolgy Overview


Advanced Digital Recording is a standard promoted by Philips and its subsidiary On-Stream. The unique feature of this 8 mm-tape based technology is that, at all times, eight of the 192 data tracks can be written onto and read simultaneously, which results in high transfer rates at a low tape speed.

As a nice side effect, the mechanical load on the tape is remarkably low. Also, the error correction via ECC can be applied horizontally and vertically. As an example, 24 of the 192 tracks can be full of scratches or damaged otherwise, and still there is no danger that users cannot restore saved data.

Uncompressed, the ADR products available so far store 25 GB per tape. For future versions, the following improvements may be expected:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Potential by capacityPotential by transfer rate
Current25 GBRow 0 - Cell 2 2 MB/s
Tape length2xTape speed3.6x
Tape width3xParallelization3x
Track density4xTrack density3x
Bit density3xBit density3x
Maximum (approx.)3.6 TBMaximum (approx.)130 MB/s


LTO (Linear Tape Open) is intended as an alternative to the DLT format made by Quantum. Its writing is linear, and numerous technical features make LTO an attractive standard, which is based on reliable technology.

The main standouts for the standard are Accelis and Ultrium, which can be licensed easily. The Ultrium standard boasts impressively high capacities and data rates.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Ultrium-1Ultrium-2Ultrium-3Ultrium-4
Capacity100 GB200 GB400 GB800 GB
Transfer Rate20 MB/s40 MB/s80 MB/s160 MB/s

Source: ExaByte.